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For Cole, it’s California sun, sand and dean emeritus status

Dr. James S. Cole and Barbara Cole

The Texas A&M University System
Board of Regents recently
conferred the title of dean emeritus
to Dr. James S. Cole, pictured
here with his wife, Barbara,
at his Aug. 4, 2011 retirement
reception.

Photo by Carolyn Cox

Board of Regents pays tribute to Cole’s 30-plus years of service to the dental school by formally awarding him the distinguished honor

Just a few months after Dr. James S. Cole retired from his post as dean to head for the surf and sand of California, the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents formally awarded him dean emeritus status.

It’s a fitting honor, considering Cole was associated with the dental school for nearly 40 years. Just two years after graduating in 1975, Cole returned to the college as a faculty member. For the next three decades, whenever there was a need at the dental school, Cole was willing to fill it, including assuming the position of interim dean in 1999.

After becoming dean in 2000, Cole managed a balancing act between Dallas and College Station, Texas, for the year that followed, also acting as interim president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center. His dedication didn’t go unnoticed. The Texas House of Representatives honored him with a resolution in 2001, and the Dallas County Dental Society recognized him as Dentist of the Year in 2000.

Baylor College of Dentistry’s highest honor awaited Cole in 2005, when he was inducted into the dental school’s Hall of Fame. Most recently, in the weeks that led to his August 2011 retirement, fundraising commenced for the James S. Cole Endowed Professorship in Dentistry to be established in his honor.

In a Jan. 3 email to students, faculty and staff, Dr. Lawrence Wolinsky, dean, summed up the Board of Regents’ decision regarding Cole as “entirely fitting” and “well deserved.”

“The BCD faculty, staff and students, along with thousands of patients, continue to reap the benefits of Dean Cole’s experience, knowledge, leadership, integrity and wisdom,” Wolinsky wrote.