Colgate-Palmolive Company and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) today announced a major gift that will initiate the endowed Freeman, Grant, Franklin Scholarship, which supports students from underrepresented, minority groups to pursue their Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree.
The Freeman, Grant, Franklin Scholarship pays tribute to prominent African American figures in HSDM's history: Robert Tanner Freeman, George Franklin Grant, and Dolores Mercedes Franklin. Freeman in 1869 was the first African American in the United States to graduate from a dental school; Grant became the first African American faculty member of Harvard University as well as the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1884. Franklin was the first African American woman to graduate from HSDM.
Colgate’s contribution of $210,000 has enabled the scholarship's activation. The first scholarship will be awarded to a student beginning in the 2021 academic year and continue on an annual basis, helping HSDM to admit the best and brightest students regardless of their financial means.
“Increasing diversity among the dental profession is critical to our goal of realizing a cavity-free future for all,” said Noel Wallace, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Colgate-Palmolive. “With a brand that is in more homes than any other, Colgate understands our opportunity - and responsibility - to make oral health more equitable and accessible around the world. From the products we develop to our longstanding Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures community program to scholarships like this, we are determined to build a healthier and brighter future for people everywhere.”
Despite representing more than one-third of the U.S. population, Black and Hispanic dentists and those who identify as another race or ethnicity only represent a combined nine percent of professionals in the industry, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
“The Harvard School of Dental Medicine has a long legacy of embracing diversity. Colgate's generous support will help further our ethos to promote greater diversity, inclusion and belonging in dental education and in oral health research,” said William Giannobile, Dean of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. “It enables us to take another important step toward providing the much needed financial resources for our under-represented students to pursue their dreams in oral healthcare delivery.”
Colgate is dedicated to serving as a leader in global diversity, equity, and inclusion in the consumer packaged goods industry and in the communities the company serves around the world. As an ally for positive change for underserved and underrepresented groups, the Company is committed to the continued support of its partner organizations and to taking actions that champion a more equitable future. More information about Colgate’s commitment to the advancement of DE&I is available here.
Colgate-Palmolive Company is a caring, innovative growth company reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet. Focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition and reaching more than 200 countries and territories, Colgate teams are developing and selling health and hygiene products and pet nutrition offerings essential to society through brands such as Colgate, Palmolive, elmex, meridol, Tom’s of Maine, hello, Sorriso, Speed Stick, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sanex, Filorga, eltaMD, PCA Skin, Ajax, Axion, Fabuloso, Soupline and Suavitel, as well as Hill’s Science Diet and Hill’s Prescription Diet. Colgate seeks to deliver sustainable, profitable growth and superior shareholder returns and to provide Colgate people with an innovative and inclusive work environment. Colgate does this by developing and selling products globally that make people’s lives healthier and more enjoyable and by embracing its sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion and social responsibility strategies across the organization. For more information about Colgate’s global business, its efforts to improve the oral health of children through its Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program and how the Company is building a future to smile about, visit www.colgatepalmolive.com. CL-C
About Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Located in the heart of Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) ranks as one of the preeminent schools of dental medicine in the country. HSDM educates clinicians, educators, researchers, and leaders in the profession; boasts core strengths in musculoskeletal-disease research; and offers students public health opportunities in local communities and across the globe.
In a unique educational model in which oral health and primary care are inextricably linked, HSDM pre-doctoral students (DMD students) study clinical medicine with Harvard medical students and then pursue additional years of intensive, interdisciplinary clinical science education at HSDM and affiliated sites. Advanced graduate students, who work toward a doctor of medical sciences (DMSc) or master of medical sciences (MMSc) degree and/or a specialty certificate, also draw upon the richness of the educational facilities and research institutes of the broader Harvard community and Greater Boston area. HSDM is the only school of Harvard University that offers direct patient care, with the Harvard Dental Center welcoming more than 25,000 patients for over 57,000 dental visits every year. HSDM graduates make their mark in prevention, discovery, and practice as they work to improve the health and well-being of local and global populations.