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James J. Caveney


James C. Caveney (‘64 BS, ‘68 DDS, ‘72 MS)

Dr. James Caveney has spent his entire career promoting the field of dentistry and the importance of education. In his role as president of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) – the oldest and largest dental specialty – he is dedicated to providing incentive programs for those pursuing orthodontics and for improving education programs to existing orthodontic students and faculty in North America.

A native of Wheeling, W.Va., Caveney is a three-time graduate of WVU. He graduated from the WVU School of Dentistry in 1968 and also earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from WVU in 1964 and 1972, respectively. Following graduation from his orthodontic residency, Dr. Caveney founded the West Virginia Orthodontic Alumni Association and became its first president. Dr. Caveney is passionate about his work and has maintained his private practice in his hometown for more than 32 years.

Almost a decade after he began practicing orthodontics, Dr. Caveney was elected president of the West Virginia Dental Association and was the first graduate of the WVU School of Dentistry to hold this position. He served in the American Dental Association’s (ADA) House of Delegates and, in 2003-04, was chairman of the ADA’s Dental Specialty Groups, which includes all nine ADA recognized specialties.

Dr. Caveney is past president of the Southern Association of Orthodontists (SAO), which includes 11 states and 12 graduate-orthodontic programs. For his dedication and service, Dr. Caveney received the SAO’s Distinguished Service Award and the SAO Citizenship Award. He is a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists and the Federation of Dentaire International.

As the first WVU graduate and first West Virginian to serve as president of the AAO, Dr. Caveney coordinated the 104th Annual Session, “Universal Celebration of Smiles,” in Orlando that attracted doctors from 90 countries and 20,000 attendees. At the session, Dr. Caveney introduced two new educational programs: The “Rising Stars” lecture series, which featured 25 junior faculty from around the world, and the first Resident Clinicians Scholars Program of table clinics, which presented $50,000 to orthodontic residents.

Dr. Caveney remains dedicated to his alma mater, helping to raise thousands of dollars to renovate the orthodontic clinic at WVU. In his honor, WVU dedicated the orthodontic conference room and resident offices as the Caveney Conference and Creativity Center. He has contributed to the WVU School of Dentistry Building Greatness Campaign and founded the Dr. W.W. Merrow Millennium Society to honor the chairman of the orthodontic department. Dr. Caveney is a special visiting professor to the WVU School of Dentistry.

The Caveney family is a legacy at WVU. Dr. Caveney’s wife, Karen, and their three children, Susan, Scott and Brian, are all graduates of WVU’s dental and medical schools. Dr. and Mrs. Caveney reside in Wheeling and have five grandchildren.