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Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine to host

May 1 spring commencement and oath ceremony to recognize 59 new graduates


Anissa Riley, College of Veterinary Medicine

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (April 22, 2021) – The Tuskegee University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will recognize the Class of 2021 graduates during both an in-person and virtual graduation and oath ceremony on Saturday, May 1.  The live, in-person commencement will be at 10:00 a.m. CST at the Tuskegee University Chapel and the virtual ceremony will follow at 1 p.m. CST. The spring commencement will recognize the college’s 59 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree candidates with the administration of the Veterinarian’s Oath at the end of the ceremony.

Dr. Ruby L. Perry, dean of the veterinary medicine college, will preside over the program. Dr. Roslyn Casimir, associate dean for academic affairs, and Dr. Fredrick Tippett, associate dean for student affairs, will assist during the live and virtual ceremonies.

Dr. Bonnie Barclay, Class of 1984 veterinary alumna, will be this year’s commencement speaker. Dr. Barclay has been a veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim since 2009 and offers 25 plus years of comprehensive experience in Animal Health.  Currently, she serves as a Professional Services Veterinarian covering the territories/districts of  North, Central and South Central Alabama; Atlanta and Columbus, Georgia; and Central and South Central Tennessee.

The in-person ceremony will also be live streamed at 10 a.m. and the virtual ceremony will be broadcasted on the Tuskegee University YouTube channel at 1 p.m. Both ceremonies can be viewed at the following link:  

“Although the Class of 2021 had to finish their curriculum virtually, the opportunity to allow the class the option to have an in-person ceremony was a welcomed change from the University considering the massive changes required for the past year and a half due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Some of our students will not be able to attend an in-person graduation, so the virtual option allows all of our students to be honored for accomplishing this major milestone,” Dean Perry said.

“It is truly one of the highest honors as dean of the college to preside over our graduation ceremony.  I am sure that family, friends, alumni, the university community, and other supporters will enjoy the celebration regardless of the in-person or virtual platform.  Join me via the University’s YouTube link, as we celebrate the major accomplishments of the Class of 2021 as they celebrate their big day as new doctors in the veterinary profession.

The in-person graduation ceremony at the Tuskegee University Chapel as well as the virtual ceremony will still have many of the elements of the traditional graduation and will feature presentations of the graduation speaker, the class challenge and class reflections/vision for the future, as well as the administration of the Veterinarian’s Oath.

Only a limited number of family and friends will be allowed to attend due to safety measures still being followed to allow for social distancing and to follow the university guidelines which still adhere to the CDC COVID policies to keep everyone safe.

Yearly, Dean Perry shares a personal message to the graduates. In Dr. Perry’s closing message to the Class of 2021 graduates she states, “The Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM) family, now the home of your alma mater, salutes you on your successful journey through the professional program to achieve the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, which is the culmination of your achievement. Although the COVID-19 pandemic required many of your classes to be held virtually and to complete your journey here differently, the Class of 2021 – you are commended for the resilience and finishing STRONG!”

The college’s Class of 2021 represents its 72nd class to receive DVM degrees from Tuskegee University. With this graduation, the College of Veterinary Medicine has awarded 2,909 veterinary medicine degrees.

Due to CDC COVID-19 guidelines, a reception will not follow the ceremony; however, a repast with boxed meals will be held in the University’s Chapel foyer following the live ceremony.

About the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine

Located in Alabama as one of the state’s two accredited veterinary programs, the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM) was envisioned in 1944 by Dr. Frederick D. Patterson, founder of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and officially established at Tuskegee in 1945. TUCVM is the only veterinary medical professional program located on the campus of a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the United States. The College has educated more than 70 percent of the nation’s African American veterinarians and has been recognized as the most diverse of all schools/colleges of veterinary medicine in the nation.  The College’s primary mission is to provide an environment that fosters a spirit of active, independent, and self-directed learning, intellectual curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, ethics, and leadership; and promotes teaching, research, and service in veterinary medicine and related disciplines. For more information, visit