Retirement reception Thursday for Stanton Harn, Ph.D.

by Sydnie Hochstein, College of Dentistry | June 27, 2017

Image with caption: Stanton Harn, Ph.D., is retiring from the UNMC College of Dentistry (photo by Margaret Cain)

Stanton Harn, Ph.D., is retiring from the UNMC College of Dentistry (photo by Margaret Cain)

When Stanton Harn, Ph.D., was job searching in 1972 after finishing his Ph.D. program, the opening for an anatomy professor at the UNMC College of Dentistry caught his attention.

Reception Thursday

A reception celebrating the retirement of Stanton Harn, Ph.D. will be held from 3-5 p.m. Thursday, June 29, in Lincoln at the College of Dentistry building in Dixon Auditorium.

First, the small class sizes meant he would be the only anatomist on faculty and give him the chance to design an anatomy course his own way. Second, moving to Nebraska meant he would get a taste of "the good life."

"I felt like the opportunities here were better and more to my liking," Dr. Harn said. Now, 45 years later, he is confident he made the right choice.

After four and a half decades teaching anatomy to COD students, Dr. Harn is looking forward to the next chapter. He will retire July 15.

Throughout his career, Dr. Harn most enjoyed the camaraderie built with colleagues and the relationships formed with students. Though he has earned many teaching awards during his career, Dr. Harn said it's the relationships that mean the most.

"I have been most proud of the ability to relate to the students that I teach," he said. "As a teacher, you look at graduation with different eyes. One is congratulatory, the other is sadness. They're starting a new chapter. But when you see them in the future, you always have that special association."

When he first started in 1972, Dr. Harn spent more time conducting research. Eventually, his teaching responsibilities increased, and he became more involved in dental outreach projects. He has supervised student research projects and hosted thousands of visiting students for demonstrations in the anatomy lab.

Dr. Harn is curator of the college's Dental Museum, which has grown to one of the largest dental museums in the country. In retirement, he will devote more time to the museum, particularly to find a permanent home for the thousands of historical dental artifacts in the collection.

"One of the main reasons for the museum is to teach dental history to students," Dr. Harn said. "In the majority of dental schools now, there is no official history of dentistry course, so this will give me a chance to spend more time providing that education."

In retirement, Dr. Harn will continue to take care of his farm outside of Lincoln. He also looks forward to spending more time with his wife, Jennifer Harn, assistant professor in the department of surgical specialties, and their five children and 14 grandchildren.


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Stephen Ebner
July 28, 2017 at 7:19 AM

Dr. Harn, Congratulations on an outstanding career. I wasn't one of your "best" students as I recall :), however you were the most passionate and dedicated professor/educator I have had the pleasure of knowing. Thank you for your service. Stephen Ebner DDS (class of 1981), MBA

Timothy Jacobs
July 09, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Wishing you the best in your retirement. I will always remember the anatomy labs and tracing the path of the copper wire in the skull. Thanks for your dedication, encouragement and investing in the lives of students. Congratulations Stan. Timothy Jacobs DDS, class of 1987.

Peter M. Spalding
July 03, 2017 at 10:09 PM

I am so happy for you, Stan, to be retiring at the end of an illustrious career. It was great to be your colleague for so many years. Congratulations on so many years of great teaching and leaving such a lasting legacy! Peter Spalding

Dick Mason
June 29, 2017 at 1:36 PM

Having known Stan (Dr. Harn) since the 7th grade, I believe I can vouch for his character. And yes, he is a character! I’m not aware of anyone else with the talent he has to locate and acquire other peoples’ unwanted/unused “stuff” and turn it into treasures, i.e., old dental equipment; antique clocks; and old wood floors, windows and doors from houses about to be torn down. He is a true friend and a beloved brother in Christ, and I pray for his long and healthy retirement. May God continue to bless you and Jenny. Sincerely, Dick Mason

Barry G Heavrin
June 28, 2017 at 9:25 PM

You were always performing above the call of duty!!! Congratulations on your retirement Dr. Harn and Thank You for your many contributions to UNMC! With all sincerity, I believe you were perhaps the finest instructor we had back in's remarkable, but I still know a few of those seven openings in the pterygopalatine fossa! Thank You!!!!!

Cheryl Baker
June 28, 2017 at 8:19 PM

Happy retirement!!!! Wishing you the best in this new phase of your life. Hugs from Gloria Aiken and Cheryl Aiken Baker

Brant Darby
June 28, 2017 at 7:17 PM

Congratulations Stan!!! Thank you for your excellence and dedication. I miss you. I hope to see you some time soon. Sincerely, J. Brant Darby DDS Class 2001

Heather R Sulte
June 28, 2017 at 1:35 AM

Definitely a legend at UNMC! I loved the way you taught anatomy and could only truly appreciate this when I went on to my residency and had to take headb and neck again. Your dissections were masterful and so much better for learning. Wish you all the best in this next phase of your life. Congratulations to you and Jenny! ❤️

Pat Pelster
June 27, 2017 at 11:26 PM

Dr Harn We've only met three times. First when we attended your Dental Museum when our Son David was a student, next when David graduated, and again at the open house in 2016. I found you to be a very friendly thoughtful person. Enjoy your well deserved retirement. Pat and Donna Pelster

Paul Hansen
June 27, 2017 at 9:43 PM

Great teacher, he will be missed!

Gordon Schulte
June 27, 2017 at 7:19 PM

Dr Harn. I was in the first class you had at Unmc. I misread the exam question and named all the muscles of the forearm. instead of the arm, Ugh, 23 instead yof 5 I think. it was origon, insertion, innervation and action. Aced forearm but flunked the exam. You did not dock me. Thanks ,You were a very positive influence in my life, board exam was a snap thanks to you. None of our class failed any part of national boards, but of course we were exceptional . Ha Gordon Schulte. '76 positive influence in my life

Nancy Chaffee
June 27, 2017 at 3:43 PM

Congratulations Stan! I still have the slides I took of all the articulators from the the dental museum collection that you helped me locate to use in a lecture. Your devotion to the students and people of the UNMC College of Dentistry will not be forgotten. Enjoy your retirement!

Tanya Powell
June 27, 2017 at 3:35 PM

Congrats!!!! Enjoy life!!! Tanya Powell class of 2001

H Larry Mitchell
June 27, 2017 at 10:46 AM

Say it ain't so Dr. Harn. I'm proud to say you were my anatomy instructor, mentor and friend. You made Medical School anatomy easy!! Thanks for your years of service. Enjoy life!! Wish I could be their Thursday. Following your example teaching UNMC residents. Whenever I get together with classmates we speak of you fondly-tough but fair as are all of the best. Larry Mitchell Class of 1979

John Schleicher, McGoogan Library
June 27, 2017 at 8:34 AM

Congratulations Dr. Harn! You have done so much work to preserve the history of dentistry! John Schleicher, McGoogan Library

Lisa Spellman
June 27, 2017 at 8:05 AM

Dr. Harn, you are irreplaceable. Thank-you for your vision, years of service and commitment to providing the best dental education in the country. Enjoy retirement, you and Jennifer deserve all the best!