Alberta Beat Dolan, Obituary


Alberta Beat Dolan, a native of Kingman County, Kansas, passed away February 10, at the age of 103. Alberta was predeceased by her husband, Charles B. Dolan, her parents, Edward and Margaret Conrardy Beat, her five brothers, two sisters, and several nieces and nephews. She leaves behind four generations of nieces and nephews, numbering in the 100s to preserve the Beat legacy.

A farmer’s daughter, Alberta attended parochial school in Willowdale and was a 1939 graduate of Kingman HS. She was a dental assistant for three years in Kingman before attending Columbia University in New York in 1947 to earn her Dental Hygiene Certificate. In 1950 she moved to the University of Washington, earned her Bachelor’s Degree, and was on the Dental Hygiene faculty. In 1968 she earned her Masters’ Degree from Columbia University.

Alberta leaves behind a monumental legacy, as the first dental hygienist appointed to the faculty of The University of North Carolina (UNC) as an Assistant Professor in 1953. Alberta became the acting Dental Hygiene Program Director where she remained until 1967, before becoming the Director of the Dental Auxiliary Teaching Program in 1968. Alberta served as president of the Supreme Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Honor Society. She was elected President of the American Dental Hygienists Association in 1965 and Vice President (for Auxiliaries) of the American Association of Dental Schools from 1970-73.

Upon her retirement in 1981, Alberta received the title Professor Emeritus. The Alberta B. Dolan Scholarship was established in Alberta’s honor. This need-based scholarship is awarded annually, and in perpetuity, to deserving dental hygiene students. Alberta’s passion and legacy for the UNC Dental Hygiene Program continue through the program and the students her scholarship supports.

In 2019, the Dental Hygiene Program honored Alberta and her legacy on her 100th Birthday with family, friends, faculty, staff, and past alumni. After touring the school, Alberta marveled at the innovative changes to the field and to the dental hygiene program, as she reminisced her humble beginnings at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry.

In the years following her retirement, Alberta remained a loyal Tar Heel, watching and cheering UNC basketball. Alberta lived at the Carol Woods Retirement Community for 35 years, where she served as President of the Resident’s Association for two years. She was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church for 70 years. Her memorial service will be held there at a later date and she will be interred at Chapel Hill Memorial Cemetery with her husband.

Alberta’s family is sincerely appreciative for Linda Textoris, Alberta’s caring friend. The family also thanks the staff at Carol Woods and the St. Thomas More parishioners, who were at Alberta’s bedside during her final days. The family is most grateful to Alberta’s former students and fellow UNC staff members that often visited her through the years.

Memorials may be sent in Alberta’s honor to the Alberta Beat Dolan Scholarship, Dental Foundation of N.C., Campus Box 7450, Chapel Hill, NC 27599.

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