Monday, February 04, 2008

In memoriam: F. James Marshall, DMD (1925-2008)

A prominent figure in the OHSU School of Dentistry, Dr. F. James Marshall, D.M.D., passed away on January 24, 2008. This morning's Oregonian carried his obituary.

A 1949 alumnus of the University of Oregon Dental School, Dr. Marshall was a member of a veritable dental dynasty, and practiced in British Columbia for eight years with his father (a 1923 graduate of the North Pacific College) and brother Don (UODS, Class of 1954). Jim's son, J. Gordon Marshall, also graduated from the Dental School here in 1979.

Dr. Marshall joined the faculty at the Dental School in 1972, when he returned to Portland to establish and chair the first Department of Endodontics at the school. At the time of his death, Jim remained active as emeritus professor in the department, working alongside his son. Both are listed on the department's faculty website.

In December of 1998, Jim sat for an oral history interview with library staff. He reminisced about his dental school days, compared dental education in his father's time to his own, discussed the development of the dental school, and provided insight on the relationship of the Dental School to private practitioners and to the Medical School. Of note are his comments on diversity at the Dental School, including these two excerpts on Jewish students:
I came down to the Dental School after the Second World War. Our class was the last class of the accelerated wartime program. We did our first two years of dentistry in sixteen months.

I started in March ’46, along with twenty other Canadians. There were 110 that started with our class, and 86 graduated. Of the twenty Canadians in the class, ten of them were Jewish, who found it easier to enroll in Oregon. For me, Portland was the nearest dental school. There was a small school in Edmonton, Alberta, after that the next nearest Canadian school was Toronto. The next nearest school on the West Coast was San Francisco, College of Physicians and Surgeons, now called Pacific University.

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Right across the street from the dental school was the Delta Sigma Delta House, a fraternity house; and not far away from that was the Psi Omega house; and there was also ZIP’s (Xi Phi). Dean Noyes was a Delt. And Psi Omega fraternity all but lost their national standing because they pledged and took into their fraternity a Jewish man, who went on to become quite prominent locally in dentistry. Danny Haselnus was the man. He practiced on the East Side for many years. And they were quite a bit ahead of their time. There is a national Jewish fraternity, Alpha Omega; they weren’t/aren’t here at the University of Oregon level.

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