IVMA Recognizes Dean Willie Reed for Lifetime Achievement

Friday, February 9, 2024

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Greg Kurtz and Dean Reed stand together on stage as the dean holds up his award plaque
As he concluded his term as IVMA President, Purdue veterinary alumnus Greg Kurtz presented the IVMA Lifetime Achievement Award to Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Willie Reed at the annual IVMA Crossroads Veterinary Conference.

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Willie Reed is the recipient of the Indiana Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA) Lifetime Achievement Award for 2024. The honor was bestowed Thursday, February 1 during the IVMA membership meeting that was held as part of the association’s annual Crossroads Veterinary Conference in Noblesville. Dean Reed also was honored at a reception hosted by the college the next evening. The award recognizes an IVMA member for cumulative service and accomplishments benefiting the profession, organized veterinary medicine, and the community. As one of his last acts as the outgoing IVMA president, Dr. Greg Kurtz (PU DVM ’82) presented the award, and praised the dean for his commitment to and support of the IVMA, as well as his leadership of the college and especially his unique ability as dean to hold such a position of power and prestige while also being a true friend to many. 

Dr. Shafer and his family in attendance join the dean in front of the Purdue drum at the reception
Dr. Gervas Shafer, of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s first class – the Class of 1963, and his family came to the reception for Dean Reed and took advantage of the “World’s Largest Drum” photo backdrop.
Dr. Hedges and Dean Reed smile as she snaps a photo of them with her phone
Purdue graduate and the new IVMA president, Dr. Lindsey Hedges (PU DVM 2011), took advantage of the opportunity to get selfie with Dean Reed in front of the large photo frame featuring photos of Dr. Reed from his childhood and Purdue career.

Dean Reed earned his DVM degree in 1978 at the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine and then came to Purdue where he earned his PhD in pathology four years later and joined the faculty. He served in several capacities including as assistant professor of veterinary pathology, chief of the Avian Diseases Diagnostic Service, assistant director of the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, and associate professor of avian pathology. He left Purdue in 1990 when he was offered the position of professor of veterinary pathology and director of the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He later also was appointed as chairperson of the Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation. In 2007, he returned to Purdue to become dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

The group smile as they film a spotlight in the photo booth
Dorothy and Dean Reed joined Drs. Greg and Robyn Kurtz to make a fun video in the 360 degree photo booth.

Dean Reed has received multiple awards and honors, including the Iverson Bell Diversity & Inclusion Award from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges for his work in advancing diversity in the veterinary profession. In 2015, Purdue University honored him as the recipient of the Dreamer Award, which is given annually to an individual or organization within the Purdue community whose contributions embody Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of service to others, and furthers the university’s commitment to diversity. Just last year, Dean Reed received the American Veterinary Medical Association’s inaugural Frederick Douglass Patterson Lifetime Achievement Award that is given to a member veterinarian who has made significant contributions to the veterinary profession through innovative and transformative leadership in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Following the Thursday night award presentation at the IVMA Crossroads Veterinary Conference, Dean Reed was honored at a Purdue alumni reception held Friday night, February 2, at the conference site in Noblesville. Decorated with iconic Purdue symbols as well as memorabilia dedicated to Dean Reed and his Purdue career, the reception room was the perfect setting for Purdue veterinary graduates and their families and classmates to gather and celebrate the IVMA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Especially popular was a 360 degree photo booth, a giant Purdue Pete statue, a replica of the World’s Largest Drum that served as a photo backdrop, and a larger-than-life photo frame featuring a collection of pictures of Dean Reed, from his childhood to today.

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu

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