Ralph Allman inducted into Half-Century Trojans Hall of Fame
Allman follows in the footsteps of Ostrow legends Rex Ingraham DDS ’41 and Richard Kahn DDS ’64, becoming the third USC alumnus ever to earn such a distinction.
BY YASMINE PEZESHKPOUR MCM ’16
On Oct. 18, Ostrow faculty member Ralph Allman ’57, DDS ’62, ORTHO ’66 became the third-ever Ostrow alumnus to be inducted into the Half Century Trojans Hall of Fame.
At a luncheon hosted by the USC Alumni Association, Allman and three others from across the university were honored for exemplifying the best traits of the Trojan Family.
In his introductory comments, Dean Avishai Sadan praised Allman for helping make Ostrow’s orthodontics curriculum for doctor of dental surgery students among the best in the nation.
“For more than four decades, he has been directing Ostrow’s orthodontics curriculum for DDS students,” Sadan said. “During this time, he has researched and developed the orthodontics profession’s best practices to create an intensive, hands-on curriculum through which our students are fortunate to be trained.”
In addition to his years as a faculty member, Allman has been an active member of Ostrow’s Board of Councilors for two decades.
Always a teacher
To get into the Hall of Fame, and alumnus must have earned a USC degree at least 50 years ago and exemplify Trojan Family ideals, according to the USC Alumni Association website.
In addition to his trifecta of USC degrees, Allman has served for more than 40 years as a faculty member — a role he got into by chance, he said.
“I was asked to be a TA during my junior year in dental school for a course on dental materials. In an unfortunate circumstance, the professor became very ill and had to resign, as did his back-up instructor who had contracted hepatitis,” Allman said. “Dean Robert McNulty [1950-1964] asked if I would take over the class for the remainder of the year. So here I was just two years ahead of the students in a class I was teaching.”
Allman was such a natural at the job that McNulty asked him to teach the class during his fourth year as well.
There was no turning back from there. After graduating, Allman served as clinical professor while working in private practice for two years before returning as a resident for his orthodontics degree.
“Back then you had to have two years between your dental degree and your specialty degree so I took time to practice, but I still taught the dental materials course,” he explained.
Upon completion of his orthodontics studies, Allman took on a part-time faculty role in the orthodontics program in 1966.
“It’s the one-on-one connection you have with students that made me want to stay teaching,” he said. “Of course I work with them to better their training in orthodontics, but you also have the opportunity to connect with these people about life in general.”
Allman recalled a similar connection he shared with his mentor Dr. Harry Dougherty during his time at Ostrow.
“Dr. Dougherty gave us a great education but probably more than anything, he was very personable,” he said. “He was truly one of those people who made you strive to do better without asking it of you.”
A family affair
In addition to his longstanding commitment to the dental school, Allman and his wife Sigrid (Husted) Allman ’58, also a USC dental school graduate, have a large philanthropic footprint around the university as well. They are also generous supporters of USC Athletics and the USC Alumni Association.
“This award should be just as much my wife’s as it is mine. She has been unbelievably supportive and enthusiastic about our involvement with the school. We both take a lot of pride in being involved with the Trojan Family.”
The Allman family has put roots down at USC, with all three of their children as well as their daughter-in-law becoming Trojan alumni. Their granddaughter Madeline Schenasi ’13 also recently graduated from Ostrow, with a degree in dental hygiene.
“It gives Mrs. Allman and me great pleasure to be able to give and still be connected to this great school,” Allman said.
Allman joins Ostrow legends Rex Ingraham DDS ’41 and Richard Kahn DDS ’64 as Half Century Trojans Hall of Famers.