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Special Announcement: Dr. Clarence R. Cole, Alumnus and Former Dean

Dear Members of the College of Veterinary Medicine Family,

It brings me great sadness to inform you that Dr. Clarence Russell Cole, age 98, died peacefully at his home in Columbus, Ohio on April 11, 2017. Born in Crestline, Ohio in 1918, he was always grateful for the encouragement that led to a scholarship at Otterbein College, and from there to The Ohio State University where he received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) in 1943, and his Master of Science degree in Veterinary Pathology (1944) and a PhD in Pathobiology (1947). 

Dr. Cole served as a faculty member and was named chair of the Department of Veterinary Pathology and Assistant Dean of Research Development. He rose through the ranks to Assistant Dean of Research Development (1960-67) and then Dean (1967-71). During his time at Ohio State, he was instrumental in securing funds for and design of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (now the Veterinary Medical Center) and Goss Laboratory. Dr. Cole made significant contributions to research and was an advocate for a strong curriculum with an emphasis on teaching. He genuinely enjoyed working with students.

He was named a Regents Professor by the Ohio Board of Regents and received the Distinguished Service Award from The Ohio State University. A Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, Dr. Cole taught professional and graduate courses in the Department of Veterinary Pathology as well as portions of the professional and graduate courses in general and systemic pathology. Besides having sponsored graduate students for fellowship grants leading to dozens of dissertations and theses, Dr. Cole was the Herzfeld Lecturer at Auburn University; recipient of the Herzfeld Lecturer Award; and lecturer on the diseases of laboratory animals, Walter Reed Medical Center, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. He also was chosen by the Council on Education, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), as the educator in veterinary pathology to be the speaker at the AVMA Symposium on Veterinary Medical Education. 

A meticulous research scientist, he was the principal or co-investigator in numerous research grants totaling in excess of $16 million and had more than ninety research publications to his credit. Listed in “American Men and Women of Science”, Dr. Cole's many professional memberships have included various offices, such as president of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and secretary-treasurer and director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. He was honored with the Bronze Medal of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the National Gamma Award of Omega Tau Sigma for leadership in Advancement of Science. 

Dr. Cole was recognized internationally as a research scientist and educator in veterinary pathology, not only for his work at Ohio State, but also for his involvement with the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and the National Academy of Sciences. He published over one hundred articles and lectured throughout the world. Dr. Cole was a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP anatomic), past president of the ACVP, an ACVP Distinguished Member and was the last remaining member of the ACVP. Although he enjoyed gardening, traveling, learning, and visiting with family, most people who knew him would comment on his constant encouragement to others to eat well and stay fit. He made time to exercise during his working years, and in his nineties was still running on hills and lifting weights. He achieved his long-term goal of feeling healthy until the day he died. He served as a role model in this respect. 

If you wish to honor him, the family requests contributions may be made in Dr. Cole's memory to the Veterinary Bioscience Fund 311411, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1900 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, or to the American Cancer Society. Please contact Rileigh Ray regarding a contribution to the college via telephone (614-688-8433) or email ( As of now, the family has not announced any memorial arrangements.

Please join me in remembering the life, accomplishments, and the meaningful contributions to our college and the profession of our dear alumnus, friend, and colleague, Dr. Clarence Cole.




Rustin M. Moore, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS

Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine

Ruth Stanton Chair in Veterinary Medicine

125D Veterinary Medicine Academic Building

1900 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210
Asst | 614-292-2363 Office | 614-292-3544 Fax

Twitter and Instagram: @rustinmooredvm

Last updated: 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 11:01am