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Ortman Legacy Continues at UB

Dental School Icon's Bequests Make a Difference

By Jim Bisco

Harold R. Ortman with his son Lance Ortman

The late Harold R. Ortman (sitting), with his son, Lance Ortman, holding a picture of the late Harold T. Ortman
Photo credit: Douglas Levere

The Ortman name has been prominent in the UB School of Dental Medicine through three generations constituting a century. The presence continues through the bequest of Harold R. Ortman, DDS, '41, to benefit the Dr. Harold and Virginia Ortman Dental Prosthetic Fund in the dental school. A campus sports supporter, Harold R. also made a bequest to UB Athletics for the development of indoor tennis facilities.

The endowed dental prosthetic fund will provide financial aid annually to dental students and will support special initiatives in the dental school. Harold R.'s son, Lance Ortman, DDS, '73, who retired in 2011 after a career as faculty member, associate dean for clinical affairs and interim department chair of restorative dentistry, recalls a conversation he had with his father, who died in 2016 at age 98, about the bequest gift to the university. "He saw that as a legacy that is important. He wanted something lasting that would be helpful," says Lance. "He did not want just his name on the wall but something that was going to assist the students and help move the school forward."

Lance hails his father's never-ending love for the dental school. "He thought you had a special responsibility as a professional to support the university and give back to the profession. A bequest is part of that—it's your lasting gift."

Mr. OrtmanAnother UB family tradition involved faithfully attending Bulls football games and other campus sports.

"My grandfather was a supporter of UB Athletics. I was a student athlete there, playing tennis and he was my number-one cheerleader," says Kristen Ortman Maines, head coach of the women's tennis program and granddaughter of Harold R. "He never pushed me in any direction, but I think inside he was thrilled that I chose to go to UB and continue the legacy of keeping the generations of Ortmans at UB."

A portion of Harold R.'s bequest will be allocated toward the support of an indoor tennis facility on campus. Building plans are in progress.

"He taught me the importance of philanthropy, and how important it was to give back to the university that had given him his start and all of the opportunities that it afforded him," Kristen says of her grandfather. "He wanted to be able to provide those opportunities to the students attending the university now."

"That was my dad," Lance reaffirms. "He wanted to be helpful and meaningful."

You can follow in Harold R.'s footsteps and create a meaningful, lasting legacy at UB in areas that matter most to you. Contact Wendy Irving, Esq. at (877) 825-3422  or dev-pg@buffalo.edu to learn more about leaving a gift in your will to UB.