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Gift secures world-renowned international orthodontic professors

Three years ago, the Adelaide Dental School launched the Milton Sims Visiting Professorship to enable our postgraduate students to learn from the most esteemed orthodontic educators and researchers in the world. At that stage, the initiative’s long-term funding was uncertain. Now, thank to an incredibly generous bequest from alumnus Dr Paul Kwok Lee, its continuity is assured.

Dr Lee completed undergraduate dental studies at the University of Adelaide in 1956 and ran a successful Perth orthodontic practice for years. His generous bequest, now endowed, will generate sufficient ongoing income to fund the Milton Sims Visiting Professorship annually. It will also support ongoing biological research.

According to Dr Helen McLean, a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Orthodontics at the school, and one of the visiting professorship’s instigators, the impact of Dr Lee’s gesture cannot be overstated. “This professorship plays a vital role in keeping our dental school on the world stage.”

“Having the very best international orthodontic professors teach and assess our postgraduate students ensures our graduates are highly regarded wherever they go in the world. That reflects extremely well on our school, which in turn attracts the highest calibre students at home and from abroad, and creates countless opportunities for advancement and collaboration.”

When the Milton Sims Visiting Professorship was established in 2015, Dr Lee felt an immediate connection to it. He had studied with Milton Sims during the 1960s, training in the then-revolutionary Begg Orthodontic Technique. “Dr Lee deeply respected Milton’s highly principled pursuit of perfection, and held him in the highest possible regard,” Helen says. “He also greatly admired Milton’s research into the underlying biology of orthodontics; and they remained close friends and colleagues.”

“Seeing firsthand the opportunities provided through the project was what ultimately made Dr Lee consider supporting the visiting professorship to the extent he did,” explains Helen. “The program’s values aligned so perfectly with his own—and those of his dear friend and mentor, Milton—that he soon initiated discussions with us to finalise the wording in his will.”

“It wasn’t Dr Lee’s nature to seek attention,” says Helen. “He was an incredibly private and humble man; a gentle soul who absolutely loved, and cared for, life and nature. But what he’s done for our students and school—bringing here professors of the highest global standing—deserves our deepest thanks and gratitude.”

For a confidential discussion about how you can support the University with a gift in your will, call Trevor Capps on 08 8313 3234.

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