Graduation Celebration Honors Purdue DVM and Veterinary Nursing Grads in the Class of 2024

Friday, May 17, 2024

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Mother’s Day 2024 proved to be extra special for families of the graduates in Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Class of 2024, as the College of Veterinary Medicine hosted the annual Graduation Celebration and Oath Ceremony Sunday, May 12, in the Purdue Memorial Union.  The program honored graduates earning their DVM and Veterinary Nursing degrees and included the recitation of the Veterinarian’s Oath and the Veterinary Technician Oath of Ethical Conduct.

The ceremony followed the Purdue University commencement exercises that began at 9:30 a.m. in the Elliott Hall of Music.  Afterward, the Purdue Veterinary Medicine graduates and their families relocated to the Purdue Memorial Union for the college’s recognition ceremony.  “It is wonderful that we can be together today to recognize our Class of 2024,” Dean Willie Reed said after he stepped to the podium in the PMU North Ballroom to begin the ceremony.  Noting that the graduates had to persevere in overcoming a global pandemic to complete their Purdue veterinary education, Dean Reed exclaimed, “If ever there was a time to celebrate, this is it!”

The graduates next heard from invited speakers, including Dr. Angela Demaree (PU DVM 2002), an alumna and the president of the Purdue Veterinary Alumni Association; Dr. Lindsey Hedges (PU DVM 2011), also an alumna and the president of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA); and Crystal Schaeffer, BS, RVT, president of the Indiana Veterinary Technician Association (IVTA).  Then, just before the recognition of the Veterinary Nursing graduates, Dean Reed invited the Veterinary Nursing Class Responder, Kayleigh Clevenger, BS, RVT, to address her classmates and the assembled guests.

As the program continued, Dr. Chad Brown, Purdue Veterinary Nursing Programs director, stepped to the podium to introduce each of the Veterinary Nursing graduates individually.  As their names were announced, they each came forward, stepped onto the North Ballroom stage and received their veterinary nursing pin, which was presented by Holly McCalip, BS, RVT, instructional technologist in the Veterinary Nursing Program, as a symbol of their entry into the Veterinary Nursing profession.  The graduates earning the Associate in Applied Science degree were recognized first, followed by those receiving their four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Nursing.

Once all of the Veterinary Nursing graduates were assembled on the stage, they paused for a group photo and then remained on stage to recite their professional oath, which was led by Jennifer Smith, RVT, RLAT, senior instructional technologist for the Veterinary Nursing program.  All of the veterinary nurses present at the ceremony were invited to join in reciting the oath. 

Then Dean Reed returned to the podium to address the DVM graduates.  “Through your own personal commitment and hard work; your consistent and persistent effort during the pandemic to protect the health and safety of yourselves, your fellow students and our faculty and staff; as well as your willingness to work together and pursue goals beyond individual success, you have accomplished much,” Dean Reed said.  “You understand your responsibilities to the profession, to your colleagues and most importantly, to the people and animals you will serve. We believe that you are indeed ready to assume your new role as veterinarians.”

Dean Reed then invited one of the members of the DVM Class of 2024, Dr. Joe Chandler, to give the formal class response.  Following Dr. Chandler’s comments, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Kathy Salisbury, announced the names of the graduates as they came forward to take their place on the risers on the stage.  Additionally, graduates who received awards were recognized as they crossed the stage. 

Once all of the DVM graduates were together on stage, an official group photo was taken, and then Dean Reed asked the graduates, faculty and all other veterinarians in attendance to join in reciting the Veterinarian’s Oath.  Then the Veterinary Nursing graduates returned to the stage to join the DVM graduates for a photo of the entire PVM Class of 2024.

Before concluding the ceremony, Dean Reed presented two teaching awards.  Jennifer Smith received the Elanco Veterinary Technology Outstanding Teaching Award for a Veterinary Nursing educator who has clearly communicated course content, facilitated skill acquisition, motivated students, shown a continued willingness to facilitate learning outside of a formal setting, counseled and mentored students, and served as a positive role model.  The Weedon Faculty Recognition Award for the faculty member who has made the greatest contribution to members of the current fourth-year veterinary class during their progress toward the DVM degree, was presented to Dr. Mindy Anderson, clinical assistant professor of basic medical sciences, on the basis of her selection by members of the class.

The event concluded with a reception in the Purdue Memorial Union main lounges, where graduates and their families gathered along with faculty and staff for refreshments and celebration.  The beautiful Mother’s Day weather also enabled many graduates and their classmates to gather with family and friends for additional keepsake photos outside.

Congratulations to all members of the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Class of 2024!

Photos from the event taken by photographer Ed Lausch are available to view and purchase at Lausch Photography. Look for the gallery labeled “2024 Purdue Vet Med” and use the password “2024PVM”.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

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