MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In order to welcome David A. Felton, D.D.S., M.S., the new dean of West Virginia University School of Dentistry, to the University and the state, Thomas W. Jarrett, D.D.S., M.S., a 1975 graduate of the School, and his wife, Sally, have donated  $100,000 to create the Jarrett Family Research Endowment for Dentistry. This gift will support research efforts in the Department of Orthodontics and other research efforts in the School. The contribution will be matched by the West Virginia Research Trust Fund, generating a combined gift of $200,000.

“I want Dr. Felton to feel welcome and know the alumni are supportive of him and care greatly about the School of Dentistry and the oral healthcare of the people in the state,” Dr. Jarrett said.  “I also thank the Good Lord for Bill Jarrett (my father) and former Dean W. Robert Biddington, D.D.S., for getting a wayward kid into dental school.”

Dr. Jarrett, who has been donating to the School of Dentistry since 1986, is a third generation West Virginia dentist. His gift also honors his father, Dr. William M. Jarrett, the state’s first board-certified orthodontist, and his grandfather, Dr. Warren Victor Jarrett, a general dentist in Richwood, W.Va. Each has been very involved in organized dentistry for many years.

“My grandfather, father and I have served West Virginia since 1901 because of our desire to improve oral health in the state,” Dr. Jarrett said. “The state’s Research Trust Fund provides a great opportunity to boost funding for research, which also goes a long way to better the oral health of West Virginians for generations to come. I’m hopeful our gift will inspire others to do the same.”

Dr. Jarrett retired from his orthodontic practice in Beckley and Summersville in 2009. He continues to work as a part-time assistant clinical professor in the WVU Orthodontic Clinic, where he oversees residents with their patient cases and education. Dr. and Mrs. Jarrett have two children, Jordon and Allison, who are attending WVU.

“Dr. and Mrs. Tom Jarrett have made a significant contribution to the future of the WVU School of Dentistry’s initiative to move research and scholarship to the forefront of the Strategic Plan of the Health Sciences Center. Their vision and willingness to provide funding dedicated to research in the Department of Orthodontics and beyond will strengthen the School’s scientific initiatives and ultimately help further clinical care to the people of West Virginia,” Felton said.  

In 2008, the state created the Research Trust Fund with an initial appropriation of $50 million to leverage public and private investments that will transform West Virginia’s economy. WVU is able to tap into the fund to double private gifts that support expansions to research faculty and infrastructure in key areas linked to economic development, healthcare and job growth. To date, private and state dollars combined for WVU total over $37 million. The Fund will continue to match select research gifts made before March 8, 2015.

This gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the private nonprofit corporation that generates, receives and administers private gifts for the benefit of WVU.

Photo Caption: Thomas W. Jarrett, D.D.S., M.S., (left) stands with new Dentistry Dean David A. Felton, D.D.S., M.S.

For more information: Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
ab: 08-19-11