Welcome to the Illinois Family

May 1, 2016 / Giving Stories

Dr. Bill Augustine

“Compassion and caring for animals form the common bond connecting all veterinarians,” said Dr. Bill Augustine, president of the Illinois Veterinary Medicine Alumni Association. Whether they work in production medicine, public health, conservation, research, or any of dozens of other fields, veterinarians share this commitment.

All Illinois veterinary graduates are also connected by automatic membership in the college’s alumni association, which strives to serve students and establish connections with them.

But there’s one thing that differentiates many of today’s graduates from those who graduated two or more decades ago, and that is educational debt. Nationally, the average total debt for a new veterinary graduate is $135,000.

The Illinois Veterinary Medical Alumni Association Award helps reduce that financial burden for an outstanding student who has demonstrated overall proficiency in clinical veterinary medicine.

Alyssa Mohus received this year’s alumni association award, and compassion clearly fuels her commitment to delivering excellent clinical care for patients.

“My pug, Buddy, was a source of motivation for me as I made my way through veterinary school,” said Mohus. “My family was fortunate to have many incredible doctors caring for Buddy, doctors who often had to think outside the box to handle his serious medical issues. Experiencing Buddy’s medical care as an owner has shown me how if feels to be on the other side of the exam table.”

Buddy passed away as Mohus entered her final year in the veterinary program, but she has carried his memory with her to each patient she has cared for.

After graduation next month, Mohus will join three University of Illinois alumni in private practice.

“I am very proud to be associated with them, and I’m very proud to soon be one of them!” said Mohus.

By Irenka Carney