Anissa L. Riley, College of Veterinary Medicine
Tuskegee University’s College of Veterinary Medicine commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 4, will feature 1976 alumnus Harold Davis, DVM, Ph.D. as its keynote speaker. The ceremony, which will begin at 10 a.m. in the University Chapel, will include the conferring of the doctor of veterinary medicine degree on 49 graduates and administration of the Veterinarian’s Oath.
Davis, an experienced veterinary pathologist and leader in the veterinary medicine industry, graduated from Tuskegee with a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, followed by a doctorate in pathology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“We are honored to have Dr. Davis as our commencement speaker this year. His service to the profession and his contributions to science have made him a recognized leader nationally and internationally,” said Dr. Ruby L. Perry, dean of the college. “He has also been very supportive of his alma mater through the years both philanthropically and by giving generously of his time, for which we are very appreciative.”
Early in his career, and as part of his service in the U.S. Air Force, Davis became the chief of ultrastructural pathology for the Casualty Care Research Support Program Center at the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Later, he served as chief of comparative pathology at Brooks Air Force Base’s School of Aerospace Medicine in Texas.
Following his retirement as a lieutenant colonel, Davis began working in the private sector as the manager of the Experimental Pathology Department at American Cyanamid in Pearl River, New York. Eventually, his career there would include increased responsibilities as director of pathology, and later, director of all toxicology.
In 1995, Davis joined the staff of Amgen, Inc. in Thousand Oaks, California, as its director of toxicology and regulatory pathology. He later served as the company’s vice president of preclinical safety assessment before retiring in January 1995. At one time during his service at Amgen, he supervised approximately 270 scientists working in the areas of toxicology, pathology, pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism and laboratory animal resources and on projects involving the discovery and development of novel proteins and small molecules.
Davis has been a member of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists since 1983 and served as its president in 2003 — marking the first and only time an African-American has served in the position. He also served the college as a proctor for and member of the exam committee, and as a counselor and president-elect. Davis also has served on several national advisory boards, including the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Advisory Board, the FDA Science Advisory Board, the National Center for Toxicology Research Advisory Board and the National Toxicology Program Advisory Board. In 2018, he was selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Atlanta.
For the third year, the College of Veterinary Medicine will have a separate graduation ceremony, which allows the college’s graduates to be conferred with their doctor of veterinary medicine degrees, hooded and accept the Veterinarian’s Oath at a single event.
“We are excited about another graduation ceremony and the continued support of this venue by the university’s administration again this year,” Perry said. “This year’s class represents another group of career-ready veterinarians, as well as a historic milestone for our college, which is the only DVM-granting program located at a historically black college or university, and the most diverse veterinary medicine program in the nation.”
The Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, accredited by the American Veterinary Medicine Association Council on Education, has educated more than 70 percent of the nation’s African-American veterinarians. It has also been recognized as the most diverse of all 30 schools/colleges of veterinary medicine in the U.S. For more information about the college, visit www.tuskegee.edu/vetmed.
The veterinary medicine commencement ceremony marks the start of graduation-related events continuing through Saturday, May 11, when the university will hold its 134th Spring Commencement Exercises. The ceremony — featuring speaker Loretta Lynch, the nation’s 83rd U.S. attorney general — will begin at 10 a.m. in the university’s Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Arena. For more information on commencement events, visit www.tuskegee.edu/commencement.
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