Mullins dentist's connections to MUSC as varied as his life experiences
It's difficult to pick a place to begin when describing Dr. Franklin G. Mason. He's practiced dentistry for more than 64 years. He's raised four children, 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He's completed 35 dental mission trips across eight countries. He's taken leadership roles in many organizations, including the South Carolina Dental Association, Mullins First Baptist Church, Lions Club International and Charleston Southern University. He's completed 740 races, including 120 marathons, in the span of about 30 years. He's renowned in not only Mullins, but the entire state of South Carolina and beyond.
With so many interests, where does MUSC fit into all of this? It all started many years ago when Dr. John Buhler, first dean of the dental school, invited Dr. Mason to host guest lectures on campus to talk to students about the pros and cons of being a small-town dentist. He traveled back and forth between Mullins and Charleston for several years to hold this lecture. Since the dental school was so new, Dr. Mason's experience and knowledge was invaluable for the students, faculty and staff.
Over the years, Dr. Mason has continued to stay involved with and support not only our dental school, but also the MUSC Storm Eye Institute. His heavy involvement with Lions Club International led him to support the South Carolina Lions Eye Research efforts at Storm Eye through charitable gift annuities. Additionally, he most recently funded the 1960s exhibit in the Macaulay Museum of Dental History, which will be unveiled on Oct. 12. The museum's namesake, Dr. Neill W. Macaulay, was both a fellow faculty member and a friend of Dr. Mason's. With encouragement from Dr. Macaulay and others, Dr. Mason became the president of the South Carolina Dental Association in 1965. His choice to name the 1960s exhibit was a no-brainer for him, since that decade was a high point in his career.
While he encountered many catalysts along the way, like the personal friendships of the late Dr. James B. Edwards and Dr. Neill Macaulay, Dr. Mason attributes his successful career to God, above all else. "God has been good to me and I've been able to accumulate some wealth, so I am happy to give money where it helps," Mason explains. For him, charitable gift annuities are a great option, because you can put it where it can be used for good but also get a percentage of it back.
It is no question that Dr. Mason has left a legacy at MUSC and countless other organizations. When asked what his greatest accomplishment has been, he paused and reflected before answering. "I haven't achieved it yet," he said, "but I hope it's that I leave a good, Christian legacy."