History of the School

The Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine was organized in 1944 as the result of the efforts of two men: Frederick D. Patterson (ISU '23), who was president of Tuskegee Institute and Dr. E.B. Evans (ISU '18), the first dean of the veterinary school. There was at that time, only one veterinary school in the southeast, thus the Tuskegee school was to provide professional training to students who would not have an opportunity to secure such training in the region.

The school was founded in 1945, becoming the eleventh veterinary school existing in the United States un were secured for the physical plant from the General Educational Board and the National Foundation for Paralysis, Inc. In 1945, although the school had no classroom space of its own, a class of 13 students and an initial faculty of seven, made its debut. The faculty, all of which possessed a DVM degree, had little teaching experience, yet a sincere desire to instruct young minds. In 1946, Dr. T.S. Williams became the second dean of the veterinary school.

During the 1948-49 academic year, the physical facilities were nearly complete. A formal request was made to the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association for inspection of the school. In an inspection tour lasting several days by a committee of the Council, the school was subjected to a searching, scrutiny of facilities and determination of the qualification and competency of its faculty. In May of 1949, probationary accreditation was granted and since then it has become fully accredited. In that year, five individuals, including the first Black female, were awarded the DVM degree at the annual spring commencement ceremony.

The current dean, Dr. W.C. Bowie, took office in 1973.Today the school has seven well equipped buildings, including two recently constructed buildings, one a modern, five story administration and classroom building and the second, a large animal care center. All other buildings have been recently renovated and are well equipped. The entering class now numbers 60 students, and there are 47 faculty members, all of whom have earned the Ph.D., the DVM, or both. Faculty members are specialized in particular fields; and several have become board certified. Students now receive specialized training as interns, and many go on to residencies or graduate training in their field of interest. The school has graduated approximately 75% of the nation's black veterinarians and approximately 92% of the veterinarians from other countries who have studied in the United States for the Professional degree.

The school has a diversified student body, characterized by its wide geographic distribution, its racially heterogeneous composition and an even ratio of women to men. The current student body comes from 29 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and 13 foreign countries.

Veterinary Medicine has had a long serviceable history at Tuskegee. Professional veterinary education at Tuskegee, from its first hesitant steps in 1945 to its strong and purposeful strides today, is the story o t e visions and efforts of those who deposited all their knowledge acquired at Tuskegee toward the animal and community welfare. Today their service and accomplishments are seen throughout the world.