Harrogate â Lincoln Memorial University President E. Clayton Hess awarded diplomas to the 120 members of the 2021 class of LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine during the early spring exercises at Tex Turner Arena on Saturday, May 22.
Dr Kemba Marshall, Director of Veterinary Services at the Land O ‘Lakes Purina Animal Nutrition Center, delivered the opening speech. During her speech, she encouraged the students to focus on the state of mind, matter and moments.
“Your state of mind will determine what your career in veterinary medicine will be,” Marshall said. âEach of you has decided to become a veterinarian. Storms came and obstacles came, causing fear and doubt. What you said to yourself was, ‘My decision is made. I will graduate no matter what. And just like that there you are. You graduated from veterinary school today!
Marshall reminded the students that they now represent everyone who has ever taken the veterinary oath.
âVeterinarians are still one of the most trusted professions in the United States. Why is that? Because of our compassion, concern and consideration for the animals we care for and the public we serve. Marshall said. “Why is this important? This is important because today you are joining me in the ranks of the veterinary profession. You will be the only vet that many people will ever meet. Your actions will illustrate what veterinary medicine will look like.
Closing his speech, Marshall told the graduates it was the first day of their careers, reminded them that they are confident and competent, and encouraged them to become great.
A number of special prizes were awarded. The Distinguished Service Medal was awarded to Dr. Randy Evans for his long-standing dedication to serving LMU and the surrounding community. Dean Stacy Anderson also honored VCA Veterinary Hospitals with the Distinguished Clinical Affiliate Award in recognition of the vital role the Clinical Partner has played in preparing LMU-CVM graduates to become career-ready veterinarians. Dr Anthony Guerino, Regional Medical Director of VCA, accepted the award on their behalf.
Under the Dean’s responsibility to the graduates, Anderson reminded the students of the start of their journey the moment they first set foot on campus.
âIf you remember the summer of 2017, you move to Harrogate. You were probably impressed by the beauty of the scenery and the campus – I still am to this day – and discovered all the amazing outdoor activities you could do in your spare time, âsaid Anderson. âYou didn’t know free time would be a thing of the past! “
Anderson reminded the students of the hard work they had put in since starting their trip and the feeling they had felt when they first received their white coats. Anderson pointed out that each semester presented its own unique challenges that built the resilience needed at the end of their senior year.
“Then the world stopped screaming on March 13, 2020, as a pandemic raged and changed our world,” Anderson said. âYou virtually completed your preclinical program and even took a virtual OSCE! Then, you entered the clinical year where you again performed virtual internships. Despite all of this, your class performed very well. I have every confidence that you are now ready to enter the veterinary profession.
During the call for speakers, the 2021 class was called by name and graduation ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, Dr. Julie Hunt, Associate Dean of Clinical Sciences, led the new Veterinary Doctors in The Veterinary Oath.
Each year, LMU-CVM commissions selected candidates from the US Army Veterinary Corps. Dr. Bess Pierce, associate dean of student affairs and admissions, headed the commissioning department. Kylie Smith and Mary Helen Wilson were both commissioned into the US Army Veterinary Corps. Victoria Orlando was recognized for her service in the United States National Guard, which included two deployments while a student at LMU-CVM.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in liberal arts and professional studies. The LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine is located on LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, with additional university facilities in neighboring Lee County, Virginia.