An Interview with Dr. Lori M. Gearhart
|Lori Gearhart, D.M.D.
Why did you choose to make a gift of an
insurance policy to the School of Dentistry?
Serving on the Executive Council helped me
to understand the financial challenges our
school faces each year, especially considering
the recent cutbacks and economic changes. I
have also helped raise money for the Alumni
Association and have seen firsthand the
effort this requires. I wanted to ensure that
my contribution was established and easily
managed. After much consideration, I learned
that a life insurance gift is a great way to turn
my charitable dollars into a substantial gift for
the UAB School of Dentistry. Actually, it is a
low-cost way to provide a large benefit. Also,
Elizabeth Ponder, director of planned giving,
explained the great tax benefits of this type of gift. Hopefully, this will be helpful to the future
of the School of Dentistry.
Why is it important for alumni to give back?
The strength of our school lies in our members,
both current students and alumni. The
profession as a whole benefits from the
quality of our education and training. Our
commitment to maintaining that quality
should be a priority for all of us.
You have been very involved in the Alumni
Association. How have you been involved
and why is it important that you help this
I have served as a member of the Executive
Council and chairperson of alumni weekend.
Being a member of this council has afforded me
the opportunity to work with other alumni in
the state toward the common goal of keeping
the organization a vital part of dentistry. The
support our members receive from each other
and the support we provide for the dental school
serve as tools in the continued development of
What is your message to our
younger alumni about being
involved in organized dentistry?
As younger dentists begin their careers and
move forward, it is natural to focus on their
own practices and families. By having an organization
that unites us, we have a strength that can facilitate
change and provide support to our members. I believe
that being a member of organized dentistry allows us to
be much stronger as a profession. The more involvement
from members and input we have, the more powerful and
influential our voices are.
Talk a little bit about your family.
My family and I live in Monroeville, Ala. My husband,
Andrew Gearhart (Class of '82), and I have two children.
My son, Drew Gearhart, lives in Birmingham and is an
agent for Mass Mutual. My daughter, Lindsey Gearhart, is
a freshman at the University of South Carolina.
We have enjoyed practicing in Monroeville for more than
25 years. We've raised our family with a focus on the
outdoors and a strong involvement with Boy Scouts and
Girl Scouts. We all enjoy travel, cooking, and music.
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