Professor creates student endowment

Joseph Tonzetich, professor emeritus in the Faculty of Dentistry, is putting his money where his mouth is.

Tonzetich has donated more than $300,000 to establish an endowment that provides two annual fellowships to qualified students in the PhD program in Oral Biology.

"I've had my share of support during my education," says Tonzetich. "Now I want to give something back."

A systematic approach allowed him to establish the endowment, he says. He saved a portion of his industrial contract fees each year and by 1993 had created an endowment of $250,000 that funded one graduate student.

This year he contributed another $65,000.

In addition, Tonzetich helped organize an international conference on breath odor held at UBC last year and the profits were added to the endowment.

UBC recently matched a portion of the invested funds, bringing the Tonzetich Fellowship Endowment to more than $500,000. It now provides two $15,000 fellowships for students with high academic standing and showing superior research ability and promise in the fields of oral biochemistry or cell biology.

"We are honoured to have a faculty member make this personal commitment," says Dentistry Dean Edwin Yen. "Joe has contributed to the faculty as a teacher and researcher and now his legacy can continue."

Tonzetich, an oral biologist, has focused his research career on the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of oral malodor.

A UBC alumnus, Tonzetich began teaching in the faculty in 1968 and retired in 1990.