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Dr. Eladio DeLeon, Jr., Receives the 2024 Earl E. and Wilma S. Shepard Distinguished Service Award from The American Board of Orthodontics


Dr. Eladio DeLeon, Jr.

The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) has named Eladio DeLeon, Jr., D.M.D., M.S., of Augusta, Ga., as the recipient of the 2024 Earl E. and Wilma S. Shepard Distinguished Service Award.

The award recognizes an individual for outstanding dedication and advancement of the ideals and mission of the ABO. It was established to perpetuate Dr. Earl Shepard’s outstanding accomplishments and to show appreciation for his many contributions as the first executive director of the ABO and those of his wife, Wilma, who was highly involved with her husband’s efforts to fulfill the ABO’s goals. The award was presented on May 6 at the ABO awards reception held in conjunction with the American Association of Orthodontists Annual Session in New Orleans, La.

Dr. DeLeon served as Marvin C. Goldstein Chair of Orthodontics and director of the Graduate Orthodontic Program at the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University from 2000 until his retirement at the end of 2023. Previously, he served for 22 years in the U.S. Army Dental Corps, retiring in 1998 as a full colonel.

Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics, Dr. DeLeon was elected to the ABO board of directors in 2008 and was ABO president during the 2015-2016 year. He chaired the ABO Written Examination Committee from 2008-2015 and remains a member. He also serves as an examiner for the ABO Clinical Examination.

Dr. DeLeon served as commissioner for orthodontics for the Commission of Dental Accreditation from 2019-2020. He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists and the International College of Dentists. He is also a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association, the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and the Southern Association of Orthodontists, which honored him with the Legend Award in 2022 and the Oren Oliver Distinguished Service Award in 2016.

Dr. DeLeon obtained his D.M.D. degree from the University of Kentucky. He completed his orthodontic residency training and received his orthodontic certificate and M.S. degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

On receiving the award, Dr. DeLeon said, “I was pleasantly surprised, humbled and honored to hear that I was awarded the Earl E. and Wilma Shepard Distinguished Service Award. I am immensely grateful to the American Board of Orthodontics for this tremendous honor. It has been my passion to work and support the mission of the ABO, and I consider it a privilege and honor to support the educational process.”