A highlight of the Animal Welfare Forum was presentation of the annual AVMA award recognizing an individual who has had a profound effect on animal welfare.
"Today, we honor such a person," said Dr. Bonnie V. Beaver, AVMA president-elect. "The 2003 recipient of the AVMA Animal Welfare Award is Dr. Franklin M. Loew. "
Dr. Loew, the former dean of two veterinary colleges, died April 22, 2003, shortly after learning he was chosen for this honor. "Fortunately for us and the animals we serve, Dr. Loew's commitment to animal welfare and health lives on, in men and women he mentored as a teacher, a colleague, a dean, and a friend," Dr. Beaver said.
A quintessential educator, scientist, and animal welfare advocate, Dr. Loew raised awareness about the importance of relationships between people and animals. One of the first veterinarians to author a paper on the welfare of large animals, he was respected by individuals holding diverse views along the animal welfare advocacy continuum.
In a video shown at the forum to commemorate his life, Dr. Loew was given tribute as an eloquent spokesperson for animal welfare who represented all that is good in the veterinary profession.
After receiving his DVM degree from Cornell University in 1965, Dr. Loew became a founding member of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan in 1967. There, he earned a PhD degree in physiology and embarked on a career in comparative medicine.
Recruited by Johns Hopkins University, he became head of the Division of Comparative Medicine in 1977. Forever looking for new challenges, Dr. Loew became dean of the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982, serving until 1995. In addition to creating the Center for Animals and Public Policy, he brought Tufts to national prominence as a leader in partnering with the biotechnology industry. Dr. Loew was instrumental in developing the university's biotechnology park and served as president of the Tufts Biotechnology Corporation. In the commemorative video, Tufts' current dean, Dr. Philip C. Kosch, recalled how important Dr. Loew was to the Tufts veterinary school. "At Tufts, Frank seized the opportunity to shape an institution reflecting his commitment to animal welfare, social consciousness, and innovation."
Dr. Loew also served as dean of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, from 1995-1997, and as president and chief executive of Medical Foods Inc., Cambridge, Mass. In 1998, he became president of Becker College in Massachusetts.
Dr. Loew was active in the AVMA, Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, and other veterinary organizations. He served as an adviser and trustee to many organizations, and was elected to the Institute of Medicine.
Dr. James G. Fox, director of the Division of Comparative Medicine at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and member of the AVMA Welfare Committee, accepted the award. "It is an indeed an honor and a pleasure to accept this reward on behalf of my dear friend, Frank," he said, noting how much Dr. Loew and the vision he shared with the profession for the past 30 years are missed.
Dr. Beaver said, "What a role model for young people who graduated from Tufts and Cornell under his watch. What a friend to veterinary medicine. What a friend to animals. What a friend."