Alumni Celebrate at Purdue Reception During AVMA Annual Convention in Denver

Friday, July 21, 2023

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The group joins together for a group photo during the alumni reception
Dr. Doris Hughes-Moore (PU DVM ’73), on the left, and her daughter, Dr. Melanie Hughes (second from the right), with Drs. Willie and Dorothy Reed. Dr. Hughes-Moore is the first female African American graduate of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and lives in Washington D.C., where she serves as director of veterinary services and university veterinarian for Howard University.

Purdue Veterinary Medicine alumni reconnected at the Purdue Alumni and Friends Reception, which was held July 14 during the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Convention in Denver. More than 60 guests attended, taking advantage of the opportunity to visit with colleagues and PVM faculty and staff. Dean Willie Reed greeted the attendees, and gave celebratory remarks on the accomplishments of the college during his tenure as dean.

The dean began his remarks by recognizing Dr. Jim Weisman (PU DVM ’97) for his election to the AVMA Board of Directors. Dr. Weisman was officially installed as a new board member at the Annual AVMA Convention. Speaking to the reception audience, Dean Reed said, “This year in particular, you, as a Purdue Veterinary Medicine alumni, can take great pride in the way that your alma mater is so well represented at national veterinary organizations and conventions, like the AVMA and the AVMA Annual Convention.”

The group sits together at a cocktail table and smile for a photo during the reception
PVM classmates, Drs. Byron Emswiller (left) and Phil Borst (center), of the DVM Class of 1975, and Dr. Paul Nordman, of the DVM Class of 1965, enjoy reconnecting at the Purdue Alumni Reception held during the 2023 AVMA Convention.

At the dean’s invitation and beaming with pride, Dr. Weisman stepped up to the podium and expressed appreciation for how Purdue and the college launched his career. “Today, being installed as an elected member of the board is deeply meaningful and represents my next “small step” to another Giant Leap!” Dr. Weisman shared.

Dr. Weisman then continued with a sense of pride as he announced that Dean Reed had been presented with the first annual AVMA Frederick Douglass Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award earlier that morning. The award recognizes an AVMA member veterinarian who has made significant contributions to the veterinary profession through innovative and transformative leadership in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Returning to the lectern, Dean Reed continued his remarks by recognizing the recipient of another significant AVMA award presented at the convention. Dr. Candace Croney, professor of animal behavior and well-being in the Department of Comparative Pathobiology and director of the Center for Animal Welfare Science, was presented earlier in the day with the 2023 AVMA Humane Award. This award recognizes a non-veterinarian for achievements in advancing the welfare of animals through leadership, public service, education, research, product development, and/or advocacy.

The group pose for a photo during the reception
Dr. Rachel Cumberbatch (PU DVM 2011), left, and Dr. Lauren Walker (PU DVM 2009), on the right, pause for a photo op with Dean Willie Reed and his wife, Dr. Dorothy Reed.

After celebrating these faculty members, the dean continued his remarks with a sense of nostalgia as he highlighted significant developments in the college during his tenure as dean. Among those accomplishments, Dean Reed noted the successful implementation of three strategic plans that shaped the continued development of the college. He also highlighted the completion of new facilities, most notably the $108 million David and Bonnie Brunner Purdue Veterinary Medical Hospital Complex that expanded the existing Small Animal Hospital and created new Equine and Farm Animal Hospitals on the West Lafayette campus. He also recalled the successful completion of a capital campaign that led to the construction and 2017 opening of the Caesars Entertainment Equine Specialty Hospital in Shelbyville, near Indiana’s two race tracks.

The dean also recounted Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory successes. He highlighted expanded capabilities of the lab that enabled it to play a vital role in responding to the university’s need for COVID-19 testing by running tens of thousands of tests on human samples during the pandemic. Likewise, he noted the important role the ADDL played in protecting animal and public health during significant animal disease outbreaks, like Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. And he praised the significant increase in funding for the ADDL that was approved during the state’s recent biennial budget session that resulted in a 35% increase in the ADDL’s annual appropriation – the first such increase in many years.

Dean Reed also recalled the successful establishment of the college’s Offices of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Engagement, and Global Engagement. He celebrated the impact of the programs launched by these offices to diversify the veterinary profession by expanding awareness of veterinary career opportunities and attracting a broader range of qualified applicants to the college’s educational programs, while also making progress toward the college’s goal of providing international learning experiences for all students in the DVM and Veterinary Nursing programs. To date, 70% of graduating students have completed at least one study abroad experience.

Dean Reed is joined by PVM alumni for a photo during the reception
Dean Willie Reed with Purdue veterinary alumni (left-right) Drs. Robyn Kurtz and Dawn Frank, both of the Class of 1982; Dr. Corey Swart, of the Class of 2008; Dr. Greg Kurtz, of the Class of 1982; and Dr. Phil Borst, of the Class of 1975.

To conclude his remarks, Dean Reed emphasized the fundraising successes of the college, including attracting funding for research from a variety of sources. Last year alone, faculty obtained $12.4 million in research funding, of which 58% was secured from the NIH. Additional fundraising achievements included capital projects and growth of scholarship funding. “Since 2007, we’ve raised just shy of $167 million, nearly half of which was committed in the last three years,” Dean Reed said. He also highlighted the naming of centers in oncology and equine research.

Following the dean’s remarks, alumni and friends joined together in shouting out a hearty “Boiler up!” before enjoying a relaxed time of continued mingling and sharing with colleagues, classmates, and faculty and staff.

Writer(s): Susan Xioufaridou |

Category: Alumni, Our People

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