$39M given to The Ohio State veterinary college

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A former CBS executive’s foundation has donated $39 million to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Ohio State President Michael V. Drake said in a late September announcement that the gift from the foundation of the late Frank Stanton, PhD, would be “transformational.”

“It is an investment in the future of veterinary medical education at Ohio State that will continue in perpetuity through veterinary students and faculty who will provide skillful and compassionate medical care for generations,” he said.

Dr. Stanton, who died in 2006, earned a master’s degree at Ohio State in 1932, a doctorate in psychology in 1935, and an honorary doctorate in 1949, and he was president of the CBS television network from 1946-1971.

Veterinary students at The Ohio State University wear shirts expressing gratitude for the $39 million gift from Frank Stanton, PhD, and his foundation to the veterinary college. (Photos courtesy of The Ohio State University CVM)

Dr. Rustin M. Moore, dean of the veterinary college, said in an interview that the program would build on the college’s strong foundation, better preparing students for veterinary practice in general and canine medicine in particular. It is intended to be a permanent resource for helping students develop clinical, technical, and professional skills and competencies. He said the university needs to introduce these skills earlier in students’ curriculum.

In a letter sent to faculty, students, and staff, Dr. Moore wrote that the gift was being used to establish the Building Preeminence in Veterinary General Practice Education program, which will bolster academic infrastructure, strengthen core clinical and professional competencies, expand experiential learning, and build an innovative laboratory.

Through that program, $19 million will fund the Frank Stanton Endowed Chair in General Practice and Canine Health and Wellness, in which Dr. Lawrence N. Hill has been installed; seven other faculty positions; 12 staff positions; design and construction of a clinical and professional skills lab; and purchase of a mobile veterinary clinic. After five years, university officials plan to use $20 million to endow the preeminence program.

Liz Allison, PhD, Stanton Foundation co-director, pets one of the Cardigan Welsh Corgis brought to the gift announcement in honor of Dr. Stanton, who was a dog lover and Corgi owner.

Dr. Moore said the plans include expanding the clinical care outreach programs for homebound and homeless pet owners. That outreach gives students experience working with clients and patients beyond those who come to university hospitals, shows them medical care options for owners who have financial difficulties, and encourages work that benefits communities.

The new 8,500-square-foot laboratory will include high-fidelity simulation models and communication training scenarios using trained actors.

Some of the curriculum will change, he said, and how it will change will be considered over the next year or so.

Shantay Piazza, communications director for the college, said the program will expand practice experience at private clinics, a benefit expected to help all students improve their education, regardless of career path. It also will offer problem-solving–based learning, provide externships, give students more experience in specific aspects of clinical practice such as shelter medicine and dentistry, and boost student confidence, among other benefits.

The Stanton Foundation’s gift is among more than $3 billion raised for the “But for Ohio State” fundraising campaign since 2009. The campaign ended this September.