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Marble Mementos from Dental Branch Building Available

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 3:09pm

Keepsakes made of marble from the Dental Branch Building are now available.

In return for donations to the UTSD Impact Fund, keepsakes made of "Dental Branch marble" are available.

The pink marble-clad Dental Branch building where thousands of dental careers were launched will soon be history, but alumni, employees and students can now own a small piece of it.

The former home of The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston was acquired by UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and is slated for demolition, but a limited number of small keepsakes have been carved out of the marble exterior for the UTSD community. And by receiving a piece of the past, alumni and donors will help the school’s future by seeding the new UTSD Impact Fund. 

“We’ve made a conscious effort to bring memories of the old building into the present,” said John Greer, UTSD’s executive director of development. “We’ve already heard from dozens of alumni who would love to have a small piece of the old Dental Branch.”

The Dental Branch building housed the School of Dentistry from 1955 until May 21, 2012, when the school moved into a new facility at 7500 Cambridge St. The old building has unique sentimental value for the entire UTSD community, said Dean John Valenza, DDS, a 1981 graduate of the school.

“For those of us who learned, worked and taught there, the building was a part of our lives, and the pink marble will be forever recognizable to us as a reminder of the times we were associated with ‘the Branch.’ So owning a little piece of the ‘Pink Palace’ is a wonderful way to keep those memories close,” he said.

The largest item is a 12"x12" piece of DBB marble in the shape of Texas.

The largest item is a personalized 12"x12" piece of Dental Branch Building marble in the shape of Texas.

For a $2,500 gift, donors will receive a 12” x 12” piece of marble cut in the shape of Texas, etched with a drawing of the Dental Branch and personalized with name and year of graduation.

A smaller, rectangular version may be had for a $500 gift, and as a special offer only for current students, faculty and staff, a 4”x6” marble piece with the etching and personalization is available for a $250 donation.

All donations will go to the Impact Fund, a permanent endowment created to support faculty and staff excellence, possibly by funding awards for teaching, research and clinical care.

“The Impact Fund will be a difference-maker,” Valenza said. “Our goal is for it to become the single largest endowment for the School of Dentistry and focus entirely on promoting excellence in our faculty and staff, further elevating our status as a leader in dental education.”

Marble from the Dental Branch’s distinctive exterior already serves as a backdrop for the two donor walls inside the School of Dentistry. The marble was mined from the same Georgia rock quarry – now closed – that supplied the original M.D. Anderson building. 

To make a gift to the Impact Fund and receive a marble keepsake, visit http://go.uth.edu/SpecialOffer.