KSU Veterinary College Honors PVM Professor Emeritus Gordon Coppoc as Distinguished Alumnus

Friday, June 16, 2023

Make a Gift
Support the College

Dr. Coppoc pictured at a lectern during the award presentation and standing next to Dr. Bonnie Rush, Hodes Family Dean of the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Gordon Coppoc, PVM professor emeritus, receives the Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine’s Distinguished Alumnus Award June 5. (Photos provided by K-State)

Dr. Gordon Coppoc, Purdue University Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Pharmacology and former head of the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, has received the 2023 Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater. He was selected for the honor by the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Alumni Association, in recognition of his outstanding achievements, humanitarian service, and contributions to the veterinary profession. The award was presented June 5 during the college’s Alumni Reunion Weekend.

In addition to serving as a Purdue Veterinary Medicine administrator and faculty member, Dr. Coppoc also served as director of the Indiana University School of Medicine – West Lafayette and associate dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine before retiring in 2014. He previously was honored by K-State with the Alumni Recognition Award in 2004. He also is the recipient of other awards and honors, including being named a Sagamore of the Wabash by the governor of Indiana.

“I just want to express my thanks for this wonderful and unexpected recognition,” Dr. Coppoc said upon receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award. “My parents gave me a strong faith and a strong work ethic that has worked well throughout my entire career. I felt my DVM education prepared me for any future I might want to go into because of its basic breadth in biology, diseases, and things that no PhD student would ever have learned about. It opened so many doors for the various roles I played in the Air Force, Purdue Veterinary School as a department head, and the Indiana School of Medicine where I was an associate dean. Thank you for this special honor.”

In addition to his service both to the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and the IU School of Medicine, Dr. Coppoc, along with his wife, Harriet, endowed the Coppoc One-Health Lecture Series at both Purdue and K-State, to bring internationally acclaimed scientists to the campuses to share their research and expertise related to issues that emphasize the connections between animal and human health. Those issues, which are central to the concept of “One Health,” reflect Dr. Coppoc’s own career that linked animal health and human health.

“Dr. Coppoc had amazing career, impacting both animal and human medicine,” said Dr. Bonnie Rush, Hodes Family Dean of the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine. “We are grateful for his support to allow us to bring world-class speakers to the College of Veterinary Medicine.”

A native of Larned, Kansas, Dr. Coppoc earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1961 and his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1963, both from Kansas State University. He later continued his education at Harvard University, where he received his PhD in pharmacology in 1968.

After spending a year as an instructor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Dr. Coppoc reported to the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks AFB, Texas, for two years of active duty as a Captain in the United States Air Force Veterinary Corps. He then completed post-doctoral training in biochemistry at the University of Chicago Ben May Laboratory for Cancer Research before coming to Purdue University to join the College of Veterinary Medicine faculty in 1971.

Eight years later, Dr. Coppoc was appointed head of what was then the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, which later was combined with the Department of Anatomy to form the Department of Basic Medical Sciences. He served as department head until stepping down in 2008.

Dr. Coppoc’s involvement in the administration of the Indiana University School of Medicine’s program in West Lafayette, Indiana began in 1998, when he was appointed as assistant dean and director of the Indiana University School of Medicine – West Lafayette, which is part of the IU School of Medicine’s statewide campus system. He retired at the end of 2014 as an associate dean. He taught pharmacology to both veterinary and medical students until he retired.

Harriet is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Kansas who taught music for 28 years and performed for more than 30 years as principal flutist in the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra. Meanwhile, Dr. Coppoc has served on the Lafayette Symphony’s board of directors for more than 10 years. He also was president of and a performer in the Bach Chorale Singers and served on the board of directors of the Lafayette Rotary Club.

Professionally, Dr. Coppoc is a founding member of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics and a founding member of CONVINCE (Consortium of North American Veterinary Interactive New Concept Education). He also is a member of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics; the American Veterinary Medical Association; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and the Indiana Veterinary Medical Society, Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi.

Dr. Coppoc’s other awards and honors include Purdue Veterinary Medicine’s Alumni Faculty Award for Excellence and the Award of Merit from the Purdue chapter of Gamma Sigma Delta.

Click here to view a complete news release from Kansas State University.

Writer(s): Purdue Veterinary Medicine News

Source: Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, 765-494-7607

© 2024 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by PVM Web Communications

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact PVM Web Communications at vetwebteam@purdue.edu.