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Robert B. Shira Papers

Call Number: MS087

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia relating to Shira's time at Tufts as well as his career before and after serving the university. Shira spent most of his early career (1938-1971) as a dentist in the United States military, working for the U.S. Army Dental Corps and the Walter Reed General Hospital. In 1972, Shira joined Tufts University as Dean of the School of Dental Medicine at Tufts (1972-1978). Later he served as Senior Vice President and Provost of Tufts University, and then as Vice President for Health Sciences on the Boston Campus. He retired from Tufts University in 1996.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1971 -- 1981
  • Creation: 1941 -- 1981



This collection is open for research. This collection may require review before it is available for use. Please contact DCA for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Bruce Shira (1910-2002) was born December 2, 1910 and graduated from Kansas City Western Dental College with a D.D. S. in 1932. After working as a dentist in Oklahoma for 6 years, he joined the U.S. Army Dental Corps in 1938, promoted to captain in 1940, and then served in the Panama Canal Zone until 1947. He became Chief of Oral Surgery at Letterman General Hospital in San Francisco in 1947 where he established the Army Dental Inter program and 3 years later the Army Residency Training Program in Oral Surgery. From 1954 until 1964 he served as Chief of Oral Surgery and Director of all oral surgery training programs at Walter Reed General Hospital in Washington D. C. From 1964-1966 he served as Dental Surgeon, U. S. Army, Europe, headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and was responsible for activities in Europe and Africa.

Dr. Shira returned to Walter Reed Medical Center in 1966 as Brigadier General and Director of Dental Services and retired in 1971 as Major General and Deputy Surgeon General and Chief of the Army Dental Corps. He received numerous military awards during his decades of service among them the Legion of Merit with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters and the World War II Victory Medal.

Upon his retirement from the Army he became Dean of the School of Dental Medicine at Tufts (1972-1978). Dr. Shira then served as Senior Vice President and Provost of Tufts University in Medford for four years and then as Vice President for Health Sciences on the Boston Campus. He was also president-elect and president of the American Dental Association. He retired from Tufts University in 1996.

During his retirement Dr. Shira helped found the Pierre Fauchard Academy Foundation and served as its president. He received numerous dental awards and honors among them Pierre Fauchard Gold Medal in 1969, Gies Foundation Award in Oral Surgery in 1974; the Thomas P. Hinman Achievement Award in 1976; the American Dental Association Distinguished Service Award in 1997.

Dr. Robert Bruce Shira died on November 23rd, 2002 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



This collection is not processed.

Processing status

This collection is minimally processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States