Then & Now: Dr. Bob Merin, Class of 1970

Posted on: Monday, 04/27/2020

As his 50th anniversary of graduating from the UCLA School of Dentistry approaches, Dr. Robert Merin, Class of 1970, takes a walk down memory lane.

Bob & Barbara Merin


When you graduated, the dental school wasn’t yet 10 years old, how has the school changed and what are you proudest of for your alma mater?


We were the first “large” class to be in the brand new dental school for all four years. When we entered UCLA Dentistry, the School hadn’t yet graduated a class. UCLA had no dental specialty programs at that time so every clinic patient was treated by a student dentist. This allowed us to gain experience treating complex cases. I am most proud of how quickly UCLA has risen to be one of the best dental schools in the nation.

Q: Can you share a fond memory from dental school?

A: I remember seeing my girlfriend (now my wife), Barbara, walk up Tiverton Avenue from her dorm during my clinical blocks. We met during my last year of dental school, and I would knock on the window and wave so she would look up and see me. Another fond memory happened a week before graduation when a staff member paged all of our class and addressed them as doctors for the first time. “Dr. Robert Merin, please report to the clinic lobby,” was very exciting for me to hear.

Q: Your 50th Reunion is coming up this year, what would you tell your younger self after so many years of practice?

A; I would tell my younger self to stay in touch with classmates and stay involved in organized dentistry. Parts of private practice can be challenging, but having a small community of those who experience similar situations can help overcome those obstacles. The committee of Kent Farnsworth, Stephen J. Smith, Nick St. George, Rick Mandel, John Orchard, and I are excited to gather everyone at the UCLA campus after so many years. 

Interested in planning your reunion?

Please contact the Office of Development & Alumni Relations at 310.206.0215.