The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and its alumni association presented the Dr. Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award to four alumni and a Special Service Award on Sept. 13 during the annual Fall Conference for Veterinarians.
Dr. William L. Augustine (IL ’75), retired owner of Malta Veterinary Hospital in Malta, Ill., was recognized for his service to veterinary students and graduates. Dr. Augustine spent 37 years operating his own clinic, where his son Paul now practices. He also served DeKalb County as animal control administrator and as a member of the board of health. Dr. Augustine has been very involved with the Northern Illinois VMA and the Illinois State VMA, for which he served as treasurer.
Dr. Robert L. Hatch (IL ’67), of Litchfield Park, Ariz., newly retired after more than 40 years of practice in Arizona, was recognized for his leadership in promoting and advancing veterinary medicine and practice. Dr. Hatch established four clinics and went on to become a leader of the Arizona Academy of Veterinary Practice, for which he was president in 1980, as well as the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board, serving as chair for eight years. Dr. Hatch also currently serves on the AVMA Group Health and Life Insurance Trust.
Dr. Jimmy B. Jones (IL ’63), from Baytown, Texas, was recognized for his innovation in developing a new drug, his extensive research, and his clinical teaching of veterinary students. His career has encompassed working with the Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service as well as private practice and research. While a professor at the University of Tennessee Memorial Research Center and Hospital, Dr. Jones developed a colony of dogs carrying the gene for cyclic neutropenia. Research with this colony was instrumental in the development of the drug Neupogen, an agent that helps stimulate neutrophil production in human cancer patients.
Dr. George E. Richards Jr. (IL ’67) of Danville, Ill., was recognized for his legislative efforts supporting passage of three versions of the Illinois Veterinary Practice Act over time and his role in other critical veterinary medical legislation. He practiced for more than 40 years at the Vermillion Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Danville and co-established four small animal practices. He is currently serving his third four-year term as the Illinois delegate to the AVMA House of Delegates.
The Champaign County Humane Society of Champaign, Ill., was selected to receive a Special Service Award for outstanding educational contributions to Illinois’ veterinary college for more than 20 years. The partnership between the entities has recently expanded under the direction of Dr. Bob Weedon, who leads clinical rotations for veterinary students at the humane society. The students perform physical examinations, basic diagnostic testing, and spay and castration surgeries under his supervision. They gain experience in basic disease prevention and parasite control and in treating commonly occurring diseases.