Distinguished Alumni awards
Both recipients’ biographies illustrate how their dedication and service have taken them through extraordinary careers.
Peggy Ward Countryman ’57 was in the first class of dental hygienists to graduate from the college’s Caruth School of Dental Hygiene. After working in several dental practices throughout Texas, she obtained her bachelor’s degree from Temple University in Philadelphia and her master’s degree from Columbia University in New York. She credits the supportive influence of Dr. Earl Moore ’57, and Kay Gandy, an alumna of the dental hygiene special program class of 1957, in advancing her education.
Countryman was a consultant for the Netherlands’ Ministry of Social Affairs, where she established that country’s first dental hygiene program at the University of Utrecht. She also worked for the U.S. Department of Defense to establish a dental assisting program at a vocational high school in Darmstadt, Germany. Countryman has taught dental hygiene at Temple University, Pensacola Junior College in Fla., and Loyola University in New Orleans, where she also co-authored a teaching manual.
Countryman has received multiple awards from Aetna for her customer service and has been honored by the U.S. government for her superior performance. She was a speaker at the first International Dental Hygiene Symposium in Italy and has been a representative at dental symposiums in Denmark and Sweden. Countryman is a charter member of the Alpha Eta chapter of Sigma Phi Alpha honor society in Pensacola.
She says she has “wonderful memories” of her career, including working for an Irish dentist in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where she cared for a Sheikh’s family’s teeth – and teamed with a veterinarian to care for his thoroughbred horse. Her career also is filled with volunteerism for cancer patients, animal charities and her church.
“I promised my higher power I would perform at least one good deed a day when I conquered ‘The Big C’ 13 years ago, and I have not broken that promise,” Countryman says.
Dr. Tom M. McDougal ’64 also has embarked on a successful career as a restorative dentist, faculty member, lecturer and banker.
Upon his graduation from HSC-BCD, McDougal served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force and received advanced training in several disciplines of dentistry. He then opened a private practice in Richardson, Texas, where he primarily works in aesthetic and restorative dentistry.
McDougal began lecturing about dentistry in 1980. He has given more than 300 scientific presentations at major national dental meetings and internationally as well. He was a faculty member and board member for the Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education for 15 years. He currently is a faculty member for the Center for Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry.
McDougal is a past president of the Dallas County Dental Society and the American Academy of Dental Practice Administration. He also is a fellow of the International College of Dentists and the American College of Dentists.
McDougal is a founding director of T Bank, which specializes in dentists’ business and financial services and has clients in 32 states.
Volunteerism has been a priority throughout McDougal’s career. He has served in the Children’s Oral Health Center for 38 years and provided dental care to children while on mission trips to Honduras and Brazil. He also is active within his church.
McDougal expresses gratitude for his education at HSC-BCD and enjoys giving back to the college that guided him.
“I have enjoyed my career immensely and am very thankful to have had the guidance and training given me at Baylor,” McDougal says. “Some of my most fulfilling moments have come from mentoring and counseling current Baylor dental students. I believe this marvelous profession will be in very capable hands.”