exhibited his art work in the annual Doctors of Art
show in the Dickson Gallery at Cannon Memorial
Hospital. Burnam retired from his practice in otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery in 1998.
Robert F. Comer (’ 56, ’ 57 AB) of Dobson has been
elected secretary/treasurer of the N.C. Association of
Community College Trustees. Comer, a retired Navy
captain and the managing partner at Sanford Hol-shouser Business Development Group, is a longtime
trustee and former chair at Surry Community College.
Vernon Clay Culpepper Sr. (’ 58 ABEd, ’ 67 MEd) of
Raleigh has been named as the first recipient of the
Vernon Culpepper/Bernard Allen/Mary Nesbitt Award
by the N.C. Association of Educators. Culpepper, now
retired as a field consultant for the NCAE, first joined
the association while a student at UNC. Dr. A.
Everette James Jr. (’ 59 AB) and his wife, Nancy Jane
Farmer (’ 69 ABEd, ’ 70 MEd, ’ 82 EdD), of Chapel Hill
have been inducted into the Riddick Society of N.C.
State University. James is a retired physician,
teacher, author and collector. George Rose
Watkins (’ 56 BSBA) and his twin brother, Samuel
Meriweather Watkins Jr. (’ 56 BSBA), of Henderson
have received the August Community Hero Award
from the Vance County Board of Commissioners.
George Watkins is the vice president of Rose Oil Co.
and is board chairman of the Henderson-Vance
Parks and Recreation Department, where he has
been a board member for 30 years. Samuel Watkins
Jr., president of Rose Oil Co., is chairman of the
Vance County Economic Development Commission,
where he has served for 20 years. A. Terry Wood
(’ 58 BSBA, ’ 64 LLBJD) of Greensboro has been
appointed Greensboro city attorney. Wood had
retired in June 2008 after 22 years in the legal
department for the city.
Oscar Hunter Adams (’ 51 MSSE), 94, of Richmond,
Va.; July 18, 2008. Adams planned, developed and
constructed Army hospitals around the world during
his career in the Medical Service Corps. After retiring
from the military, he worked for the Virginia State
Health Department as a regional engineer in
Lexington and was director for engineering services
DR. CLIFFORD MAX STURDEVANT 1927–2008
Founding Dental School Professor ‘Never Quit Teaching’
Cliff Sturdevant never squandered an tistry at UNC,” said Dr. Al
opportunity to instruct. Wilder, a professor of operative dentistry and
Four years ago, the man everyone in the director of clinical research in the department.
UNC School of Dentistry knew as “Dr. Cliff” Sturdevant also was the first editor and
showed up at the Chapel Hill office of Dr. Joel author of The Art and Science of Operative
COURTESY UNC SCHOOL OF DENTISTRY
M. Wagoner ’ 75 (DDS). As Sturdevant was Dentistry, which became the best-selling opera-shown to the examining room, he passed a tive dentistry textbook worldwide. In a later
room in which Wagoner was tending to another edition, the title was changed to Sturdevant’s Art
patient. When Wagoner went to treat Sturdevant, and Science of Operative Dentistry to reflect
he asked him how he was doing. Sturdevant Sturdevant’s scholastic contribution to the dis-smiled, said he was fine and added, “I noticed cipline. The textbook is now in its fifth edition
you weren’t holding the floss correctly back 40 years after its first printing and remains an
there.” And proceeded to re-instruct Wagoner. international standard.
“He never quit teaching,” Wagoner said. Sturdevant’s social conscience went far
Sturdevant, who died Sept. 9 at age 90, beyond producing skilled dentists. When the
came to Chapel Hill in 1950 as one of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was to speak on
founding members of the UNC School of campus as well as at Sturdevant’s church,
Dentistry — he and his father, Dr. Roger University Baptist, in May 1960, Sturdevant
Sturdevant, were brought in by Dr. John caught wind of an effort by some congregants
Brauer as the school’s first faculty members. to force King to speak in the church basement.
Roger Sturdevant went on to be founding He went to the church minister and made sure
chair of the school. And so did Dr. Cliff, who Dr. Clifford Max Sturdevant, known affectionately as “Dr. that King was allowed to speak in the sanctuary.
held that post from 1959 to 1979. Cliff” around the dental school, was an authority in opera- After Hurricane Fran left debris scattered
Cliff Sturdevant’s teaching philosophy throughout Sturdevant’s Dogwood Drive
included putting the strongest faculty with the and Brauer coming to work. neighborhood in 1996, he broke out his gas-weakest students so that everyone could rise to Sturdevant received his doctor of dental sur- powered blower and helped neighbors tidy up.
the high levels that Sturdevant brought to the gery degree in 1943 from Atlanta-Southern His immaculate yard with its well-tended roses
School of Dentistry. Even as the school’s top Dental College, now Emory University School was the toast of the neighborhood, and he
administrator, he would work with freshman of Dentistry. After graduation, he served in the spent many a late night tending to his cher-students in pre-clinic, and he taught operative Army in 1943 and 1944. He taught full time at ished roses when frost threatened.
dentistry. Emory before coming to Chapel Hill. Even after Sturdevant retired in 1980, he
“He wanted students to have the best In the mid-1970s, Sturdevant led a national remained deeply committed to the dental
instruction and to raise them up to his stan- effort to standardize operative dentistry teaching school’s future, said Dr. Ken May, vice dean
dards,” said Wagoner, who took several classes materials throughout U.S. dental schools. He was and a member of the Department of Operative
under Sturdevant. “He was a perfectionist. One one of the school’s first researchers and estab- Dentistry’s faculty for the past 32 years.
plaque in his office said, ‘If you’re going to be lished one of the nation’s first clinical research “He was a true leader in dental education,”
on time, be ahead of time.’” programs in operative dentistry and biomateri- May said. “His tenacity regarding clinical
The perfectionist Sturdevant spent many als at UNC in 1970. He also served as president excellence and with the clinical research pro-hours on the job. The story still makes the of the Academy of Operative Dentistry in 1975. gram was of the highest rank.”
rounds of Sturdevant and Brauer passing each “Many of the restorative materials and tech- Sturdevant’s son, John, continues the family’s
other in the parking lot near the dental school niques in use today in operative dentistry have commitment to operative dentistry at UNC,
in the middle of the night during the school’s in some way been pioneered or evaluated by serving as associate professor.
formative years — Sturdevant leaving work the clinical research program in operative den- — Don Evans ’ 80