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Dr. William S. Kramer Award of Excellence recipient

Jan 10, 2022
5 min Read
Nichole Jelinek, MA’15
Christopher Pritchard

In his final year of dental school, Christopher Pritchard reflects on his journey to becoming the best version of himself as a father, student and dental professional.

“You start this program and wonder, ‘How am I going to do this?’ But with tremendous support from the Creighton community and your family, you all of the sudden realize that you’ll be graduating,” Pritchard says. “My son will tell people, ‘My daddy is a dentist,’ and that makes it real for me.”

Originally from the United Kingdom, Pritchard attended Dakota Wesleyan University in South Dakota on a golf scholarship and graduated in 2011. Following graduation, he began working as the dental assistant in the practice of Nicholas Renemans, DDS’08, and Chelsey Roberts Renemans, DDS’09, in Pierre, South Dakota. The Creighton dental alumni say Pritchard fit right in their practice.

“With his Welsh accent and caring demeanor, Chris was a favorite among our patients,”  Chelsey says. “We are so proud of Chris. He gives his full efforts in every endeavor he pursues. He is an exceptional individual: honest, hardworking, punctual, intelligent, good natured and truly driven. He will be an outstanding dentist.”

For his dedication to the dental profession, in March Pritchard was recognized with the 2021 Dr. William S. Kramer Award of Excellence by the National Dental Honor Society. 

Pritchard says it was his experiences in the Renemans’ practice that moved the former college golfer to consider a calling in dentistry. With encouragement from the Renemans and support from his family, he completed his dental prerequisites and was accepted into a number of dental schools. In 2018, with the help of scholarships, he made what he calls the “big leap” to the Creighton School of Dentistry.  

“The clinical offerings at Creighton were a big draw for me. I could tell Chelsey and Nick graduated prepared and ready to practice. And the scholarships, they help financially and show that the Creighton community cares about current students. That’s pretty touching.”

At Creighton, Pritchard has balanced his family, classes and clinics through his mission-driven dental education.

“You don’t really realize it every day, but when you step back — you can see what you’ve done. In the clinics, we’re serving a lot of people, and they’re just so grateful. To see someone who has dentures smile, or to help take away someone’s pain, it does all feel pretty rewarding.”

Upon graduation, Pritchard will take with him high standards for patient care. He plans to return to South Dakota with his wife, Kelsey, and their two young sons, Jack and Sawyer.