Supreme President Randy Gurrola, DDS
Good Afternoon Fellow ZIP Family Members & Friends:
Today, I start a journey that I never dreamed about but am eager to accept, the humbling task of Supreme Chapter President 2018-2020.
First, I would like to congratulate Dr. Apolito on a successful two years. As a friend of mine would say, “Don’t let the ship sink under your helm”. Although the ship was hit by occasional rocky waters, I assume the wheel of a vessel ready for the next voyage.
Let’s go back to the year 1985, before some of those in attendance were born. That was the year I started dental school at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). I, like many first year students did not know what was going to happen over the next 4 years. What we did know that first week was the dental fraternities (ZIPS, Psi-O & Delts) were going to feed us as they tried to get us to join their local chapters. I did not join that first year but was good friends with classmates from each fraternity. During my 2nd year, I and two classmates/roommates moved in together and we all rushed ZIPS. It seems like yesterday that I remember going on a Treasure Hunt as part of our initiation ritual. We, the class of 1989, were around 30 members strong. My senior year, I was elected Iota Chapter President and convinced one of classmates/roommates to be VP. This was a special year as we celebrated the 100 year anniversary of ZIPS. We held a celebration at our original ZIP House and if I remember correctly, Dr. Jerome Strain, class of 1929, attended. Having alumni attend our event celebrations/dinners were always special as they regaled us with their past ZIP experiences.
After graduating dental school, I did not leave UCSF as I completed their AEGD program and post-graduate periodontal program. Since I was on campus those three years, I was able to attend the various fraternity functions. After completing my periodontal training, I joined UCSF as an Assistant Clinical Professor. Again, staying local, I was able to keep in touch with the students and Iota Chapter events. Then, one day, I received a phone call from Dr. Stan Lawrence, the Iota Alumni Chapter President. He asked if I was interested in taking over his position. Again, I was humbled by his offer and graciously accepted. At the same time, Dr. Don Martin, Iota Alumni Chapter Secretary/Treasurer asked Dr. Penni Yip to takes his position. We then completed the team by adding Dr. Charlie Arita, Alumni VP and Dr. Anne-Lise Fink, Alumni Editor. We then started the journey of helping to rebuild an Iota Chapter that dwindled to less than 20 members and a fraternity house that needed much work. The Iota Chapter continues to have great student leaders as the chapter continues to hover around 125. The ZIP House has undergone many repairs under the leadership of our Honorary Member, Mr. Fred Endemann. Even with outrageous housing prices in San Francisco, we are able to offer the students monthly rents between $600-$700 vs current San Francisco housing rents of $2,500/mos. and up.
Dr. Yip became very active in the Supreme Chapter and expressed one day that the Supreme Chapter needed financial assistance. Since I had not been to a Supreme Chapter Meeting, before we (Iota Alumni Chapter) considered any financial help, I wanted to know more about the organization. I attended the meeting in San Antonio (outgoing President Troy Jones/incoming President Larry Doyle – 2004?). I was greeted warmly and was impressed by the commitment those in attendance showed toward the fraternity. Now 14 years later, many of those individuals are in attendance today which shows their loyalty to the fraternity. However, like other organizations that I am an active member, we need as I like to say “new blood” to continue the tradition of this great fraternity. As I say to each graduating class at our Senior Farewell Dinner, you are welcome to attend Iota Chapter dinners for life at no charge. But, also remember the Supreme Chapter by paying your yearly membership dues and if possible, give back financially.
As I say to people all the time, I try to do my best. At our last Senior Farewell Dinner, a young gentleman approached me and thanked me for my speech to the students. I don’t remember what I said that night but he stated that he was motivated to be a better person. When asked what year of dental school training, he responded that he wasn’t in dental school but was a student’s boyfriend. That same evening, a graduate informed me that he was headed to the post-graduate periodontal program at LSU. He remarked that I had inspired him to continue his dental education. I told him to make me proud and continue the ZIP way wherever his travels took him.
So, I am asking each and every ZIP member here tonight, especially the students, not only try to do your best but try to inspire someone to do and be their best. Lastly, the biennial password for 2018-2020 is “Inspire”.
Randy Gurrola, DDS
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS included in the Quarterly Summer 2018 issue
Supreme Chapter Board of Directors Meeting