Auburn veterinary college awarding 119 DVM degrees, honoring four Bailey Distinguished Alumni at May 9 commencement ceremony

Published: May 04, 2017
Updated: June 22, 2017
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Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will award 119 doctor of veterinary medicine degrees and honor four Bailey Distinguished Alumni during its 110th commencement Tuesday, May 9, at 6 p.m. in Auburn Arena.

The class includes 40 students from Alabama and 36 students from the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The remaining 43 at-large students hail from 17 states and one country. In addition, 11 Master of Science degrees in biomedical science, thesis and non-thesis, will be conferred and four candidates will be awarded the Doctor of Philosophy in biomedical science. To date, the College of Veterinary Medicine has awarded 6,656 degrees.

The commencement address will be given by 1982 graduate Dr. Roberta Relford of Argyle, Texas, a leader in corporate veterinary medical diagnostics. She is internationally recognized as a subject-matter expert in diagnostic testing in basic science as well as clinical medicine. She is vice president and chief medical officer at IDEXX Laboratories, a company that focuses on helping veterinarians improve animal healthcare worldwide.

Dr. Harold Pate, president of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, will administer the Veterinarian’s Oath, and representing the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association will be Dr. Walter Haines, the organization’s president.

Four alumni who have distinguished themselves professionally will be recognized as the 2017 Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni. They are: Drs. Relford, of Argyle, Texas; Dale R. Eckert, of Versailles, Kentucky; W. David Goolsby, Spartanburg, South Carolina; and Dr. Stephen U. Walkley, South Salem, New York.

Biographical information about the honorees is available on the College of Veterinary Medicine website.

The award is the highest honor given to an alumnus of the College of Veterinary Medicine and is named to honor the late Wilford S. Bailey, who held a 50-year continuous faculty appointment at Auburn, serving in positions ranging from instructor to university president. A 1942 graduate of the college, Bailey was the first recipient of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award. Following his death in 2000, it was named in Dr. Bailey’s memory. The Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital opened in 2014.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.