James C. Ragain (’76)

Category: Army ROTC Alumni Council Hall of Fame | Communities

Captain James Ragain, US Navy retired, graduated from the University of Tennessee in June 1976 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Medical Service Corps. In 1980, Ragain resigned his active duty commission to attend the UT Health Science Center (UTHSC) dental school. Following graduation from dental school in 1984, he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the US Navy Dental Corps in 1985.

Ragain served in clinical, academic, and research positions of increasing responsibility. His excellence in dental research is evidenced by his numerous abstracts, publications, peer review journal articles, and book chapters. He led a dental research team into the Operation Enduring Freedom area of operations in 2005. His active-duty career culminated as the commanding officer for the Naval Institute for Dental and Biomedical Research.

Upon retirement in 2013, Ragain became a faculty member at the UTHSC College of Dentistry. He was twice presented with a studentselected UTHSC Excellence in Teaching award. In 2018, Ragain became the first University of Tennessee alumnus to be named the dean of the UTHSC College of Dentistry.

Ragain and his wife, Debra, reside in Collierville, Tennessee.