Message from the Dean

Chicago Animal Lover Creates Magical Veterinary Scholarship

Sherrie Lanzo with a horse model at St. Ignatius

This message will appear in the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association Bulletin.

It felt a bit like visiting a real-life Hogwarts. I was very impressed by the grounds of St. Ignatius College Prep, an elite Jesuit high school situated at the intersection of Roosevelt Road and South Blue Island Avenue.

The school was founded in 1869—just two years after the University of Illinois. Although there are many differences between the two institutions, there are also commonalities. Both provide a diverse student body with a broad array of rigorous academic learning combined with meaningful extracurricular experiences through clubs, sports, and service activities.

What brought me to their campus was a generous donation from a 1952 graduate of the prep school, Mr. Robert Foley. And what brought Mr. Foley to support our college was the love of animals he shared with his wife of 50 years, who passed away in 2020. He chose to honor that love by establishing the Linda Hillis Foley Award in her memory. The fund will provide St. Ignatius graduates with full tuition coverage if they are accepted to the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Bringing the College to St. Ignatius

In late 2022, a contingent from our college spent the day at the school. They met with junior and senior students in their science department. The students had the opportunity to try their hands at gowning and gloving for surgery, identifying parasites and viewing blood smears under microscopes, using ultrasound to peer into training phantoms, and drawing “blood” from the jugular of a horse model.

(In the photo above, Sherrie Lanzo from our college speaks with St. Ignatius students. She’s standing next to one of the hand-crafted horse head models used to teach equine injections and blood draws.)

“The students were very engaged,” noted Dr. Matt Stewart. Dr. Stewart was director of our Clinical Skills Learning Center (CSLC), the college unit that organized the visit and activities. “However, we realized that by that stage of their high school career, most of these students had already determined an academic pathway.”

Dr. Cindy Elston from our CSLC agreed. A question-and-answer session with freshmen and sophomores, however, drew lots of insightful questions. Dr. Elston hoped some of these students may have gained an interest in veterinary science.

Dr. J.B. Bruederle of Chicago assisted with the visit, helping with the hands-on stations and answering students’ questions.

Mr. Foley was also present. He is eager to see his new scholarship put to use. And eager to get the news of this extraordinary opportunity out to recent St. Ignatius graduates.

The Magic of Scholarships for Veterinary Students

The student body of St. Ignatius is around 1400 for the combined four years. We hope to be able to announce a recipient of Mr. Foley’s scholarship soon.

In the meantime, we continue to welcome veterinary scholarships from all quarters. At our annual Awards & Scholarships Celebration in May we will hear from a 2013 graduate of our college. She has established a scholarship to support students pursuing an equine practice.

And we encourage all of you to connect us with your animal-loving clients who may have the capacity to magically reduce the burden of debt for veterinary students. 

Feature image used courtesy of St. Ignatius College Prep.