Nappanee dentist heads IU School of Dentistry Alumni Association board
NAPPANEE — Dr. Joe Baumgartner, a civic leader in north central Indiana and practicing dentist in Nappanee for 33 years, has been elected president of the Indiana University School of Dentistry Alumni Association board of directors.
He accepted the gavel for the yearlong position during the association’s recent Fall Dental Alumni Conference in Indianapolis. Dr. Baumgartner graduated in 1979 from IU’s dental school, on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. He is a 1971 graduate of Wawasee High School in Syracuse, and he also holds a bachelor’s degree from Ball State University.
Dr. Baumgartner has served on the IU School of Dentistry Alumni Association board since 2004. As president, he oversees a board of 38 members, including 24 directors and officers who produce one of IU’s longest-running annual alumni conferences, established in 1942, and who manage fundraisers to support scholarship and service-learning programs for the school’s students. Indiana’s 133-year-old dental school has more than 12,000 alumni living in the U.S. and about 30 other nations.
Dr. Baumgartner serves as the secretary of the Library Board in Nappanee. He was president of the Nappanee Noon Kiwanis in 1985, the year the group launched its Elkhart County Fair ribeye steak concession, which has been successfully supporting college scholarships for local youth and other community services for 27 years.
The historic West Park Pavilion was restored during Dr. Baumgartner’s presidency of the Nappanee Park Board, and the First Brethren Church of Nappanee constructed its new church facility during his service as the church’s moderator (business manager).
His long record of service in dentistry has included presidencies of the Kosciusko County Dental Society and the North Central Dental Society. He is a board member of the North Central group’s foundation and one of the organization’s longtime delegates to the Indiana Dental Association. He is a fellow of the International College of Dentists and a member of the American Dental Association and Academy of General Dentistry.
He is a member of the IU Varsity Club, the IU dental school’s Dean’s Society for lead donors, and a lifetime member of the IU Alumni Association. He also donates his dental services through such programs as The Pankey Institute’s Pankey Dental Access Days.
Dr. Baumgartner and his wife, Brenda, have three grown children: Blair and Jeffrey Baumgartner, both of Fishers, Ind.; and Dr. Myra (Baumgartner) Weber of Fort Wayne, Ind. All five family members hold degrees from Indiana University.