Alicia McKinney Howard, 65, who set up a dental hygiene program at Howard University and helped to make it into a full department in the School of Dentistry, died Tuesday at Providence Hospital after a stroke.
She had joined the dental school faculty in 1933 with the specific assignment to establish a dental hygiene program.
Mrs. Howard organized a program of instruction for a one-year curriculum and the first class in dental hygiene was admitted a year later.
In 1955, the division of dental hygiene became a full department in the School of Dentistry and Mrs. Howard became its chairman.At the time she left the department with the rank of full professor in 1969, it was ranked as one of the top departments in the country.
Born in Waterbury, Conn., she began working as a dental assistant in the office of a dentist there after graduating from high school. She studied dental hygiene at Columbia College before coming to Howard.
In 1947, Mrs. Howard received a bachelor's degree in the field of public health from Howard and two years later a master's degree from New York University.
She served on numerous committees in the dental school during her 36 years on the faculty.
Mrs. Howard lectured before local and national dental hygiene groups and contributed to many publications in her field. She had served as a consultant for the American Association of Dental Schools to schools developing new dental hygiene programs.
She was active in the Washington Dental Hygiene Association and the American Dental Hygiene Association.
After leaving the dental school faculty at Howard, Mrs. Howard became a travel sales representative. Her last position was head of the group travel program for the Marriott Corp., which she held until 1975.
She is survived by her husband, Samuel W. Howard, of the home in Washington; two brothers, Andrew A. and Richard McKinney, both of Waterbury, and two sisters, Lois Lillie, of Los Angeles, and Clara Biggarstaff, of Brooklyn.