Colgate-Palmolive has donated $25,000 to endow the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine (RSDM) New Horizons Program in memory of the late Dr. Anthony R. Volpe, a retired Colgate executive and Rutgers alumnus who founded the program to introduce students to non-traditional careers in oral healthcare. The program is now named the Dr. Tony Volpe New Horizons Program, endowed by Colgate.
Volpe retired from Colgate in 2013 as vice president of scientific affairs after 52 years of service. Considered one of the world’s leading experts on clinical dental research and preventive dentistry, RSDM said, he published more than 200 papers in major international scientific journals. He also was an accomplished practitioner, dental educator, industry leader, and volunteer for philanthropic endeavors, RSDM said.
A member of the RSDM Class of 1960, the school’s first graduating class, Volpe served as a caring mentor to RSDM students throughout his life and established the New Horizons Program 20 years ago to share with students the possibilities of careers beyond private practice, the school said. The program includes a lecture series featuring guest speakers from various fields related to oral healthcare, including many speakers from Colgate over the years.
“Tony was a remarkable man and a valued member of Colgate’s global community who lived our values and advanced our purpose to reimagine a healthier future for all. We warmly remember Tony as an advocate, mentor, and coach who always left things better than he found them,” said Pat Verduin, chief technology officer at Colgate-Palmolive.
“Tony’s commitment to education and to the next generation of dental researchers have made a lasting impact on Colgate, on all of the people who knew him, and on the entire dental profession. We are proud to continue his legacy of caring and care through this program,” Verduin said.
“Dr. Volpe helped students realize there are many paths open to dentists. They could go into research, politics, academia, forensics, or become administrators and entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Peter De Sciscio, RSDM faculty member and New Horizons Program director.
“Dr. Volpe shared that research could be a unique opportunity for me to make a difference in the world, recognizing how oral health impacts systemic health. I want to follow in his footsteps,” said Nicky Li, DMD, a member of the RSDM Class of 2019 and of Colgate’s Oral Care Clinical Research Team who is now pursuing a master of public health degree from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
“Colgate’s endowment of the New Horizon Program is a wonderful tribute to Tony Volpe and his passion for exploring all aspects of dentistry as a way to improve lives,” said RSDM dean Cecile A. Feldman. “I know how happy he would be that the future of the program is bright.”
Donations may be sent to the program online.