Nicholas R. Cox ’11 may have been recruited to play baseball at Southwestern, but he has ended up being an all-star in an entirely different field: dentistry.

“Dr. Nicholas Cox exemplifies dedication, commitment, and execution of excellence in the field of dentistry,” says Christopher Lowry ’11. “He serves patients from all walks of life, providing each with quality treatment and honest advice. His comforting, candid chairside manner, technical proficiency, and commitment to his work has established him as one of the most successful young dentists in north Dallas, if not the state of Texas.”

At Southwestern, Cox was a relief pitcher for the Pirates baseball team for four years, earning academic All-American honors twice, and served on the executive committee of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. After graduating with a B.S. in chemistry, he went on to earn his D.D.S. from the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio (UTHSCSA), where he received the International Congress of Implantologists Predoctoral Achievement Award and the Comprehensive Dentistry Award, which is presented to the graduating senior who best demonstrates outstanding patient care, superior clinical skills, and excellent clinical productivity. He also served as president of UTHSCSA’s chapter of the Xi Psi Phi International Dental Fraternity. As a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association from 2011 to 2015, Cox provided free dental care while participating in several mission trips in underprivileged areas in Texas. In 2017, the North Texas Dental Society named him New Dentist of the Year. 

Cox currently owns Cox Family Dentistry in Plano, which he acquired in 2016. He is known for taking a personal interest in his patients and calling them himself to see how they are feeling following a procedure rather than asking the office staff to do it. “He pays attention to the patients’ concerns, the hygienists’ concerns, all the way to front office staff’s concerns,” says Alan Lowry ’11. “These all give him the required information so he can continue his lifelong learning on how to better serve his patients and ultimately his community.”

Shortly after launching his career, Cox began to explore ways to give back to Southwestern and support students interested in dental careers. Ultimately, he worked with the Center for Career & Professional Development to establish a summer shadowing program designed to help students obtain meaningful clinical experience and learn about the both demands and rewards of being a dentist.

“He noticed a need when he was in school for resources that specifically helped students wanting to attend dental school after graduation,” explains his wife, Allie Cox. “The internship program that he has started has been helpful in exposing students to experiences in the dental office they likely wouldn’t get otherwise. He very much enjoys getting to mentor and guide students to discovering the ins and outs of private practice dentistry.”

“I cannot think of a more deserving young professional than Nick,” says Kerry Bruns, professor emeritus of chemistry and biochemistry at Southwestern. “In my many years of teaching and advising students, Nick stands out as one of a few excellent students who have made a genuine effort to give back to the university and to help another student to make a choice of careers. He has done this in a way that was not to glorify him in any way, but just out of the human goodness that is at his center.”

Lowry concurs. “Nick exemplifies the success that a liberal-arts philosophy can build in a person and in a community,” he says.

For his generous spirit and dedication to his field, the Southwestern University Alumni Association is proud to honor Nicholas R. Cox with the Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.