Stephen H. Leeper, MA, DDS
A third-generation Nebraska dentist, Stephen Leeper, MA, DDS, received his degree from the College of Dentistry in 1959, where he graduated first in his class. He also received a Master of Arts degree in speech science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Dr. Leeper joined the College of Dentistry faculty in 1964 and taught removable prosthodontics. Before being named interim dean in 1988, Dr. Leeper served as chair of the Department of Adult Restorative Dentistry and as assistant dean of clinics. He served as dean from 1988 to 2000. Some of his many accomplishments included the opening of the Cruzan Center for Dental Research, which allowed the college to increase its research activities, the reorganization of the college to six departments, and the initiation of the development of a patient-centered, comprehensive care model.
As a testament to the impact Dr. Leeper had on the field of dental education, the Supreme Chapter of Omicron Kappa Upsilon named a national teaching award after him. The Stephen H. Leeper Award for Teaching Excellence is given annually to a dental educator who has displayed exemplary standards in dental pedagogy while demonstrating vision and advancement in dental education. This award challenges educators to strive for excellence and innovation in dental education.