USC University of Southern California

Ostrow School of Dentistry Mourns Dr. Robert Avakian, 84

Dean Avishai Sadan Robert Avakian Scott Adishian
Robert Avakian ’50, DDS ’54 (center) receives a custom USC cane from Dean Avishai Sadan and Scott Adishian ’75, DDS ’79, PROS ’82 during the 2011 Ostrow School of Dentistry Homecoming Dinner.

Robert K. Avakian, an alumnus, former faculty member, and supporter of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, passed away July 1, 2013 at the age of 84.

Born January 24, 1929, Avakian received his Bachelor of Arts degree from USC in 1950 and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1954. Shortly after graduation, he joined the Ostrow School of Dentistry faculty as an instructor in operative dentistry; many students described him as an outstanding, demanding educator and mentor. He spent over 25 years teaching at the School, and he also treated patients in his private practice in Torrance, Calif.

Outside of his duties as an instructor, Avakian remained heavily involved in supporting and advocating for the Ostrow School of Dentistry. He was a member of the committee that assembled and edited an extensive book of historical information published in 1997 to commemorate the School’s centennial anniversary. He served as president of the Century Club and Dental Alumni Association, was a Presidential Member of the Friends of Dentistry, and served on the School’s Board of Councilors.

Avakian is survived by his wife Cheryl of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., with whom he raised many beloved Pomeranian dogs. Services are pending.