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Monday, March 14, 2016

AAVMC Gala Punctuates 50th Anniversary Celebration in Washington D.C.


Washington, D.C., March 14, 2016  – The AAVMC’s 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration was a splendid evening of celebration, entertainment and fellowship. Over 300 guests, including friends from the veterinary medical community, business and government gathered for this milestone event.

A dozen colorful flags representing AAVMC’s international member institutions framed a stage that featured tributes from more than a dozen dignitaries throughout the evening.

The dinner began and ended with the introduction of two new AAVMC videos. “We are the AAVMC!” is a fast-moving two-minute graphical piece that describes the organization’s direction and values. “Let’s Hear From a Few of our Friends” features comments from past and present AAVMC leaders on the value of the organization, it’s achievements and future directions.

Guests were entertained by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten. He regaled the audience with an account of his experiences with his new kitten (“pound for pound, the most ruthlessly efficient destructive force the earth has ever known”) and beseeched the professors and scientists in the crowd to more fittingly rename the external occipital protuberance on dogs the “knuckle-head.”

AVMA President Dr. Joseph Kinnarney and SAVMA President Dr. Matt Holland represented the U.S. organized veterinary medical community. AAVMC President-Elect and Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan Dean Dr. Douglas Freeman represented Canadian Veterinary Medical Association President Dr. Nicolle Gallant.

President Dr. Rene Carlson represented the World Veterinary Association, and Royal Veterinary College at the University of London Head Dr. Stuart Reid offered comments on behalf of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and represented Dr. Ana M. Bravo del Moral, president of the European Association of Establishments for Veterinary Education.

Dr. Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), presented congratulations on behalf of the higher education community. AAVMC 50th Anniversary Celebration Platinum level corporate sponsors Zoetis and Merial, were represented by Dr. Christine Jenkins, and Ms. Vanessa Mariani, respectively.

Early leaders of the AAVMC, including Dr. John Welser of Naples Florida; Dr. Lester Crawford, of Georgetown, South Carolina; and Dr. Billy Hooper of Lafayette, Indiana, were honored for their leadership.

The inaugural “AAVMC President’s Award for Meritorious Service” was presented to Senator Al Franken (D-Minn) for the leadership role he has played in advancing One Health on Capitol Hill.  In presenting the award, AAVMC Past President Dr. Trevor Ames announced that Senator Franken had introduced the national “One Health Act of 2016” in the Senate on the day before, Friday, March 4.

AAVMC President Dr. Eleanor Green then announced the establishment of the Council for International Veterinary Medical Education (CIVME), a group designed to help inspire higher quality academic veterinary medicine in developing areas of the world. She discussed important new initiatives in One Health, and how that framework was a logical approach to expanding the organization’s international initiatives.

Dr. Green concluded her remarks by announcing that the AAVMC would join several other academic associations in the health professions by moving into the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) building at 655 K Street in Washington, D.C. in August 2016. Referring to the complex as an “incubator for collaboration in the health professions,” she predicted that the AAVMC’s move would substantially foster the One Health movement.

Prior to reconvening for a Gala “After-Party” in another area of the historic Omni Shoreham Hotel, guests were led in a 50th anniversary toast by AAVMC President-Elect Dr. Freeman.

Support for the AAVMC’s 50th Anniversary Celebration was provided by ten corporations. Platinum sponsors included Zoetis and Merial. Gold sponsored included Merck Animal Health, Royal Canin, Banfield Pet Hospital, and Hill’s.  Silver sponsors included the American Veterinary Medical Association, Nationwide, AVMA/PLIT, and Boehringer Ingelheim.

The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) is a nonprofit membership organization working to protect and improve the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment around the world by advancing academic veterinary medicine. Members include 49 accredited veterinary medical colleges in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.

See the 50th anniversary celebration news page.

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AAVMC MEDIA CONTACTS:                                                                                             
Jeff Douglas or Jeanne Johnson                                                                                       
Phone:  202/371-9195, x144