One hundred three to receive Auburn veterinary medical degrees at May 6 commencement ceremony

AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Eighty-eight professional students from Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine will be awarded degrees during the college’s 107th commencement on Tuesday, May 6. The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the Auburn Arena.

In addition, 12 Master of Science in Biomedical Science, thesis and non-thesis, will be conferred and three professionals will be awarded the Doctor of Philosophy in Biomedical Science.

The 88-member class includes 35 students from Alabama; 39 students from Kentucky and two from West Virginia under a cooperating agreement with each state through the Southern Regional Education Board. The remaining 12 at-large students hail from as far away as North Carolina, New York, Florida, Virginia, Arizona, Wyoming, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

The class is comprised of 71 women and 17 men. During the ceremony, eight students will have their parent or grandparent who is a veterinarian complete their hooding.

The commencement address will be given by Timothy Boosinger, Auburn University provost and former dean of Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

William Bledsoe, president of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, will administer the Veterinarian’s Oath.

Three alumni of the college who have distinguished themselves professionally will be recognized as the 2014 Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni. They are Betsy Sigmon, owner and director of a private practice companion animal hospital in Cary, North Carolina; Doug Mekes, branch chief of the Food, Agriculture and Veterinary Defense Branch of the Office of Health Affairs with the Department of Homeland Security; and Bill Brawner, professor of radiology at Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

The award is the highest honor given to an alumnus of the college and is named to honor the late Wilford S. Bailey, who held a 50-year continuous faculty appointment at Auburn, serving in positions ranging from instructor to university president.

A 1942 graduate of the college, Bailey was the first recipient of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Following his death in 2000, it was named in his memory. The Wilford and Kate Bailey Small Animal Teaching Hospital was dedicated in April.

To date, the College of Veterinary Medicine has awarded 6,428 degrees and 373 master’s degrees, 26 master’s-non-thesis, and 143 Ph.D. degrees.

Prior to graduation, professional students have spent the final eight weeks of their path to the four-year medical degree completing preceptorships which are medical apprenticeships in diverse settings. Preceptorship sites include small animal practices, specialty equine practices, military veterinary facilities and bovine ambulatory programs.

(Written by Janet McCoy.)

Contact: Dan Givens, College of Veterinary Medicine, (334) 844-2685; or Janet McCoy, College of Veterinary Medicine, (334) 844-3698 (