May 10, 2013

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

We had a great celebration weekend honoring the Class of 2013, our faculty award winners, and our Distinguished Alumni Awardees!

We warmed up two weeks ago with an outstanding White Coat Ceremony on April 22 and welcomed the Class of 2014 into the clinical phase of their education. Over 1,000 people attended and we had numerous veterinarians from in and out of the collage who assisted in "coating" our students.

Commencement weekend started with Senior Sendoff last Thursday. On Saturday morning we presented 49 awards to outstanding seniors, as voted on by our faculty, and outstanding teachers as voted by our students. The event was held at the Fawcett Center and we were pleased to welcome 400 friends, family and students to the event. A list of those awards and the winners will be available HERE.

We estimate that nearly 2,000 family and friends attended the annual Oath and Hooding event at Mershon Auditorium. This year, we were pleased to welcome our own veterinary medicine chorus, the Hoofbeats, who sang "Homeward Bound," by Marta Keen. Oath and Hooding is the culminating event for our students. The recitation of the veterinarian’s oath is both celebratory and solemn, as we all recognize the importance and seriousness of the words that guide our profession: "Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the prevention and relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge."

Students completed a brief survey to let us know of their future plans. We are already aware of a number of students who are starting as interns at other veterinary colleges and graduate schools, and many who have found jobs. We look forward to seeing the results of the survey so we can follow our new graduates now that they are part of our alumni family.

Ohio State commencement was held on Sunday afternoon with a record number of graduates – the second-highest in the history of the university: 10,143. (Last spring was the record with around 10,600). President Barack Obama delivered the commencement address. He made the event even more memorable and emphasized the need for citizenship in our new graduates. Veterinary Medicine students were featured by the Washington Post in a photo, which you can also link to on our website.

All of these events are possible because of our great administrative team. I want to thank everyone in Student Affairs who worked to make these occasions meaningful for our students and their families, especially Sandra Dawkins, Amanda Fark and Drs. Linda Lord and Jennifer Brandt.

One of the highlights of the weekend for our Distinguished Alumni and faculty award winners is a breakfast held prior to commencement at the Faculty Club on Sunday morning. Each alumnus and faculty awardee is invited to say a few words. Alumni usually reminisce about their alma mater, and remind all of us of the important influence of friends and mentors. Our faculty has a real passion about their work and an understanding and true appreciation of how they contribute to our students and college mission. I want to thank Anissa Thomas for making certain our alumni felt welcome and appreciated and helped organize the breakfast and, again, our sincere congratulations to our distinguished alumni and faculty who were honored.

Sincerely,

Dean Lonnie King