Ronald L. Tankersley, D.D.S. Leadership Scholarship

Dr. Ron Tankersley did not always know he wanted to be a dentist. In fact he started out as a pre-med and psychology major. But, with some help from mentors Dr. Harry Lyons (D.D.S. ’23) and Dr. S. Elmer Bear, Tankersley found his niche in dentistry as a student at the MCV School of Dentistry.

Tankersley made an extraordinary commitment to the dental profession and served as the president of the American Dental Association from 2009 to 2010. During his tenure, he educated members of the ADA and others in the dental field about health care reform and pushed for dentistry for the underserved while focusing on collaboration between the various organizations within the field of dentistry.

To recognize Tankersley's outstanding leadership within the ADA and the dental profession, the Virginia Dental Association and other close supporters established a scholarship in his honor.

The Ronald L. Tankersley, D.D.S. Leadership Scholarship will be awarded to a dental student (or students) who demonstrates innovative, motivational leadership that influences his/her academic, professional or community environments. The recipient, chosen by the dean or a designee, will have exhibited excellent leadership skills while in dental school to include fostering a sense of teamwork and building enthusiasm for group projects and assignments, setting a good example through positive work habits, contributing creative ideas and suggestions to help people solve problems and exhibiting a high ethical standard of conduct.


  • Rising senior dental student
  • Exhibited excellent leadership skills while in dental school

Get to know our scholarship recipients

Click each name to find out what excites our students about becoming dental professionals.