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TRACKS Magazine Summer 2024

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In this Issue

Message from the Dean

M. Daniel Givens, in a suit and tie outside the veterinary college

As the 2023-24 academic year flows into summer, we send out energetic graduates from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine who have earned degrees in public health, biomedical sciences, and veterinary medicine. These alumni go into surrounding communities, neighboring states, across the nation, and around the world to improve health ¾ advancing the ideals of One Health, the dynamic interdependence of human, animal, and environmental health. 

We celebrate the retirement of several faculty, staff, and administrators who have served the college for many years, including Terry Swecker, retiring director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital. We welcome new leaders into the college and congratulate those stepping into different roles. The college’s leadership team is focused on updating and actualizing our strategic vision to ensure our college’s long-term success.  Because of these efforts and the dedication of our college’s faculty, staff, and students, I am confident that we will continue to achieve a growing success.

In the college, we are privileged to constantly welcome those upon whom the future is being built.  Occasionally, we take the opportunity to look back at the great impact of those who previously came through the halls of this college before shaping the precedents that define our current profession.  In that light, the first DVM students graduating from the VMCVM in 1984 will be returning for their 40th reunion this year. We are proud of their accomplishments and share a few of their stories in this issue.

The college has achieved important milestones this year, such as the opening of the Jane and Stephen Hale Equine Performance Evaluation Center. This 20,000-square-foot indoor arena with three different surfaces supports the patients, clients, and clinicians of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in facilitating better diagnoses of injuries and lameness in horses. 

We value and appreciate faculty in our hospitals and throughout the college who teach and inspire future veterinarians. Bobbi Conner, featured in this issue, mentors students in emergency and critical care, guiding them to becoming problem-solving veterinarians ready to care for animals and people. 

Finally, we aspire to move forward as soon as possible with the expansion and renovation of the teaching hospital here in Blacksburg. We sincerely appreciate everyone who supports this college, and we hope you enjoy this issue of Tracks.

Dan Givens, Dean


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News around the college

Making a Veterinarian

Student Experience

Class of 1984



Perfecting Performance

In the Hospitals

Editor Andrew Mann | Art Director Margie Christianson |  Writers Kevin Myatt, Sarah Boudreau, Sharon Peart, Andrew Mann | Photographers Andrew Mann, Madison Brown, Sharon Peart, Margie Christianson | Web Editor Amy Winemiller

TRACKS Magazine is produced by the Office of Advancement in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Send comments and story ideas to