Veterinary college celebrates 50 years at U of S

More than 400 graduates, faculty, staff and students will gather in Saskatoon this weekend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) at the University of Saskatchewan.

Western Canada's first college of veterinary medicine opened in September 1965 with 33 students in its first class and now has more than 450 undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled. The college has close to 3,000 alumni who live and work in Canada and around the world.

The college's willingness to embrace new developments and changes in the profession over the past five decades has made the WCVM a leader in veterinary education, research and clinical expertise, said WCVM Dean Douglas Freeman.

"Our college was built on a unique partnership that was forged between the four western provinces 50 years ago. This homecoming represents the continuing strength of this longstanding partnership that has led to so many successes," said Freeman.

Homecoming events, which run from June 11 to 14, include college tours, class reunions, a Saturday evening gala and a continuing education conference. Among the featured speakers are some of the college's graduates, who have developed distinguished careers in their fields.

"Our alumni have made significant contributions to the veterinary profession, to animal health, and to society at local, national and international levels. They truly are the best representatives of what our college has accomplished in the past 50 years," said Freeman.

For Sarah Boston, the conference's keynote speaker, the WCVM was an ideal place to begin her career. A veterinary oncologist and published author, Boston is now an associate professor of surgical oncology at the University of Florida.

"WCVM was a wonderful place to train, and, even after working at four other veterinary schools, I still think that the WCVM produces some of the best veterinarians. For me, the WCVM gave me a very strong foundation upon which to build my career and I will always be thankful for that," she said.

"Even though I have not lived in Saskatoon since I graduated in 1996, it still feels like home. No matter where my career takes me, I will always be a prairie girl at heart."

The WCVM facilities include a provincial diagnostic laboratory, large-scale research facilities and a 24-hour veterinary medical centre that serves Western Canada.


For more information, contact:
Myrna MacDonald
Communications Officer
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan

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