William DeKock, 60BA, 63DDS, 67MS, has had a profound influence at every level in his profession of orthodontics. Whether caring for patients, sharing his expertise as an adjunct professor in the UI College of Dentistry, or serving as a national leader and an international diplomat for his profession, this Iowa graduate has greatly enhanced the quality of orthodontic care.
Born in Manson, Iowa, DeKock completed his orthodontic training at the University of Iowa in 1967 and soon started a practice in Cedar Rapids that he would run full-time for 35 years. He became involved in organized dentistry early in his career, serving as the Iowa director to the Midwestern Society of Orthodontists (MSO) from 1974 to 1978 and as MSO president from 1980 to 1981. At the national level, he served from 1985 to 1996 on the board of trustees of the American Association of Orthodontists and as its president from 1994 to 1995.
DeKocks reach and vision have extended far beyond even his national contributions. Recognizing in the 1990s the importance of establishing a global network that could ensure cross-cultural interaction and sharing of ideas among his colleagues, he became the driving force in the formation of the World Federation of Orthodontists (WFO), the first international organization for his field.
After authoring the WFO bylaws, in 1995 DeKock organized the groups initial meeting in San Francisco, successfully convening individuals from 69 orthodontic organizations representing 62 countries. He went on to serve as WFOs first president from 1995 to 2000 and has served as secretary-general since 2000. Now a well-established and thriving organization, the WFO today includes 105 organizations from 100 countries.
DeKock is recognized as an international diplomat with a unique ability to bring together people from a myriad of cultures, including those with deep-seated political differences. His perseverance and sensitivity have helped establish an organization in which, even in todays complex political world, Iraqi, Iranian, Israeli, and Syrian orthodontists sit side-by-side and declare their friendship.
DeKock has received many well-deserved honors and awards, including his designation as University of Iowa Dental Alumnus of the Year in 1993. He recently retired from his practice, and he received the James E. Brophy Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Association of Orthodontists in 2005.
DeKocks untiring dedication to his profession at the highest levels has not prevented him from maintaining strong ties to his alma mater. A wonderful role model for the orthodontic graduate students he has advised and taught for the past 38 years, he is also an ardent Hawkeye fan. DeKocks father and father-in-law were both professors at the UI, while his wife, Margie, holds two UI degrees. His father-in-law, Mason Ladd, and brother-in-law, Robert Hogg, are both recipients of distinguished alumni awards from the UI Alumni Association.
Through his dedicated and exemplary efforts to his profession, William DeKock has brought distinction to the University of Iowa and earned the gratitude and respect of countless patients and colleagues all over the world.
DeKock is a life member of the UI Alumni Association and a member of the UI Foundations Presidents Club.