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Celebrating 50 Years of Animals Among Us!

The 50th anniversary celebration of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine was capped off by a fun-packed day featuring an open house, symposium, gala banquet, auction, and dance. Enjoy the photos from Saturday, April 10.

The theme for the day was “Animals Among Us.” T-shirts, note cards, and commemorative hand-fired plates bearing this artwork were available to those who attended Open House and the gala banquet. If you would like to purchase any of these items, please call 217/333-2762.

“Awesome” Open House Puts Public in Touch with Veterinary Medicine
Symposium Explores Mystical Bond, Ethical Issues
Anniversary Bash Entertains and Builds Support
Auction Results
Auction Action Continues at Fall Conference

“Awesome” Open House Puts Public in Touch with Veterinary Medicine

Open HouseVeterinary students, led by VM-3s Lisa Wardisiani and Tina Villarete, did a wonderful job of educating the public and promoting the veterinary profession at the annual Open House. In fact, an 11-year-old girl from Pinckneyville, Illinois, who hopes to be a veterinarian someday, took the time to write a thank-you letter to the students. Open House was “awesome!” she wrote, because “your students told me, taught me, and were so nice to me while I was there.”

Open House - Wildlife Medical ClinicEvery exhibit was top-notch this year, when the 50th anniversary celebrations drew the largest crowd in recent memory, including quite a few alumni. Volunteer judges had a very difficult time choosing the best exhibits. The winners were:

• Small Animal Exhibits: Wildlife, Emergency medicine, Small animal surgery anesthesia.

Open House - Cow• Large Animal Exhibits: Swine, Food animal surgery/anesthesia, Fistulated cow.

• Basic Science Exhibits: Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Oncology/C.A.R.E. Helpline (tie).

• Demonstrations: Police dog, Equine.

In honor of the 50th celebration, an art show with drawings illustrating the “Animals Among Us” theme and contributed by more than 600 area schoolchildren was displayed in the Atrium throughout Open House. Dr. Ellen Paul and Carroll Valli coordinated the show.

The students send special thanks to the organizations that provided financial support for Open House this year: Abbott Laboratories, Eastern Illinois Veterinary Medical Association, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., Iams Company, Illinois State VMA, Illinois Student Chapter of the American VMA, Mississippi Valley VMA, Ralston Purina Company, Stockton Blackhawk Veterinary Clinic, LTD, University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, UI CVM Alumni Association, Pharmacia & Upjohn Company, and Waltham Brand Partners.

Symposium Explores Mystical Bond, Ethical Issues

Col. Gary Stamp (’70) , Commander, United States Army Veterinary Corps (far right), served as moderator of the afternoon symposium held at Foellinger Auditorium. Dr. Joseph Bielitzki, chief veterinarian for NASA and a 1976 Illinois graduate (left at table), and Mr. Roger Caras, president emeritus of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (right at table), spoke on the interactions between human beings and animals. 

A panel of local experts—including (from left, next to Dr. Bielitzki) 3rd-year veterinary student Eric Bergsten, humane society board member Harriet Weatherford, and university lab animal expert Dr. Joseph Thulin (’88)—offered their perspectives and helped respond to questions from the audience. The speakers were featured on the local public radio station the day before the symposium. Their presentations were recorded and broadcast on a community radio station on Monday, May 31.

Anniversary Bash Entertains and Builds Support

Dr. Robert TwardockDr. Robert Twardock (’56), professor emeritus and chair of the 50th anniversary celebration steering committee, served as master of ceremonies for the evening. The Other Guys, an a cappella singing group from the University of Illinois, regaled the crowd of nearly 300, including Dr. Small and members of the first class shown here, with their tribute to the Morrow Plots and other songs.
More than $16,000 in support of student scholarships was raised through the silent and live auctions. Dr. Jim Hume (’71) presided over the auction, with help from professor Dr. Randy Ott and a host of volunteer alumni and students.

The Other Guys


Many items were contributed—and in some cases even crafted—by alumni! Two impromptu auction items, the neckties of Roger Caras and Dr. Erwin Small, brought an extra $775. Our sincerest thanks to all.

Baseball signed by 40 retired major league baseball players. Donated by Dr. Richard Nye (’76), $300

Stained glass art depicting a cat, by Dr. Emil Baukert (’76), $250

Two award-winning nature photos by Dr. Larry Friedman (’61), $1,125 total

Two wildlife art works by Jim O’Toole of Macomb, Illinois, $165. Donated by Dr. Charles Francisco (’89) and Ken Goodwin of Hoechst Roussel Vet. 

Wood carving of veterinarian and calf created by Dr. Al Day (’61), $975

Two framed nature photographs by Dr. Jeffrey Chemelewski (’78), $250

Terra cotta sculpture of a bear created by Dr. Kathy Connell (’93), $425

One week at a condominium in Snow-mass, Colorado, $800. Donated by Dr. Lloyd C. (’55) and Mrs. Jean Helper.

One night’s stay at the Tara Point Inn, a bed and breakfast in Grafton, Illinois, $200. Donated by Drs. Darrell (’55) and Jim (’55) Jessen.

Blue Dog, William Wegman print, signed and numbered, $275

Watercolor of round barns by Carroll Valli, $496

Four original signed cartoons by Robert M. Miller, featuring pets and vets, $1,300 total

Two round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines to any destination in the continental United States, $800 

Denver Broncos Extravaganza Package! Two admissions to regular season game and catered pre-game party, on-field passes, and laser-autographed football, $600

Two Wilson Signature Series Footballs signed by the 1998 Chicago Bears, $160 each

Two limited edition Chicago Bulls Championship basketballs, $275 each

Color picture of Roy Rogers and Trigger, autographed by Roy Rogers, $575 

National Finals Rodeo (NFR) Limited Edition Collector Series Belt Buckle, $125. Donated by Dr. William Barnes (Ont. ’59)

Two street banners commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the College of Veterinary Medicine, $400 each

Symposium speaker Roger Caras (above left) examines the description of a live auction item during the reception hour, while (from left) 3rd-year student Kjersten Holms, Dr. Gordon Baker, and Shirley Hull browse the framed bandana selections. Photo by Brian Stauffer.

Top bids on the celebrity-signed bandannas:
Joan Baez, $70 
Jon Bon Jovi, $50
Jim Davis (Garfield cartoonist), $90 
Mike Ditka, $250 
Elizabeth Dole, $85 
Harrison Ford, $175 
Bob Hope, $50 
Elton John, $250 
Art Linkletter, $50 
Reba McEntire, $150 
Joe Montana, $250 
Luciano Pavarotti, $150 
Richard Petty, $40 
General Norman Schwarzkopf, $55
Siegfried and Roy, $50 

Auction Action Continues at Fall Conference

Walter Payton and Elizabeth Taylor are among the celebrities whose signatures grace items on the auction block at the Thursday evening banquet at Fall Conference for Veterinarians, October 14, 1999. As with the 50th anniversary auction on April 10, the Auxiliary of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association will help coordinate the auction and proceeds will go toward student scholarships. If you have items to submit for the auction, please call auction committee chair Jean Rehn, 630/920-8431.

Also taking place at Fall Conference, one student from each of the four veterinary classes will received a $1,000 scholarship from money raised at the April auction. The remainder of the proceeds have been used to create the “ISVMA Auxiliary 50th Anniversary Scholarship Endowment” to support future honors.

Look for information on registering for Fall Conference, which will feature banquet speaker Illini basketball coach and former star Rob Judson, in the mail in mid-July or call the Continuing Education-Public Service office at 217/333-2907.


Our thanks to the following for sponsorship of the 50th Anniversary Gala Auction at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

Platinum Sponsorship: Ralston Purina 

Gold Sponsorship: Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., Hill’s Pet Nutrition College Feeding Program

Silver Sponsorship: Elanco Animal Health, Iams Company, Schering-Plough Animal Health, University of Illinois Alumni Association

Bronze Sponsorship: Hoechst Roussel Vet