KSU alumni honored

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Dr. Otte
Dr. Vern Otte
Dr. La Rue
Dr. Billy Joe La Rue

Dr. Vern Otte and the late Dr. Billy Joe La Rue were selected by the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Alumni Association to receive the 2015 Alumni Recognition Award.

The awards were given during the annual Central Veterinary Conference Aug. 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Brian La Rue accepted the honor on behalf of his deceased father. Awardees are chosen for being exemplary role models for future KSU CVM alumni in their professional careers and community setting.

Dr. Otte of Leawood, Kansas, received his DVM degree in 1975. He is a practitioner, is a former practice owner, and for eight years was a trail veterinarian for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Dr. Otte spent 36 years as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. When he retired from the USAR in 2003, he was serving as reserve chief of the Veterinary Corps Mobilization and Reserve.

Dr. Otte has been an active member of the AVMA, serving on its Political Action Committee Board for eight years, including one year as chair. He has been a delegate or alternate delegate from Kansas in the AVMA House of Delegates from 2000 to the present and is a member of the AVMA Legislative Advisory Committee.

Dr. La Rue of Chanute, Kansas, received his DVM degree in 1956. While at KSU, Dr. La Rue was a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps and was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps.

In 1958, Dr. La Rue returned to Chanute, where he and classmate Dr. Don McReynolds opened Animal Medical Center. They practiced there until Dr. La Rue’s death March 8, 2015. The Kansas Senate issued a proclamation in 2014 honoring them for the longest continuous veterinary partnership in Kansas’ history.