My Fellow Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society Members:
As the new President of The Ohio State University Veterinary Medicine Alumni Society, I want to express my appreciation for the opportunity to lead the Society that represents all of you. It is an honor to serve you the alumni in this new role and, together, we continue to support the College, its students and the profession in general. I look forward to working with the current Board members and the new Dean, Dr. Rustin Moore, as we evaluate and advance our program support and interaction with each other and the College. I welcome any suggestions for improving, refining and expanding our programs.
This is the beginning of our third year in the new organizational model of a non-dues paying Society, where all graduates of the College of Veterinary Medicine are members, and donations to any defined College funds you choose identifies you as a “Sustaining Member.” The change, which aligns our Society with the OSU Alumni Association (OSUAA), has been very successful with more alumni donating to student scholarships, the Veterinary Medical Center enhancement/expansion project, and alumni affairs program support funds, as well as many other fund options. An annual tax-deductible gift of $50 or more to any College of Veterinary Medicine fund (for a complete list: go.osu.edu/GiveToVetMed) will qualify you as a sustaining alumni society member; an additional $25 gift to any Ohio State Fund will also qualify you as a sustaining member of the OSUAA.
The College’s White Coat Ceremony has been supported by the Alumni Society for many years, but in 2014 the support was in the form of donations to purchase white coats the students receive as they enter the fourth year of the program. Each coat has a hand written note from the sponsor placed in the pocket and often it is given to students who worked with them or who they supported in their application process to the College. The goal for the 2016 ceremony is to have a coat personally sponsored for all 162 students entering their fourth year. There are many other College and student projects and programs supported by the Society, including the enhancement of and expansion to the Veterinary Medical Center. The Society supported this project by generously donating at a naming level for a Surgery Learning Conference Room.
I also want to mention a change initiated this year by OSUAA for all the societies and clubs. The Alumni Association will provide support for programs organized and executed by the clubs and societies, based on their level of activity. Our Society is already very close to “Carmen,” the highest level of activity. Organizations achieving the Carmen level will receive $2,000 next year to support their programs.
One last and very important topic I want to mention is the Alumni Society Recognition Awards. In 2015 the Society’s Awards Committee selected four very deserving recipients: Drs. Barry Reppart (’76), John Rush (’84), Harold “Hal” Schott (’84), and Michael Whitacre (’74). Additionally, the Committee has since held several meetings to identify ways to improve the nomination process. The following two changes will be implemented in 2016: 1) any nomination submitted, if the candidate is not selected, will be held and considered for three years, and 2) for any nomination package that lacks necessary information, the College’s alumni director will contact both the nominator and nominee for additional information. We hope these changes will increase the number and quality of submissions with a goal to recognize the best deserving candidates.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve as the President of our Society.
James Estep, DVM (’81), PhD, PMP