Leslie “Les” R. Burrows, D.D.S, Ph.D., the founding dean of the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine passed away on December 22, 2018.
“Dr. Burrows was an inspiration to generations of University of Colorado students and faculty. Without him, the strong foundation that our current School of Dental Medicine sits upon would not exist,” said Dr. Denise Kassebaum, current dean. “His legacy will live on through our former and future graduates.”
Dr. Burrows was recruited by Dr. Bill Hiatt, then President of the Dental Foundation of Colorado, to serve as the first Dean of the CU School of Dentistry, as it was called then. It took more than a decade for the dental school to become a reality. Dr. Burrows overcame funding, legislation, and construction challenges and in 1973 saw his vision come to life when more than 40 dental and hygiene students were accepted to the school in its temporary headquarters. The dental school was first located in the basement of the bookstore at the Health Sciences Campus located at 9th and Colorado. Dr. Burrows served as the dean until 1975, then went on to teach gross anatomy for 25 years to hundreds of CU dental and medical students.
Dr. Burrows’ belief in a humanistic approach to dentistry and to basic science education made him a beloved leader, mentor and teacher.