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Monday, January 11, 2016


By Donald F. Smith, DVM, DACVS
Posted January 11, 2016.

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

2016 is a big year for Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. Not only is this year the centennial of the founding of the only veterinary college in Texas, but it also heralds the completion of a $350 million capital expansion plan and the progress on a major small animal hospital campaign. Here are a few facts about the college and its environment.

The institution’s official name is the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. This designates the inclusion of Biomedical Sciences, the pre-professional undergraduate program that is aligned administratively with veterinary medicine. Only two other US veterinary colleges have a similar arrangement (Colorado State and Washington State).

In 2015, the college achieved its highest ranking to date among US veterinary colleges (third), and also placed sixth in the world by Quacquarelli Symonds ranking.

Texas is the second largest state in the country. The city of College Station, where the university is located, and the contiguous city of Bryan have a combined population of 200,000.  They also strategically located within 170 miles from the state’s four largest cities with Houston to the southeast, Austin and San Antonio to the southwest, and Dallas-Fort Worth to the north.

Texas is the number one state for cattle (a $10.5 B industry), as well as for sheep and goats. The state also has 15% of the nation's horses, making it number one in that category as well.

Dr. Mark Francis (first dean) and Dr. Eleanor Green (current dean)
Photo courtesy of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
Mark Francis, Texas’s first veterinary dean (Ohio State graduate, 1887) became so influential nationally that OSU’s president said of him in 1937, “If Ohio State University had trained but one man in the seventy-five years of its existence, and that man was Mark Francis of Texas, it had given back to its people more than they had expended upon it in the three-quarters of a century of its existence.”

Until the 1960s, all male students at Texas A&M (including veterinary students) were required to participate in military training as part of the Corps of Cadets.

Of the college’s 5,000 AVMA-member graduates, over 77% live in Texas, giving the highest percentage of in-state graduates of any veterinary college in the country.