Retirement Reception Honors Veterinary Nurse Paige Allen for Nearly 37-year PVM Career

Friday, August 4, 2023

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Chad, Paige, and Bill stand together smiling facing the camera
Both the current Purdue Veterinary Nursing Programs director, Dr. Chad Brown (left), and former director, Dr. Pete Bill, congratulated Paige Allen for her noteworthy Purdue veterinary nursing career.

It was in the fall of 1986 when Paige Allen, MS, RVT started working for the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine after being hired by then professor of veterinary clinical sciences Harold Amstutz to work in the Large Animal Hospital (called the Large Animal Clinics at the time). More than 36 years later, faculty and staff gathered to honor her during a retirement reception held June 16 in the Veterinary Medical Library.

Speakers at the event recounted Paige’s career journey that included working several years in multiple roles in the Veterinary Hospital before she was recruited to join the Purdue Veterinary Nursing Program (then called the Veterinary Technology Program) in 1999 to help implement a new Distance Learning Program. Dr. Pete Bill (PU DVM ’80, PhD ’90), professor emeritus of basic medical sciences and former Veterinary Nursing Program director, recalled how he and Paige met with members of the central Purdue University administration, including the head bursar, head of admissions, and head registrar, to work out a way to establish the new online degree option – the first-of-its-kind at Purdue – as a sustainable program. “And Paige was right there in the middle of it,” Dr. Bill recalled. 

Dr. Bill also praised Paige for what she accomplished for the veterinary technician/veterinary nursing profession, saying she advanced the profession in terms of visibility, for not only Purdue University, but for veterinary technicians and veterinary nurses, through the Indiana Veterinary Technician Association leadership, and her leadership with NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) and the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) – assuming positions that had never been held before by a registered, credentialed veterinary technician or nurse. “Paige did that, and when she did, it looked good for Purdue, and it looked good for the profession, because we showed what veterinary technicians could do in an area outside of the clinics, in leadership.”

Paige and Tim stand together smiling as they hold up her award certificate
Paige with Tim Kerr, of the Purdue Academic Advising Association (PACADA), who presented Paige with the association’s Lifetime Colleague Award.

Dr. Bill concluded by saying he felt he could speak for the late Dr. Roger Lukens, who served as the first Purdue Veterinary Technology Program director, in simply saying, “Well done. Well done, Paige.”   

The current director of Purdue Veterinary Nursing Programs, Dr. Chad Brown (PU DVM 2001), also lauded Paige’s accomplishments and impact. “Paige Allen’s journey in veterinary medicine has been truly remarkable,” Dr. Brown said. Noting that Paige most recently served as the assistant director of academic advising and recruitment at the college, Dr. Brown said, “Paige has devoted numerous years to various roles within our institution. Throughout her tenure, she has consistently showcased unparalleled expertise, unwavering commitment, and an unyielding passion for her work.”

In particular, Dr. Brown emphasized how Paige earned tremendous respect from students, staff, and faculty alike. “Her extensive knowledge and experience in the field have made her an invaluable resource for all those who sought her guidance.” Dr. Brown also commended her for being a genuine leader who inspires and motivates all those around her. “Whether it is advising students, spearheading recruitment activities, or advocating for veterinary technicians, Paige brings a steadfast level of professionalism and compassion to everything she undertakes.”

Paige and Dean Reed smile as the stand on either side of her retirement gift displayed on a pedestal in the library
In honor of her retirement, Paige Allen, MS, RVT, received a framed picture of the Continuum© sculpture with a plaque recognizing her 36 years of service to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Brown concluded his remarks by saying that Paige’s impact on the field of veterinary technology is immeasurable. “Her selfless dedication, vast knowledge, and remarkable leadership have played a transformative role in shaping the lives and careers of countless individuals – dare I say, all of us here. As we honor her today, let us not only celebrate her achievements, but also strive to embody the same level of dedication and passion she has demonstrated throughout her illustrious career.”

Paige also was recognized by Tim Kerr, College of Agriculture senior assistant director of academic advising and curriculum initiatives, who represented the Purdue Academic Advising Association (PACADA) in presenting Paige with the association’s Lifetime Colleague Award in recognition of her retirement.

Paige also received a special camping gear gift basket from PVM’s Student Services and Veterinary Nursing teams, in anticipation of a retirement filled with many future camping days.

To conclude the program, Dean Willie Reed stepped forward for a special presentation. “So Paige, I’m batting clean-up,” the dean quipped before commenting on Paige’s more than 36 years of service to the college. “And you think about that, that’s half of the life of our college,” Dean Reed said, noting that the college admitted its first class in 1959. 

Paige and Kyle chat together at the reception following the ceremony in the library
Paige enjoyed sharing laughs at her retirement reception with colleagues like Kyle Clever, RVT, CVT, Equine Field Service veterinary technician.

In highlighting Paige’s career accomplishments, Dean Reed emphasized her vital contributions to the success of the Veterinary Nursing Distance Learning Program. “It took individuals like Paige to make it happen and that program really put our college on the map, both nationally and also here at Purdue because we offered the first totally online degree at Purdue University… and that was really a feather in our cap.” Dean Reed also talked about the significance of Paige’s leadership in organizations at the national level. “So, Paige I want to thank you for all that you have done for the veterinary profession, the veterinary technology/nursing profession, and most importantly for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Purdue University.”

Dean Reed then called Paige Allen forward to help unveil a special memento from the college. As they pulled away the covering, a framed picture of the Continuum© sculpture was revealed.

In expressing appreciation for the recognition, Paige expressed, in her customarily poignant and succinct way, that, “None of us do this alone, and I’m not here standing by myself.” She added, “Thank you everybody for coming, for supporting me. Continue to take care of each other and support each other. It’s important.”

Congratulations, Paige!

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

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