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Vet Med partnership with UNC Pembroke to strengthen industry workforce, diversity

July 31, 2017

Contact: Anissa Riley (, Director of External Affairs,
Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine, 334-724-4509

Perry and Cummings hold partnership t-shirt
Tuskegee Dean of Veterinary Medicine Ruby Perry and UNCP Chancellor Robin Cummings
mark the formal agreement between their respective institutions.

A new partnership between Tuskegee University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of North Carolina Pembroke will launch a pathway program for UNCP graduates to pursue veterinary medicine degrees at Tuskegee University.

A signed memorandum of understanding now formalizes a long-standing relationship between the two institutions, which promises to continue strengthening the nation’s veterinary workforce while increasing racial diversity within the industry — especially the prevalence of Native American veterinarians.

“We are excited to be involved in the mission of UNC Pembroke, which is rooted in a history of successfully educating underrepresented minorities to make significant contributions in professional and leadership roles in society, while continuing to advance the rich legacy of the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine,” said Dr. Ruby Perry, dean of Tuskegee’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

The program is available to all UNCP students, but the agreement places preference on recruiting and admitting qualified minority students, especially UNCP’s Native American students. According to the UNCP website, 15 percent of its student enrollment is Native American.

Perry, along with Brandon Morgan, director of Tuskegee’s Office of Veterinary Admissions and Recruitment, where on hand for the MOU-signing ceremony. Administrators and faculty representing UNCP included its chancellor, Dr. Robin Cummings, and College of Arts and Sciences dean, Dr. Jeff Frederick. Through the partnership, Morgan and Dr. Velinda Woriax, advisor of UNCP’s pre-vet club, will work together to coordinate recruitment activities, as well as oversee the advising and admission’s process for talented UNCP undergraduate students to pursue careers in veterinary medicine. 

“The history between Tuskegee University and the Lumbee Tribe is monumental,” Perry said. “In fact, Tuskegee’s own Dr. Ellis Hall, who is the first African-American board certified veterinary radiologist, was bestowed the honor as the ‘Father of the Lumbee Veterinarians’ because he helped the first two students from the Lumbee Tribe receive their DVM degrees several decades ago.”

In 1887, the state established the Croatan Normal Indian School, which is today the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. The 55,000 members of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina reside primarily in Robeson, Hoke, Cumberland and Scotland counties — with Pembroke serving as the tribe’s economic, cultural and political center.

© 2017 Tuskegee University