EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The Hunt School of Dental Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso has been awarded the $100,000 Spier Family Dental scholarship fund by the Spier family, honoring Dr. Thomas Spier.
“In honor of his extraordinary journey and accomplishments, Dr. Spier’s family has created the Spier Family Dental Scholarship Fund for the Hunt School of Dental Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. The scholarship fund, established as a part of the family’s celebration of Dr. Spier’s 90th birthday in 2021, will give priority to incoming dental students from New Mexico, the Spiers’ home state.” -TTUHSC El Paso
Thomas Spier was a survivor of a WWII Nazi concentration camp. He was an unconventional dentist who held his early practice in a “mobile bumper-pull Winnebago trailer, supplied with a barber’s chair, electric dental drill powered by an extension cord, and water via a hose,” according to TTUHSC El Paso.
Dr. Spier went on to hold his own private practice in Santa Fe, along with serving as a president of the New Mexico Dental Association in 1972. Alike many students in the Borderland, Dr. Spier was a first-generation student within his family. The Spier family hopes the scholarship fund can give access to deserving students who will continue the tradition of delivering patient care in dentistry, according to TTUHSC El Paso.
In honor of the grant, TTUHSC El Paso is establishing the Hendrika and Thomas Spier, D.D.S, Family Dental Surgical Wing. Texas Tech announced the new surgical wing on Monday, March 20. Dr. Spier and Hendrika contributed to an additional $10,000 to the scholarship fund.