Dr. Russell Tabata Honored by UMKC

Part of Hawaiian student tradition from the 1940s, receives Bill French Alumni Service Award

Feb. 15, 2013
Contact: Wandra Green
(816) 235-1601,

KANSAS CITY, Mo.:  Dr. Russell Tabata, Honolulu dentist and lifelong resident, is the recipient of the Bill French Alumni Service Award, bestowed upon Tabata by his alma mater, the University of Missouri-Kansas City. A 1967 graduate of UMKC’s School of Dentistry, Tabata continued a family tradition begun when his father enrolled in the same school.
The award is in recognition of Tabata’s leadership of the School of Dentistry’s Hawaiian alumni group. He spends countless hours recruiting, interviewing and recommending prospective Hawaiian dental students to the school, looking for the right match – the next generation of service-minded Hawaiian dentists with a passion for their profession.
Tabata stays connected to the Hawaiian students when they are in school and helps them when they return to Hawaii to practice. He also has been involved for many years in local Boy Scout activities.
The Hawaiian alumni group’s dedication to UMKC has its roots in World War II, when the Kansas City Dental School was one of few schools accepting students of Japanese ancestry. The generous open door policy of the university was not forgotten,; and over the years, the number of UMKC graduates practicing in Hawaii grew.
Tabata says, “Dr. George Tanaka (former leader of the Hawaiian dental school alumni) started all this. He set the bar high, and I’ve tried to continue his efforts.”
Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association presents alumni awards to one honoree from each school and five campus-wide awards at its annual awards luncheon. This year’s event, which will highlight the 80th anniversary of the campus and include the presentation of the 2013 Chancellor’s Medal, will be held on Thursday, April 18, on the UMKC campus. For information and tickets for the event, click here.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students, and celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2013. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.


This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).

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