A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) hosted its 13th commencement ceremony on May 10, 2019, in Mesa, Arizona. The ceremony honored 74 graduates receiving their doctor of dental medicine degrees. Among the graduates, 18 received their master of public health degree, and three were commissioned into the military forces.
George Blue Spruce, DDS, MPH, ATSU-ASDOH’s assistant dean of American Indian affairs, served as the dental school’s commencement speaker. Dr. Blue Spruce was the first and only American Indian dentist to hold the highest rank of assistant surgeon general (equivalent to Navy rear admiral). He has received many honors, including American Indian of the Year in 1972 and 1974 by American Tribes and Organizations. In 1984, he was named the most outstanding alumni of Creighton University. He was honored when the governor of New Mexico declared April 14, 1974, as “Dr. George Blue Spruce Day.” On June 22, 2017, the mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, declared that “Dr. George Blue Spruce Day” as well.