This month, I completed five years of service as Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, an anniversary that coincided with my installation as the 2018-2019 President of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (A AVMC). From a national perspective, Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine faces the same opportunities and challenges as our national and international peers: maintaining high educational standards while controlling tuition costs; sustaining a strong faculty who excel in the classroom, clinic, and laboratory; and responding productively to changes in societal needs in animal health, welfare and biomedical science. The key to our success in meeting these challenges is partnership. We have thousands of partners in private practice, corporations, academic institutions, nonprofits, and government. Excelling in relationships was a cornerstone of Dr. Charles Allen Cary’s strategy 125 years ago when he laid the foundation for our College of Veterinary Medicine.
The Auburn campus in 1892 was a hub of change. In addition to Dr. Cary’s introduction of veterinary courses to Auburn’s curriculum, two other significant events occurred that year: the origin of Auburn football and Auburn’s first enrollment of women. Notably, the first two students to earn graduate degrees in our college were Mildred and Miriam Moore (Mildred Moore Scarsbrook and Miriam Moore Martin), both earning the M.S. degree in 1932. Dr. Billie Pennings (AU DVM ’58) recounts in this issue her experiences as an Auburn veterinarian who established Texas’ first feline-exclusive practice in Houston. Today, women will comprise 74 percent of Auburn veterinary students in the Class of 2018 and 37 percent of our faculty. I am very proud of the professional accomplishments of our women students, faculty, and alumni.
The College has re-established its tradition of holding its Annual Conference (“Short Course”) in the fall. I hope you will plan to join us in Auburn October 18-21, 2018, for an exciting and engaging CE program for veterinarians and technicians. A grand reunion will be held for all classes graduating prior to 1968, and individual class reunions will
be held for our newest class of Golden Eagles (the esteemed Class of 1968) and all subsequent classes at five-year intervals (class years ending in 8 and 3). The John Thomas Vaughan Equine Conference, now in its 13th year, will be held in conjunction with Annual Conference. On Friday evening, the College will celebrate successful completion of the Because This is Auburn campaign with a college gala event; and, on Saturday, we will break for a tailgate reception as Auburn football plays Ole Miss on the road.
Auburn Veterinary Medicine continues to thrive as a trusted and loyal partner in education. Marking the 67th year of our SR EB contract with Kentucky, this year the College embarked on a USDA-funded program to build and support veterinary workforce capacity in designated underserved rural areas of the Commonwealth.
The College’s sixth dean, Dr. Tim Boosinger, retired last month after a distinguished 35-year career at Auburn University, including seven years as Provost and 16 years as dean. In that same month, two Auburn graduates were named as deans or interim deans at two other colleges: Dr. Carolyn Henry, dean at the University of Missouri, and Dr. Greg Daniel, interim dean at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.
I hope you enjoy learning about the exciting life of the College in this issue of Auburn Veterinarian. It is a great honor for me to serve as dean of a college with such a storied past, active present, and promising future. Whether you’re a member of the Auburn Family, a friend, or a colleague, I thank you for your interest in Auburn Veterinary Medicine.