DENTAL PIONEER AND PHILANTHROPIST
UT Health Science Center, ’39
Part of the Tennessee Alumnus’ 100 Distinguished Alumni feature.
When Knoxville dentist Frank Bowyer died in 2004, the American Association of Orthodontists in its newsletter marked his passing with, “Dr. Bowyer was a great dental leader. He changed the world forever.”
He did so in 1964, when Bowyer,then president of the American Board of Orthodontics, declined to guide the American Dental Association on ways to improve orthodontic education. Bowyer insisted the board only would assess results, not develop requirements.Thus, Bowyer structured the association’s role in education, setting higher standards for dentists today.
Bowyer graduated from the UT College of Dentistry in 1939. During World War II, he served as a dental consultant to the Manhattan Project and was cited for meritorious service. During the Korean War, he served as a U.S. Air Force major.
After the war, Bowyer organized a clinic serving children with cleft palates in East Tennessee. He also helped establish the East Tennessee Speech and Hearing Center, the Tennessee Hearing and Speech Foundation and the East Tennessee Cerebral Palsy Center.
In 1971, the orthodontist association gave Bowyer its highest honor, the Albert Ketcham Award, for his contributions to orthodontics. He also held offices in and received many accolades from the American Dental Association.
Bowyer served 21 years as a member of the UT Board of Trustees and was named an Outstanding Alumnus for the College of Dentistry. The Health Science Center established the Frank P. Bowyer Visiting Lectureship in his honor.