Alpha Omega (ΑΩ) is a professional Jewish dental fraternity and the oldest international dental fraternity. It was founded in Baltimore, Maryland in 1907 by a group of dental students originally to fight discrimination in dental schools. The headquarters is currently located in Rockville, Maryland.
The objectives of the fraternity are to promote the profession of Dentistry; to establish, foster and develop high standards of scholarship, leadership and character; to inculcate a spirit of fellowship amongst all its members; to create and bind together a body of professional people, who, by scholarly attainments, faithful service and the maintenance of ethical ideals and principles, have achieved distinction; to honor achievement in others; to strive for breadth of vision, unity in action and accomplishment of ideals; to commend all worthy deeds, and if fraternal welfare demands, to call and counsel with its members; to accept, sponsor and develop the cultural and traditional achievements of our faith; to build within our fraternity a triangle, the base of which is Judaism, the supporting sides, professionalism and fraternalism.
In 1953, the fraternity founded The Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Dental Medicine in Jerusalem. The fraternity also founded The Tel Aviv University School of Dental Medicine in Tel Aviv. It continues to raise funds through campaigns and grants from its various foundations to provide continual support for both schools.
- 1907: At the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in Philadelphia, a group of students joined together to create an organization called Ramach, the predecessor to Alpha Omega
- 1907: A similar group with similar objectives known as Alpha Omega was organized in Baltimore. These two groups joined together as the Alpha Omega Fraternity in 1907
- 1912: First Alpha Omega Fraternity Convention was held in New York with 40 men in attendance
- 1916: Constitution and bylaws were adopted
- 1916: First alumni chapter was established in Philadelphia - prior to that Alpha Omega was made up of student chapters
- 1917: First issue of the Alpha Omegan was published
- 1921: Pi Student Chapter formed in Toronto thereby expanding Alpha Omega into an international scope
- 1924: First non-US Alumni Chapter was founded in Toronto
- 1936: Alpha Omega establishes the Achievement Medal. Given to an individual outstanding in Dentistry or its allied sciences, in recognition of his or her professional contribution. Alpha Omega has honored many giants in the field of dentistry and medicine, which included Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk, Charles Best, Harry Sicher, D. W alter Cohen, Ronald Goldstein, Gordon Christensen and most recently R. Bruce Donoff, Dean of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine
- 1941: Alpha Omega donates a mobile dental ambulance to the Royal Canadian Dental Corps
- 1942: Three additional mobile dental ambulances were donated to the United States Army
- 1946: Alpha Omega commitment in the creation of a dental school in Israel serves as impetus for the formation of our first overseas chapters
- 1948: With the creation of the state of Israel Alpha Omega donated materials, including hospital and field equipment, as well as qualified teachers to help train Israeli personnel. Estimated value of the materials, service and equipment to Europe and Israel exceeded over $500,000
- 1949: Alpha Omega Biological Laboratory at Brandeis University established - first corporate gift received by this newly established first Jewish-sponsored non-sectarian college
- 1950: Headquarters relocated to New York City from Philadelphia
- 1952: Founded the Hadassah, Hebrew University School of Dental Medicine (interim provisional school)
- 1952: Harry Jolly of Canada becomes first non US president of Alpha Omega
- 1953: Hebrew University Hadassah School of Dental Medicine, founded by Alpha Omega was formally dedicated in Jerusalem - Alpha Omega's contributions to date over $1.5 million
- 1954: Israeli chapters chartered in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa
- 1963: First European chapter established in Paris
- 1969: The US Alpha Omega Foundation incorporated in the state of New York as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization