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AAE lauds Gutmann

Dr. GutmannAn award is always pleasant to receive, but when that award has personal significance, it can be all the sweeter. That is the case for Dr. James L. Gutmann, professor emeritus of endodontics at Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry.

Gutmann will accept the American Association of Endodontists’ I.B. Bender Lifetime Educator Award on April 16 during the association’s annual meeting in San Antonio. The award is given annually to acknowledge an AAE member whose contributions to endodontics in the field of education have demonstrated excellence through selfless commitment to full‐time educational pursuits, and whose valuable contributions have instilled in students the desire to pursue excellence in their careers.

Established to honor the legacy of Dr. Israel Boris Bender, the award was created in 2000 by the association’s board of directors. Gutmann was AAE president at the time.

“As president, it was my honor to present the award proclamation to Dr. Bender at his 95th birthday party in Philadelphia,” Gutmann says. “I also was privileged to be part of the first presentation of this award at my presidential meeting in 2001.”

According to Gutmann, Bender was one of AAE’s founding fathers, served as its president, and received numerous accolades including three top awards given by the specialty. For years he was involved in academia at the University of Pennsylvania and the Einstein School of Graduate Dentistry at Temple University.

“I got to know I.B. quite well during my seven years as endodontic department chairman at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in Baltimore, where I taught before coming to Baylor,” says Gutmann. “He was a regular guest seminarian at my graduate program in Baltimore, and I brought him to Baylor at least twice. His achievements globally were phenomenal and his mentorship was an example for all of us.

“I am both awed and humbled at receiving this award 10 years later,” Gutmann continues. “Never in my wildest dreams did this possibility cross my mind.”

Gutmann retired from TAMHSC-BCD in 2002 after serving as professor and chair of the Department of Endodontics for 10 years and director of the Graduate Endodontic Program within the restorative sciences department for another 10 years. Currently, he is in private endodontic practice in Dallas. A diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, he has served in numerous leadership and editorial roles for professional associations and publications. Gutmann has presented more than 800 lectures, papers and continuing education courses in the United States and 51 foreign countries on six continents. He is the author or coauthor of three endodontic texts.