2009 Alumni and Honorary Alumnus of the Year
Melanie Gullett, DDS '83 & George Maranon, DDS '83
Melanie and George graduated as classmates from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1983. They became active in the Alumni Association ten years later when Ann Beech asked them to plan their class reunion.
Members of the Alumni Board for more than 10 years, each of them served as president for three years. In addition, for several years Melanie co-chaired the Apollonians with Dr. Robert Wolcott.
In the meantime, Melanie and George married and developed individual practices. Melanie established a private practice in Santa Monica. George, an oral surgeon, has been practicing in Tarzana for the past 13 years. He is also very active in the California Dental Association and local politics.
The couple has been very active in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts with their sons Bryan and Casey and served in various leadership capacities. They recently ended their scouting careers on a high point when Casey became an Eagle Scout.
Now empty nesters, Melanie and George live in Brentwood, high up in the Santa Monica Mountains, where they have remodeled, re-landscaped and are continuing to build their dream home.
A few years ago, Melanie sold her practice and retired. She now helps George with the management of his practice and is assisting with the supervision of the construction of his new office in Encino.
A breast cancer survivor of two years, Melanie has been working to raise awareness and funds for its cure. She feels that she has a blessed life and stays in touch with many of her classmates.
Melanie and George will continue to plan class reunions and to live “happily ever after.”
Dr. Harold Hargis
Dr. Harold Hargis officially retired from the dental school in 1994, though you’d never know it judging by the schedule he keeps. Four days each week, predoctoral students and residents alike have come to expect his presence and to rely on the expert clinical direction he provides at the UCLA Dental Center in Westwood and the Wilson-Jennings-Bloomfield UCLA Venice Dental Center.
Growing up the son of a coal miner in West Virginia during the Great Depression, young Harold Hargis admired two things about his local dentist: 1) the man wore a necktie, and 2) he was popular; he always had a line of people trailing down his front steps waiting to see him. All during his childhood, Dr. Hargis kept his desire to be a dentist to himself, yet held onto his goal. He served as a Navy minesweeper in the Pacific during WWII, played football and wrestled at Howard University, then opted for a second military career in the Army performing surgeries in several countries in Europe.
It was during his time as an Army Colonel that Dr. Hargis was selected to study with Professor Hugo Obwegeser of Switzerland, then a pioneering oral surgeon, and became a pioneer himself. Dr. Hargis is well known around the world for inventing and perfecting new surgical instruments and is credited with coining the term “orthognathic surgery” to describe the now reliable and routine procedure that straightens the jaw. By the time Dr. Hargis joined the UCLA School of Dentistry faculty in 1972, he was a highly sought-after oral surgeon in both military and academic circles.
In 2006, the California Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recognized Dr. Hargis’ lifelong contributions to the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery, describing him as an "educator, inventor, innovator and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon of international reputation and unmatched skill."