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A spirit that is not afraid

Dr. Jim Phillips Jr.: 20 years of volunteer dentistry

<p>Dr. Jim Phillips Jr. stands on the football field in Jordan-Hare Stadium.</p>

Dr. Jim Phillips Jr. stands on the football field in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Dr. Jim Phillips Jr., an Auburn graduate and newly elected president of the Alabama Dental Association, has been volunteering as an Athletics dentist at Auburn University for over 20 years.

Phillips graduated from Auburn in 1980, but orange and blue ran in his blood before he ever attended the University. Both of his parents attended Auburn — his father was co-captain of the 1957 national championship-winning Auburn football team, and his mother was a majorette. 

“A couple of the first words I ever spoke as a baby were ‘War Eagle,'" Phillips said. 

Phillips first started this volunteer position "making mouth guards for Coach Sonny Smith’s men’s basketball team and Coach Joe Ciampi’s women’s basketball team" as a way to give back to the program and the University he grew to love.

“We just try to take care of the kids," Phillips said. "The most rewarding thing is being able to be there for them.”

Phillips also works as an advisor for pre-dental students as part of the College of Sciences and Mathematics Dean’s Leadership Council. This program is a network of alumni who work to enhance and promote the college’s mission by serving as the face of the Auburn University pre-dental program. 

Phillips graduated from Auburn with a degree in geology and went on to attend dental school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. There, he served as the student dental association representative. UAB was the beginning of his involvement in organized dentistry and the Alabama Dental Association. 

He later saw a "dental practice that was for sale in Auburn. Phillips took advantage of the opportunity and has maintained Phillips Family Dentistry in the Auburn community for more than 30 years."

As Philips steps into his new role as ALDA President, he shared what the group aims to accomplish. 

“We try very hard to be representative of all dentists in the state of Alabama,” Phillips said. “The biggest thing we have to do is be an advocate for our dentists and patients we serve.” 

Philips will continue to stay at Auburn and serve his community for years to come, doing what he has grown to love.

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