Harkening back to his days as an athlete, Dr. Shuman took to the stage with a group of cheering fans (his staff, family, friends, and colleagues) to accept the most prestigious award granted by the Vermont State Dental Society: the Distinguished Service Award. The award was “in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the field of dentistry. His volunteer positions on the Vermont State Dental Society Continuing Education Committee and the Annual Meeting Committee, as well as his co-chiefing of the Special Olympics Special Smiles program exemplify his exemplary commitment to the dental profession and oral health of Vermonters.”
Dr. Shuman was grateful and humble in a characteristically humorous acceptance speech. Though his attempt to downplay the achievement was valiant, Vaughn Collins (Executive Director of the Vermont State Dental Society) took to the mic as Dr. Shuman tried to leave the stage, "I just want to say, he’s unbelievable. I mean, he’s a committee of one for the [Continuing Education] Committee and he’s been on the Annual Meeting Committee forever. He just does a tremendous amount of work for us, and we couldn’t do what we do without him.”
"You never expect anything like this," Dr. Shuman said in a quiet moment after the ceremony, "you do these things simply to do them, because it's what you believe is right. You never expect to be honored." Clearly still reveling in the surprise of being rewarded for how he has chosen to live his life, Dr. Shuman seemed (perhaps for the first time) speechless.
Congratulations, Dr. Shuman!
- The AIP Team