Kimberly Topper, 2000-2001 Auxiliary president, presents a check for $24,268 to Dr. William Van Dresser (center) for the Auxiliary Student Loan Fund, administered by the AVMF. The contribution will be distributed as six new $4,000 loans. At left is Paul Amundsen, AVMF executive director.
At the 2001 AVMA Annual Convention, Brittany Baughman, a third-year veterinary student at Mississippi State University, summed up a common theme among veterinary students. "The most important problem facing veterinarians is loan repayment following veterinary school. A lot of us are in pretty big debt by the time we finish school."
The AVMF, in partnership with the Auxiliary to the AVMA, has been working to help students such as Baughman. Since 1951, more than 3,000 students have received low-interest loans totaling more than $8 million from the Auxiliary Student Loan Fund. Currently, 560 students and recent graduates have more than $3 million in active loans.
In addition, each year the AVMF provides scholarship funds to AVMA-accredited veterinary schools across the United States and Canada. In 2001, the AVMF distributed almost $50,000 in scholarship funds. Three major supporters helped make the AVMF scholarships possible. Pets.com, in its final act of generosity before it shut down, contributed $31,000; Waltham USA contributed more than $14,000; and JLT Services, the administrator of the AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust, contributed $5,000 as part of an eight-year pledge. Thanks to these companies, veterinarians, pet owners, and other donors, the AVMF is pleased to support these scholarship funds.
Although the specific distribution of the donations is at the discretion of each veterinary college, the money must be used for direct student assistance, to help support bona fide educational expenses for veterinary students recognized as needy by the schools.
To help more students, AVMF needs our help
The AVMF's ability to distribute funds to deserving students depends on the generosity of those who are dedicated to the veterinary profession. A gift to the AVMF directly supports the future of the veterinary profession.
"We hope all veterinarians will consider supporting the AVMF's Education Fund and becoming a member of one of our new recognition clubs at the $100 or $250 level," said AVMF chairman, Dr. William Van Dresser.
"Veterinarians' support will play an instrumental role in helping the veterinarians of tomorrow by making greater dollars available for loans and scholarships."
For more information or an application, go to www.avma.org. To make a donation, please call the AVMF at (800) 248-2862, ext. 600.