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Remembering Dr. William “Bill” Saville

Dr. William “Bill” Saville was born in Alberta Canada and worked as an accountant before entering veterinary school at the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon Canada. He graduated with distinction in 1977 and entered private veterinary practice in Alberta, specializing in equine medicine. 


In 1993, Bill left private practice and began an equine internal medicine residency program at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Following completion of the residency training program, he began a PhD program in Veterinary Preventive Medicine at Ohio State, and in 1998 successfully defended his dissertation describing the Epidemiology of Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis. After completion of his PhD, Bill accepted a faculty position as an Extension Veterinarian in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine in the area of Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health where he was achieved tenure and was promoted to professor.


Dr. Saville developed a new Extension teaching program that emphasized prevention of zoonotic infectious disease transmission, including West Nile Virus which, at the time, was just emerging in the U.S. As part of his Extension teaching program, Bill also developed the Applied Field Epidemiology Program, which continues as a forum that brings together representatives from the university and various state and federal agencies. The AFEP group first met in March of 1999, and has held regular monthly meetings for the past 19 years to share updates and discuss topics relevant to animal and public health. What a legacy Dr. Saville leaves behind with this cohesive, collaborative and cooperative group.


Dr. Saville also created the West Nile Virus Working Group and coordinated large satellite teleconferences within Ohio as well as collaborations of public health officials and veterinarians in the early spring of 2001 to prepare the state for the onset of WNV.


Having a strong commitment to professional and graduate student teaching, with a focus on clinical epidemiology, Bill advised and mentored multiple DVM, MS, MPH, and PhD students to successful completion of their degree programs. He received the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Award for Creativity in Teaching in 2003. He maintained an active research program investigating the life cycle of Sarcocystis neurona and the natural history of infection in multiple animal species, and had over 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications. In 2005, Bill was awarded the College’s Pfizer Award for Research Excellence. In 2006, he was named interim Chair of the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, and then served as Chair for two terms from 2007 to 2015. He also served as the Director of the college’s Alice Lloyd Finley Memorial Veterinary Research Farm from 2004-2014. Bill was a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.


Dr. Saville has left an indelible imprint on the Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine and the veterinary profession through his laudable commitment, loyalty and dedication combined with his contributions to education, research, extension, service and mentorship.


Bill loved playing golf, spending time with his wife and his miniature schnauzer, and he enjoyed local gourmet cuisine and traveling to Arizona every spring.


Visitation will be on January 24 from 10:00–11:00am followed by the Memorial Service at 11:00 am at the Rutherford-Corbin Funeral Home located at 515 High Street, Worthington, OH 43085. Dr. Saville’s obituary is available at!/Obituary.


In lieu of flowers, a memorial gift may be made in Dr. Saville’s memory. Checks can be made payable to The Ohio State University Foundation. Memo: Veterinary Preventative Medicine Graduate Student Research Fund (Fund # 312646) c/o The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Attn: Office of Advancement, 1900 Coffey Road, Columbus Ohio, 43201 or go online at


Dr. Saville will be greatly missed by the college, veterinary profession and beyond. We thank him for all he did to make the world a better place. 

Last updated: 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 - 9:41am