Dental dynasty with roots in Dundee

A growing dental dynasty will be celebrated at the first University of Dundee Graduation ceremony of the year this week.

Callum Weir will graduate on the morning of Wednesday 20 June, following in the footsteps of his late mother, and aunt and uncle (the son of a dentist). Not to be outdone, Callum’s cousin is also a dentist, as is her husband.

Callum’s mother, Moira, passed away in 2012 before her son decided to pursue a career in dentistry. Moira graduated from the University in 1988, 10 years after her sister Sheena and brother-in-law Kirk received their dentistry degrees from Dundee. Sheena and Kirk’s daughter Alex, whose husband David is also a dentist, graduated in 2009 and will return to Dundee for a reunion with classmates this July.

The family connection to Dundee goes back generations, as Callum’s maternal grandparents were both from the city. His mother was born and raised in England, while Callum himself is from Lincoln in the East Midlands. However far they travel, however, the family keep returning to Dundee.

“My mum loved looking back at her time in Dundee and telling me stories about it,” said Callum. “It’s a real shame we haven’t been able to share and compare stories of our times at university.

“I’m really proud and honoured that I have been able to go on the same journey she went on to become a dentist. Whilst times have changed in the last 30 years, I hope my last five years in Dundee have set me up to have an enjoyable and fulfilling career, alongside a memory-filled life like my mum had.

“She was a really warm, friendly woman who loved her career as a dentist, as much as she loved her holidays and socialising. She was the backbone of the family and all her friendship groups and was loved by many people.

“My mum and I always had a special bond, but being able to have lived in Dundee like she did and to now begin the same career she had carries on that connection for the future. “

Callum says it is also a point of pride for him that so many other members of his family passed through the University’s School of Dentistry.

He continued, “I got offers from Glasgow and Dundee, but everyone I know is a Dundee graduate so they all encouraged me to come here. I’m delighted that I did. I’m happy that I’ve been able to call Dundee home for the last five years.

“It’s so nice that when the family meets up, we can all talk about Dundee. My gran also used to live here so she’s always asking about the streets, if this or that is still there. I have to say, ‘Nana, Draffens has been gone a long time!’

“It’s really nice that we share Dundee, it’s something that we can all talk about together.”

“I look at my aunt and uncle, and see how dentistry has been a career that’s given them so much more than simply being a dentist. I think that’s what I’m looking forward to. To doing something every day that I enjoy, but which also gives so much beyond being a job.”

Callum is among the 3000 students who will graduate with degrees, postgraduate degrees and diplomas from Wednesday 20 to Friday 22 June. Ceremonies take place each morning and afternoon on those days.

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Grant Hill
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University of Dundee
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