AGD Pivots Toward Normalcy with AGD2021 and a Packed Convocation Ceremony

  • by George Schmidt, DMD, FAGD, FICOI
  • Jul 30, 2021, 18:22 PM
The AGD scientific session in Austin was the place to be this year. With over 1,800 on-site attendees, great camaraderie, amazing learning opportunities and a jam-packed Convocation Ceremony, AGD2021 was a smash hit as organized dentistry pivoted toward normalcy. It sure made me proud to be an attendee and an AGD member.

Sitting at the rooftop bar in the Fairmont Hotel as the warm Austin breeze blew, the faint smell of BBQ in the air, I looked out over the city backdrop and shook my head, thinking, “How great is this?” Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, it was really special to get out and see so many friends and colleagues. It had been a long, long time, but what a breath of fresh air it was to see colleagues again!

The highlight of the weekend was the AGD Convocation Ceremony. More than 400 awardees and their families came to Austin to receive some of the most prestigious and well-recognized awards in all of dentistry, the Master and Fellow awards and the Lifelong Learning and Service Recognition. It was a special honor to read the charge to the hundreds of awardees at Convocation. Sitting on the dais between my addresses, squinting from the bright lights in my eyes, it was really special to look out over the audience and see the awardees and their proud families as they celebrated these monumental achievements. I can remember my special day as an awardee like it was yesterday, and, each time a recipient came closer to the stage and walked up the stairs to receive his or her award, it brought me back to that day. It was such a proud moment for me, my family and my friends. If you’ve never experienced that feeling, I urge you to pursue your Fellowship — it will change your life.

As the last names were read and we prepared to file out in the recessional, I knew we were marching toward the end of an amazing weekend — one in which so much of the old became new again, one in which we were reminded of the purpose and meaning of organized dentistry, and one that pointed to so much promise in the future. 

It was a weekend none of us wanted to end, but, as with all good things, it had to. At least the memories will live on. I can’t wait until next year as we head to Orlando, where hundreds more of our colleagues will take a step toward the next incredible chapter of their careers as they cross the Convocation stage! I look forward to seeing you there, either in the audience or on stage!
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