According to Eastern Carolina University (ECU), Ledyard E. Ross, DDS, has donated $4 million to the university’s new dental school. One of the largest one-time gifts in ECU’s history. Ross’s donation will support several academic interests for the school, including student scholarships and faculty research.

The ECU Board of Trustees has voted to name the School of Dentistry building after Ross, an 84-year-old retired orthodontist and ECU alumnus.

Ross said, “First of all, you’ve got to have good instructors, and we want to help get good instructors because the dentists aren’t any better than the instructors.”

James R. Hupp, DMD, MD, JD, MBA, FACS, FACD, FICD, dean of the ECU School of Dentistry, hopes that Ross’s gift will serve as inspiration. “Dentists don’t have a lot of situations where a dentist is a hero, so this will be inspirational,” he said.

When it is finished, the 100,000-square-foot Ledyard E. Ross Hall will be the center for training students to be dentists as well as servants who provide regular health care services to underserved communities. The first dental students will be admitted in fall 2011. The university expects to admit 50 students with each class.