AAVMC 50th Anniversary Celebration Includes Recognition of PVM Personalities

March 25, 2016

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) concluded a year-long celebration of its 50th anniversary with a grand Annual Conference and Gala Celebration in Washington, D.C., that featured special recognition of dignitaries with Purdue Veterinary Medicine ties. Of particular note was the announcement that the AAVMC Recognition Lecture is being renamed the Billy E. Hooper Lecture Award for Distinguished Service to Veterinary Medical Education, in honor of the former Purdue Veterinary Medicine faculty member and administrator. Dr. Hooper earned his masters and PhD degrees in veterinary pathology at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1963 and 1965, respectively, and later joined the PVM faculty and served as associate dean for academic affairs. His distinguished career also included faculty appointments at the University of Missouri, University of Georgia and Oklahoma State University. The renaming of AAVMC Recognition Lecture honors Dr. Hooper for the founding role he played as the AAVMC's first executive director and as a former editor of the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education.

Other conference highlights included the 2016 Recognition Lecture, which was given by Dr. Ralph Richardson, former head of the Purdue Veterinary Medicine Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and retired dean of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, and the presentation of the 2015 AAVMC Distinguished Teacher Award to Purdue Veterinary Medicine Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Teaching and Learning Pete Bill. The award, presented by Zoetis, is regarded as the most prestigious national teaching award in veterinary medicine, and honors educators whose sustained record of teaching excellence and ability, dedication, character and leadership has contributed significantly to the advancement of the profession. Dr. Bill, professor of veterinary pharmacology in the Department of Basic Medical Sciences, has received numerous teaching honors and, for more than 25 years, has consistently been recognized by students for his outstanding teaching ability, infectious enthusiasm, and engaging teaching style.

The AAVMC annual conference,which was held March 4-6, concluded with a 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration that attracted more than 300 guests, including friends from the veterinary medical community, business and government. The milestone event began and ended with the introduction of two new AAVMC videos: "We are the AAVMC!", which is a two-minute graphical piece that describes the organization's direction and values; and "Let's Hear From a Few of our Friends", which includes comments from PVM Dean Willie Reed and other past and present AAVMC leaders and friends, who talk about the value of the organization, it's achievements and future directions.

With the theme "Fifty and Forward," this year's AAVMC Conference also included the public release of the book entitled "Pathways to Progress," which chronicles the story of the AAVMC and academic veterinary medicine. Authored by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Emeritus Donald Smith, the history book features chapters on each of the veterinary schools in the U.S., including Purdue Veterinary Medicine.

The AAVMC is a nonprofit membership organization that includes 49 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. The organization seeks to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine.

Dr. Billy Hooper, former PVM faculty member and associate dean for academic affairs (right), with a fellow early AAVMC leader, Dr. John Welser, and AAVMC President Eleanor Green, dean of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine, at the AAVMC 50th Anniversary celebration.

AAVMC President Eleanor Green (left) with Dr. Pete Bill, who received the2015 AAVMC Distinguished Teacher Award, presented by Zoetis.

Dean Willie Reed and his wife Dorothy join in the AAVMC’s 50th Anniversary toast at the Gala Celebration.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Emeritus Donald Smith autographs copies of his history book “Pathways to Progress”, which includes a chapter on Purdue Veterinary Medicine.

Writer: Kevin Doerr, pvmnews@purdue.edu

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