Warm Spring Weather Helps Bring Traditional Crowds Back to Annual PVM Open House

Monday, June 19, 2023

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Sara Helming helps a boy tie his surgery gown as other attendees don their gowns and practice surgery on stuffed animals
Would-be veterinary surgeons get help gowning-up in the Teddy Bear Surgery Suite during the 2023 PVM Open House in Lynn Hall.

A glorious spring day with temperatures that soared into the low 80s provided an ideal setting for the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine’s annual Open House April 15 and people took advantage, including lots of families with young children. A longstanding college tradition, the Open House is planned by students, who arranged for a variety of activities, interesting displays, and exhibits for visitors who flocked to Lynn Hall.

Traditional favorite attractions included the ever-popular Petting Zoo, the Teddy Bear Surgery suite hosted by the third-year DVM students, and face-painting at the Veterinary Nursing exhibit area. Additionally, a line of customers testified to the popularity of the Food Tent where anyone feeling “hangry” could purchase food and beverages to support the veterinary student Food Animal and Equine Clubs. 

A young boy wearing a baseball hat gently holds a duckling
Adorable ducklings commanded lots of attention in the Petting Zoo, as did llamas, donkeys, sheep, goats, horses and calves.

A new twist, literally, this year, drew a crowd at the entrance to the second-year veterinary class exhibit. Students in the Class of 2025 creatively utilized a circus theme for their display on “-ologies,” and in so doing, revealed the hidden talents of Dr. Sanjeev Narayanan, head of the Department of Comparative Pathobiology, and his daughter, who together created balloon art for visitors, with shapes ranging from puppies to swords. Simultaneously, they mentored veterinary student volunteers, who picked-up the skill and helped out by making their own balloon art. The balloon animal shapes were a big hit with children and their parents, who then toured the Circus-ologies exhibit to learn about heartworm and other diseases and prevention.

Another annual Open House tradition is hosting 4-H members in grades 9-12 whose veterinary science poster projects were selected for exhibition at the Indiana State Fair. Fifteen 4-H members exhibited and discussed their projects with Open House visitors and members of the College of Veterinary Medicine Admissions Committee, faculty, staff, and students. The exhibition was followed by a student panel where the 4-Hers were able to ask current veterinary students about their experiences. Click here to view the 4-H Veterinary Science posters displayed at this year’s Open House.

A young girl dons a white coat, stethoscope, and other props as she takes a graduation photo
Many children concluded their Open House visit with a “graduation” photo in honor of their success in collecting a complete set of stickers from designated displays and activities.

Held each year in conjunction with the College of Agriculture’s Spring Fest, the PVM Open House is a free event with something for everyone from children to adults. Other features of the Open House included practicing anatomy and ultrasound skills, and learning animal training techniques. Visitors also were able to view equine treadmill demonstrations in the Donald J. McCrosky Equine Sports Medicine Center, wildlife and K-9 demonstrations, and also take guided tours of the Purdue University Small Animal Hospital. Additionally, children who collected a complete set of stickers from specially designated locations were able to conclude their day at the Open House by celebrating “graduation” and donning a white coat and complimentary toy stethoscope for a keepsake picture as they held their graduation certificate in front of a special photo backdrop. 

A special thank you to all the students who planned the event and volunteered for set-up, tear down, and staffing all of the displays and activities!

Writer(s): Kevin Doerr |

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