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2013 Francis J. Ayers, DDS’69

2013 Alumni Merit Award Recipient
Francis J. Ayers, DDS’69

2013 Alumni Merit Award Recipient Dr. Ayers will be honored at the President’s Alumni Dinner on September 20, 2013.

His life embodies the Ignatian spirit and the philosophy of cura personalis. Francis “Frank” Ayers graduated from the Creighton University School of Dentistry in 1969. He served his country in the U.S. Navy, and for 38 years he served the students, faculty and administration of his alma mater.

Dr. Ayers joined Creighton’s faculty in 1972 as a part-time clinical instructor. By the time he retired, he had been associate dean of student affairs, director of admissions, director of the Dental Auxiliary Utilization Program and the dental director of the ILAC program. He also was interim chair of pediatric and orthodontic dentistry. He had a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of dental students, helping each with equality, respect and positive encouragement.

In the ’80s, at a time when applications to dental schools were decreasing and some dental schools were forced to close, his management and ingenuity helped increase applications to the Creighton School of Dentistry by 188 percent from 1989 to 1994. Dr. Ayers was the students’ advocate. Constantly demonstrating patience, humility, care and concern, he fought for students when he knew they could succeed; he worked on their behalf, giving unselfishly of his time and talents.

His accomplishments reflect his devotion to his profession, his faith and the people he served. He is a fellow in the American College of Dentists and a member of Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honor Society. The University awarded him the Distinguished Faculty Service Award. Students created an annual award, The Frank J. Ayers Spirit of Compassion Award, and named him the first recipient. One graduate was inspired to establish the Dr. Frank J. Ayers Endowed Scholarship Fund to help others attend the School of Dentistry.