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College of Veterinary Medicine

anatomy lab buttonFor nearly 40 years, Dr. Wally Cash taught anatomy to all freshmen veterinary students. Thousands of veterinarians around the country have him to thank for their foundational education in veterinary medicine.


This year, the third floor of Trotter Hall, soon to be known as the Dr. James Boyd Family floor, is undergoing renovations, and the anatomy lab will be named in honor of Dr. Wally Cash. The lab is scheduled to reopen in January 2018.

While making plans to name the lab for Dr. Cash, many individuals have shared incredible stories of his sense of humor and his dedication to teaching all students who walked through the anatomy lab doors.  It is here, on this site, we would like to encourage any and all that were impacted by Dr. Wally Cash during his illustrious career to share their “Wally Story.”

If you would like to share a special memory of Dr. Cash to be included on this web page, please email Marisa Larson at marisal@found.ksu.edu.

To give a gift toward the renovation in memory of Dr. Cash, please visit the KSU Foundation website.



“When asked to remember Wally Cash, I think that everyone who knew him would immediately break into a smile. His laugh and smile were infectious and welcome, especially when the stress of a difficult curriculum threatened to dampen the joy of learning. Dr. Cash was an ideal teacher for first-year veterinary students because his personality and teaching methods gave each of us confidence that we could eventually master the complexities of anatomy and the rest of our veterinary education”
– Bob Larson, DVM '87

“I remember showing up for his neuro lectures, equipped with colored pencils, ready to draw! He was always laughing and joking with us, while continuing to be an outstanding teacher. K-State was a better place with him there!
– Beth Holm, DVM '86

“Most of my favorite Wally Cash memories involve jokes or puns. He was witty and had a great sense of humor. I loved to hear him laugh.

1. Speaking about cardiac tamponade: Wally joked that cardiac tamponade is the "favorite apertif of vampires."

2. Speaking about thoracic duct: Wally joked that in bird dogs, the thoracic duct is frequently split into multiple vessels. When this happens we call it a "flock of ducts."

3. Speaking about the Circle of Willis: Wally joked that the only known treatment for fecal impaction of the Circle of Willis: IV toilet paper.

4. Wally used to joke about someone suffering from "anal-olecranon confusion."

5. Talking about ceruminous glands, Wally claimed that the world was divided into those who like the smell of a Cocker Spaniels' ears (like he did) and those who don't.

6. Talking about the dog's anal glands, Wally used to claim that there was gold in there.

7. Wally used to use the expression "knock on wood" and he would rap his knuckles on his own head.

8. Wally used to compare the facts we would teach in gross to the bullets of a gun and compare the gun to your ability to use that knowledge. He would say that having knowledge without the facts was as bad as having the facts but being unable to use them to reach a diagnosis. In order to be an effective veterinarian you needed both the facts (the bullets) and the ability to use them (the gun).”
– Mark L Weiss, PhD, professor of stem cell biology and neuroscience at K-State

"Cash illustrationI was fortunate to work with Wally Cash for 30-plus years. When he retired, i created an illustration of Wally teaching students. What I remember most fondly of Wally was that he alwasy took time for a teachable moment and patiently answered all questions. His depth of anatomical knowledge was astounding. If I had a question about tortoise anatomy or horse or guinea pig, he had the ability to switch gears immediately and open the vault of his knowledge, and voila, he knew the answer.

I will miss him forever." – Mal Rooks, CMI

"I loved Dr. Cash's laugh." – Christine (Ward) Duree ‘95

"Great person, excellent instructor, well deserved honor." – William Swafford

“I am a 2007 graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine and enjoyed every class with Dr. Cash. He was, hands down, the professor that enjoyed teaching and helping us students the most. I greatly enjoyed his class, even though it was the one that scared us all into discovering new methods to cram enormous amounts of information in a very short period of time. I even liked the use of the old school chalkboard for the spinal cord diagram. I still refer back to that diagram for neuro cases.

Each time my lab group and I would call him over to help us find a nerve or vessel or some such small piece of anatomy, we would be amazed. We would have already spent much of the class period trying to find whatever it was and then with literally a few light wisps with a scalpel and a quick movement of the wrist, the item would appear as if by magic. He would just smile and move to the next group.

The memory that sticks out to me the most was when we were dissecting the external female reproductive anatomy. We had just finished the vaginal bulbs and Dr. Cash appeared behind us, and in his unique humor stated, "Looks like you've got a couple 20 watters there." The rest of the period was a blur as we tried to contain our laughter. I'm still chuckling as I type this story.

Thank you Dr. Cash for giving us of your knowledge and experience. You laid the foundation for many careers in veterinary medicine.” – James Clark, DVM

Dr. Cash with puppy"Wally Cash was so jovial; always joking and laughing his big, loud laugh that he made me think of Santa Claus! But more importantly, he was an incredible instructor who loved his subject and was intent on helping his students gain mastery of the material." – Laura Webster Larson, DVM ‘92

"Wally Cash was a very brilliant and nice man who loved life and loved to teach and learn. He made a potentially boring, tedious class fun to attend." – Mike Brown, DVM ‘92

I think that the biggest thing I remember about Wally is that he genuinely cared for everyone. He went out of his way to help not just students, but colleagues, staff or anyone who needed it. He truly put others first even if it was an inconvenience for him.” – Judy Klimek, DVM Purdue ‘88

“I worked with Wally for 16 years. One day in 2002, he called me and said “I had something come up, and I need you to do me favor.” I could just tell by his voice something wasn’t right. I said “What’s wrong?” he said “Well, I just had a little heart attack, so they’re going to send me to Topeka, but I just need to make sure that my coffee pot and computer are turned off.”

Then, later while he’s in the ambulance he called me again and he said “Oh and I need to make sure my students grades are taken care of, because I don’t want to make them have to wait.”

So when I went to his office to turn off his computer I noticed he had printed something. So I pulled it off and looked at it in case it was important, and it was to a student and said “I apologize for the inconvenience, but I will be unable to meet with you this afternoon.” So while he was having a heart attack, he was writing and apologizing to his students. He was very humble, brilliant, and he found a way to connect with every student. He always approached students that they were valuable.” – Sandy Rich, DVM Laboratory Educational Technician

Dr. Cash lecturingI think he could probably produce more puns per minute than anyone in the history of ‘pun-dom.’ and he always had that falsetto laugh to go along with it that in itself would make people laugh. One thing I remember him saying at meetings is ‘I wasn’t born yesterday – maybe the day before, but not yesterday.’  And when somebody asked ‘What’s new, Wally?’ he would refer to the letter of the Greek alphabet.” – Deryl Troyer, DVM ‘72, PhD ‘85

“He taught neuroanatomy, and as an example of how highly the students thought of him, they went to great lengths to make a giant cloth astrocyte (a type of glial cell) and suspended it from his office ceiling. He enjoyed that so much it stayed there for years.” – Deryl Troyer, DVM ‘72, PhD ‘85

“I do not think Wally ever said no to any request to serve on a committee, or help in a lab. He was very dedicated to our College. He was also extremely well liked by the students and was an outstanding teacher. I remember all the pictures of students on Wally’s office door.” –Howard Erickson, former Professor of Physiology