In April, the college hosted its inaugural Evening of Gratitude event, which provided a special opportunity for the college to express appreciation to those who have generously supported students through scholarship funding.

Educational debt for students looking to enter the field of veterinary medicine is a concern for veterinary colleges across the nation. In 2017, 75 percent of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) students borrowed an average of more than $135,000 over the course of four years. By providing scholarships to these students, donors are alleviating these financial burdens and the steep debt-to-income ratio that the students face upon graduation.

During the event, more than 20 generous donors were introduced to the college’s scholarship recipients. These students come from a multitude of backgrounds and are focusing their studies in a variety of areas. This gave the donors a firsthand look at what it means to be a veterinary student, as well as how beneficial financial aid is in allowing them to continue their education.

First-time donor Michael Stanton spoke regarding the importance of his decision to provide the veterinary college’s first-ever full tuition scholarship. “This is not about us, it’s really about you and what you are doing. It’s about all the healing that you keep giving back to the animals and their families.”

Grateful for their beloved dog Mariah’s successful oncology treatment by Andrew Mercurio of Virginia Veterinary Centers and having witnessed how the impact of veterinarians’ work extends not only to patients but also to their families, Michael and Jennifer Stanton made the decision to establish a scholarship for a veterinary student.

Catherine Cowan (DVM ’18), the college’s Outstanding Graduating Student and the recipient of several scholarships, stated, “Your scholarship support and donations to the college help us students make the sacrifices necessary to pursue veterinary medical education and to give back, not only to the animals that we care for, but to their people as well.”

Jacquelyn Pelzer (DVM ’97), director of admissions and student services, thanked the donors for their continued support, saying, “I hope that by meeting the students personally that you will hear their stories and understand that every dollar someone gives has such a positive impact on the future of the profession.”