In The Spotlight

From the Dean


Dean Johnson Dean Johnson

Sweet Auburn! Loveliest Village of the Plain

Saturday, January 29 was a beautiful mid-winter day in Auburn, and a momentous occasion for the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine as we hosted more than 750 family members, friends, and students from the Class of 2018 for the annual White Coat Ceremony. The awarding of white coats on the east lot of Greene Hall recognized the much-anticipated transition from classroom to clinic for 123 upcoming senior students. The president of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association (Dr. Harold Pate, Jr., Lowndesboro, Ala.) and the presi-dent-elect from the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association (Dr. Doug Peterson, Frankfort, Ky.) joined Dr. Dan Givens, associate dean for Academic Affairs in the presentation of coats. Dean Ruby Perry from the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine congratulated our students on their entry into the clinical year. As each student was introduced and coated, class officers provided informative comments about the experiences and aspirations of the Class of 2018.

Reflecting the AVMA’s new brand, “Our Passion. Our Profession,” the upbeat tone of our ceremony reminded me that, for many students, the pursuit of veterinary medicine is as much an innate calling as it is an objectively derived career choice. After three years of training, the students’ anticipated career paths already reflect the rich diversity of the profession, ranging from poultry medicine to pathology to small animal medicine.

Yet, inevitably, career passion meets the harsh realities of financial demand, academic rigor, and personal struggle. For that reason, we strive to provide students a network of support throughout their education and into their careers. Judging from the cheers and photo opportunities that accompanied each student’s introduction during the White Coat Ceremony and the remarkable support and mentorship provided daily by our Office of Academic Affairs, our students enjoy the backing and encouragement of families, friends, and caring professionals as they follow their career paths. The nurturing spirit of the Auburn Family is tangible on our campus and in the clinics, laboratories, and offices of our alumni—and it makes a difference in the lives of our young professionals. Personal wellness is a high priority for Auburn, as it is for the entire profession.

Dr. Hugh Bassham, AU CVM Class of 1963 from Quitman, Ga., recently sent me the following anonymously authored poem that seems appropriate for our upcoming senior students as they enter the exciting but sometimes daunting world of clinical medicine:

“It’s impossible,” said pride.
“It’s risky,” said experience.
“It’s pointless,” said reason.
“Give it a try,” whispered the heart.

May we continue to enjoy the adventure and camaraderie inspired by our great profession.

Dean Johnson's Signature

Dean Calvin Johnson '86


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