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Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine hosts virtual 56th symposium and celebrates largest reunion classes donations

April 26, 2022

TU College of Veterinary Medicine
TU College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1972
TU College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1997
TU College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 1997


Contact: Anissa Riley, Director of External Affairs, College of Veterinary Medicine

The Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM) welcomed alumni, students, faculty, staff, pre-veterinary students, friends and supporters to its 56th Annual Veterinary Medical Symposium held in a virtual platform on March 23-25, 2022. This year’s symposium marked the third year in which TUCVM pivoted from a traditional veterinary symposium to a virtual platform because of the pandemic.

This year’s symposium theme was “Veterinary Medicine Preparing for a Post Pandemic World: New Norms, Mental Health and Innovation.” It was timely and underscores the commitment the university, college and TUCVM’s partners have to navigating the new normal and engaging all stakeholders to work together to have the best practices necessary for sustaining TUCVM’s legacy of preparing students to be career-ready veterinary medical professionals.

Although the college had hoped the circumstances would have allowed for an in-person traditional gathering this year, for the safety of all participants, it was decided to be held virtually once again. The symposium was RACE® approved where participants had the opportunity to fully engage in various sessions from either pre-recorded or real-time presentations and earn up to 20 continuing education units of credit.

A combination of a professional conference and alumni reunion was experienced virtually by participants from hearing featured speakers on large and small animal research, uniform services, public health, lab animal medicine, human-animal bond and pathology topics as well as presentations from the perspectives of interns. Networking opportunities and chances to interact with symposium sponsors and exhibitors were also provided. This year’s format also included sessions for pre-veterinary students organized by the college’s Office of Veterinary Admissions and Recruitment.

The opening general session keynote speaker, Barney S. Graham, MD, Ph.D., gave an exciting and dynamic presentation befitting with this year’s theme. He spoke on "Rapid COVID-19 Vaccine Development and the Future of Vaccinology" on March 24. Dr. Graham is a world renowned immunologist and former Deputy Director of the NIAID Vaccine Research Center, NIH.

Another outstanding keynote speaker presentation was from alumnus Dr. Eric Coleman, a two-time graduate of Tuskegee University earning his B.S. in Biology in 1986 and his DVM in 1991. Dr. Coleman was the T.S. Williams Speaker and his presentation exemplified the legacy of the late Dr. T. S. Williams, Dean Emeritus of the College. Dr. Coleman is a 2022 White House Leadership Development Program Fellow, and in his current position, he collaborates globally to bolster national security, advance foreign policy objectives, and strengthen emergency response preparedness.

“I want to acknowledge a special appreciation to our industry partners, faithful sponsors, community supporters and friends of our college and university that contributed to us having another well-planned and exceptional 2022 Veterinary Medical Symposium with outstanding speakers,” said Dr. Ruby L. Perry, dean of the college.

The culmination event, the annual alumni banquet, was also celebrated in a virtual format in which each of the reunion classes were recognized as their class video presentation was shared for all to view and enjoy. The reunion classes honored this year for the 56th Annual Veterinary Medical Symposium included: 1952, 1957, 1962, 1967, 1972 (50th year - golden class), 1977, 1982, 1987, 1992, 1997 (25th year - silver class), 2002, 2007, 2012, and 2017.

“The annual veterinary medical symposium is our largest fundraiser event. Our Reunion Classes did a phenomenal job with giving back. We raised a total of $263,269.00 with more coming. Being an alumna, I am especially grateful to my reunion Class of 1977 for the $122,022 donation given during this year’s symposium, which was the largest amount in our history for an individual reunion class donation. I often boast about the strength of our alumni and how engaged they are in the success of our college in not only making philanthropic contributions but also serving as mentors and advocates to our veterinary students and educators with our faculty. Our alumni are one of the major pillars of our college in which I am grateful!” Dr. Perry said.

TUCVM is looking forward to holding the 57th Annual Veterinary Symposium hopefully in person on March 22-25, 2023, where we will be honoring the next reunion classes of 1953, 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973 (50th year - golden class), 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998 (25th year - silver class), 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2018. The college is challenging next year’s 3’s and 8’s reunion classes to beat this year’s donation amount to help sustain the legacy of TUCVM!

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