Bartlett Scholars Program established at Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine

Published: August 04, 2016
Updated: August 08, 2016
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An estate gift from Dr. H. B. "Woody" Bartlett '64 will establish the Bartlett Scholars Program at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, providing scholarships for deserving veterinary professional and graduate students.

The Haywood Bellingrath Bartlett Educational Endowment will support in perpetuity the Bartlett Scholars Program to recruit and educate students with a demonstrated interest in large animal medicine, surgery and theriogenology. The endowment will be established at $10 million and will be expanded by up to fourfold as other components of the estate are settled.

"Auburn did a lot for me as far as helping me get ready for the type of career I wanted to have," Dr. Bartlett said. "And, I know there are a lot of young people coming along in the future who will want to do the kinds of things I've done with cattle and horses.

"I hope the scholarship fund will give them a chance to focus on their studies and prepare themselves to do their best as veterinarians."

Deserving, highly motivated large-animal oriented students, both veterinary students as well as residents, will be provided scholarship support based on financial need and academic merit.

The first round of scholarships is expected to be awarded to three first-year students: two non-resident students and one Alabama student. The program will grow by three new scholarships each year, to total 12 academic scholarships in just four years. When fully implemented, up to 48 scholarships will be awarded each year. Full scholarships will be awarded to residents of Alabama or students enrolled from partner states, such as Kentucky, under the Southern Region Education Board contract, which serves to assist nonresident students from participating states where no public veterinary schools exist. Other nonresident students would receive scholarships for the differential between nonresident and in-state tuition for enrollment.

"Dr. Bartlett has created an opportunity for the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine to emerge as the nation's leader in educating outstanding large animal clinicians and specialists who have a strong interest in the field but may lack the financial means to support their own education," Dean Calvin Johnson said. "Dr. Bartlett's transformational gift will directly address student debt load and place them in a financial position to succeed as practitioners in underserved rural regions of the country."

"Obtaining a degree in veterinary medicine is a challenging and costly endeavor, particularly for students from rural or agricultural backgrounds, and costs continue to rise," said Dan Givens, associate dean for academic affairs at the college. "The Bartlett Scholars program will increase the number of merit-based scholarships awarded to our veterinary students and perpetuate Auburn's reputation as a veterinary program that is accessible to the most talented students from a national pool."

Scholarships will be awarded to first-year students and then re-awarded annually based on academic performance for the remainder of the student's four years. A similar structure will be applied to residents pursuing specialty training in large animal disciplines.

Bartlett owns Bartlett Ranch, comprised of three properties located in Alabama, Texas and Wyoming, totaling nearly 90,000 acres. His original Flying "B" Ranch in Pike Road, just outside Montgomery, was established in 1954 and remains the headquarters of his tri-state operation.

His commitment to Auburn and the veterinary medicine profession is evident: the Bartlett Lameness Arena on the college's campus, as well as the Elmore Bellingrath Bartlett Raptor Hospital, honoring the memory of his mother, reflect Bartlett's dedication to the college, to veterinary education, and to his family's Alabama heritage. Bartlett is a diamond-level member of the college's Centennial Club and a 2012 recipient of the college's Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor the college bestows on an alumnus.

For more than 20 years, veterinary students have learned from Bartlett about equine medicine and surgery through field experiences on his ranch.

Auburn University began offering veterinary medicine programs in 1892, making the college the South's oldest—and the nation's seventh oldest—veterinary medicine program. Currently, 480 students are enrolled in the professional doctor of veterinary medicine program, as well as more than 75 graduate students in a variety of disciplines. The mission of the college is to prepare individuals for careers of excellence in veterinary medicine, including private and public practice, industrial medicine, academics and research. The college's more than 6,600 alumni live in all 50 states and across the world. For more information about the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, go to http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/.

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