August 01, 2007


 Auburn, Colorado State veterinary colleges turn 100

Faculty, alumni mark the occasion by taking a look at the past and present

Posted July 15, 2007

Veterinary colleges at two universities—Auburn and Colorado State—have been celebrating their centennials all year with a generous dose of history.

Dr. Charles M. Hendrix, AVMA vice president and an Auburn professor, spoke about the milestone at Auburn when he delivered the commencement address for the class of 2007.

Colorado and Auburn State

Dr. Hendrix said Auburn established the first veterinary college in the South. Dr. Charles Allen Cary founded Auburn's Department of Veterinary Science in 1892 and College of Veterinary Medicine in 1907.

In 1907, Dr. Hendrix said, a veterinarian's salary as a milk inspector ranged from $1,600 to $2,000 per year. The cost of establishing a new veterinary college was about $350,000. Yearly operating expenses were about $33,000 for a college, plus $42,000 to pay 21 professors. The first Auburn veterinary class, with six students, graduated from a two-year program of study.

Dr. Cary, the founding dean, wrote that "ample space is given in the agricultural college building for the teaching of veterinary science. The college has a well-equipped veterinary hospital in which a free clinic is held Saturdays, and hundreds of cases are treated annually. The diseases that have caused the most trouble in Alabama during the past year are glanders, tick-fever, blackleg, tuberculosis, swine-plague, hog-cholera, mycotic stomatitis in cattle, cow-pox, chicken-pox, and fowl-cholera."

Dr. Hendrix noted that Dr. Cary made no mention of diseases of the dog or cat. Now, the Auburn small animal teaching hospital cares for thousands of patients annually.

The veterinary campus has continued to change in recent years. The college has dedicated a new large animal teaching hospital, opened a new diagnostic laboratory and an amphitheater for educational programs about birds of prey, and renovated the library and other facilities.

Additional information about the Auburn veterinary college is available at

Colorado State University has been celebrating the centennial of its veterinary college this year with events, a new scholarship, and a short movie.

The Colorado State Board of Agriculture established the Department of Veterinary Sciences in 1907. The first class, with 27 students, graduated in 1910.

The 1941 class also had about 30 students. Dr. Clayton Mikkelson, a member of that class, reflected years later on his experience as a veterinary student. He wrote: "School was tough and required many hours of class work and study, but I enjoyed the whole process. Classes were from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. five days a week the first two years, and the last two years were from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m.-noon on Saturday, and 8-10 a.m. on Sunday.

"The instructor recommended two hours of home study for each hour of class, but I soon discovered there were not enough hours in the day to do all of the studying that was required. Most all of the subjects were very interesting, which eased the problem."

In 1967, the Department of Veterinary Sciences became the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Biomedicine, as it relates to disease prevention, is part of a multidisciplinary approach to global health problems.

The college houses the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences, Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, and Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology. Priority research areas include oncology, infectious diseases, neurosciences, reproductive biology and genetic engineering, orthopedics, and the bond between humans and animals. The college also has been a pioneer in teaching veterinary medical ethics.

All year, the college is highlighting its accomplishments at professional meetings. A March open house featured historical displays about how veterinary equipment, facilities, and knowledge have changed in the past century. In December, the college will announce the recipient of the Imagine the Possibilities 100 Year Anniversary scholarship.

The 8-minute movie "Hope Care Cures" and additional information about the 100th anniversary of the Colorado State veterinary college are available at