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Tuesday, January 19, 2016


By Donald F. Smith, DVM, DACVS
Posted January 18, 2016

Author’s Note: This is the third of six articles honoring the centennial of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

The Women who shaped the West Changed the World is the slogan of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame where Dean Eleanor Green of Texas A&M University was inducted in 2013. She shares the honor with such notables as animal welfare advocated Temple Grandin, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and former AVMA Council on Education member and rancher, JoAnne Smith.

Dr. Green’s career is one of firsts, serving as the first woman department head and chair of the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the University of Tennessee, and the first large animal hospital director and hospital chief of staff at the University of Florida.

Dr. Eleanor Green, Dean of College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
(Courtesy of TexasA&M University)

A DVM from Auburn University, Dr. Green was one of just three women in her 1973 class). She is a recognized leader in the equine industry, having owned and shown horses most of her life, winning circuit, state and national championships and numerous awards. She was the first woman to officiate at a National Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Competition, and has served on boards of various horse industry organizations. In 2008, she served as the 54th president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the first woman to be elected to that position.

Dr. Green started her veterinary career as owner-partner of a mixed animal practice in Mississippi. When Mississippi State University established its veterinary college in the mid 1970s, she became a founding faculty member and its only woman. Though she never had a goal of becoming an administrator, Dean Green always had an unrelenting passion for leadership, whether in teaching, clinical work, research or the workplace around her. She is a voracious reader of books on leadership and once participated as the only veterinarian in an intensive case-based leadership program at Harvard. 

A recognized clinical specialist, Dr. Green is Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and also the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners.

With her appointment in 2009, she became the first female dean at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University.  

Dr. Smith invites comments at

Monday, January 18, 2016


By Donald F. Smith, DVM, DACVS

Posted January 18, 2015

Author’s Comment: Centennial-Year tributes to the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University will continue tomorrow with installment three of the six-part series. Today, we honor Tuskegee University’s veterinary heritage.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is an ideal time for veterinarians to also celebrate the rich heritage that Tuskegee University has brought to our profession.

In the mid 1940s, Frederick Douglass Patterson DVM, MS, PhD founded the college at a time when there were only 70 African-American veterinarians in the entire country. They had been educated over the previous half century at several institutions, most notably Kansas State, Cornell, Iowa State and Penn.  

Tuskegee admitted its first white students in the mid 1960s, and is now the most racial and ethnically-diverse veterinary institution in the country.

Take a moment to ponder the breath and impact of just a few of the most notable Tuskegee DVM graduates. Among them are:

  • Rear Admiral Roscoe Moore ’69, the highest-ranking veterinarian in all the uniformed services, who served as former assistant surgeon general of the US Public Health Service;
  • The three alumni currently serving as deans in US veterinary colleges. At ten percent of all the deans currently appointed, this is the highest percentage of all alumni bodies. They are Phillip Nelson ’79 (Western University of the Health Sciences), Ruby Perry ’77 (Tuskegee) and Willie Reed ’78 (Purdue);
  • Michael Blackwell ’75, who was veterinary dean at the University of Tennessee (2000-2008). Prior to that, he was chief of staff to the Office of the Surgeon General;
  • Ted Cohn ’75, AVMA president in 2014-15;
  • Jan Strother ’86, who served as AVMA vice president (2010-12) and is a now candidate for AVMA president-elect;
  • Andrea Dennis-LaVigne ’82, who recently served as president of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association;
  • Linda Jacobson ’71, who was president of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society in 2012, and before that was president of the North American Veterinary Conference (now Community).

Tuskegee’s veterinary history and accomplishments are worthy of recognition throughout the year, but it is especially appropriate to pause on this special day that also honors the life and impact of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


By Donald F. Smith, DVM, DACVS
Posted January 14, 2016

Author's Note: This is the second of six contiguous articles on veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University, in honor of the college’s centennial year.

Mark Francis was the founder and the first dean of the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine (as it was called then). He had been the first veterinary graduate of the Ohio State University and arrived in the late 1880s at the land-grant Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). For almost two decades even before the college was actually formed, Francis taught courses in the veterinary sciences and conducted  research on the tick-borne protozoal disease called Texas Cattle Fever that was stifling the cattle industry.

Current dean Eleanor Green attributes the economic relationship to the cattle industry as the rationale for establishing the veterinary college. “Cattle and Texas Fever,” Green says, “is what justified establishing a separate college and providing funding for the veterinary college in Texas in 1916 (personal communication, 2014).

Francis remained dean for 20 years after the college was established in 1916. The second, third and fourth deans (Ross Marsteller, Ralph Dunn and Ivan Boughton) were also graduates of Ohio State. Boughton served until 1953, when Willis Armistead was appointed. A World War II veteran, Armistead was a Texas A&M alumnus and also held an appointment as AVMA president (1957-58). He was dean at Texas A&M for only four years, then moved to Michigan State University and later to the University of Tennessee, serving as veterinary dean at both universities.

During Alvin Price’s deanship (1957-73), the college assumed responsibility for teaching large numbers of undergraduate students in the pre-professional curriculum. It was not until 2004 that the name was changed to College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, reflecting this increased responsibility.

Texas A&M alumnus George Shelton ’48 was the college’s seventh dean. Referred to many as a “students’ dean”, the college expanded greatly in size and programs during his 15-year tenure. The first endowed professorship was also created during this period.

Another Ohio State alumnus named John Shadduck served as dean for seven years. Highly respected as a national leader, Shadduck led the college through a period of major research growth and development. He enhanced the DVM teaching programs by including veterinarians in private practice and those in research institutions outside of academia. He also presided over the construction of a new veterinary research building and new large animal hospital.

Texas alumnus H. Richard Adams ’66, who had led the veterinary college at the University of Missouri returned to his alma mater in 1998 and served as dean until 2009. During his tenure, the college continued to expand and develop its research programs in concert with many external collaborators including Baylor College of Medicine.

During Adams’ deanship, Professor Bonnie Beaver became the first female chair of the AVMA’s Executive Board (now called the Board of Directors) and was elected to the AVMA presidency in 2004.

Dr. Smith invites comments at   He also acknowledges the assistance of Dean Eleanor Green and Megan Palsa, PhD (Executive Director of Communications, Media and Public Relations) for their assistance. 

The topic for the next blog (Tuesday, January 18th) is the current dean of the college, Dr. Eleanor Green.