One of the most troublesome issues facing veterinarians today is student debt. In the U.S. alone, the debt-to-income ratio for veterinary medicine stands at a perilous 2:1—the highest of the health care professions. At Virginia Tech in 2018, doctor of veterinary medicine students borrowed an average of more than $143,000 over four years.

At the core of the veterinary college’s efforts to ease students’ financial burden—and the steep debt-to-income ratio they face upon graduation—donors responded enthusiastically to Virginia Tech’s second annual Giving Day in mid-March. This dynamic 24-hour giving campaign brought to light a genuine, generous community committed to supporting the veterinary college and its students.

In keeping with the spirit of the day, the executive board of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association pledged to give $1,600 after the first 50 gifts had been made. Similarly, longtime clients Linda Dorsey and Jim Satterwhite pledged to match every dollar up to $5,000 given to the college’s Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia. In quick order, other supporters responded, and both challenges were fully met.

In the end, nearly 100 donors gave $32,220 to fund scholarships and enhance the college’s academic programs, facilities, and equipment. As always, the support of donors is critical to the college’s efforts to sustain excellence with each passing year.