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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.



“I entered KSU College of Veterinary Medicine in the fall of 1988 at 28 years of age, married and very pregnant. While other professors were openly critical of my desire to be both a veterinarian and a mom, Dr. Wally Cash was supportive. I missed the first test - an anatomy test - because I was in the hospital delivering my son. Upon my return to classes, Dr. Cash offered to give me that anatomy test over the Christmas break so I could continue to pursue my dream. He was enthusiastic about anatomy, about teaching students, and about supporting us in our efforts to become successful veterinarians. Dr. Cash made a difference in my life and in many others”
– Lynne M. Flood, DVM

“What I remember about Dr. Cash, in addition to his sense of humor, was how available he would be to help us. Early in the morning or after school, he never seemed to tire of making himself available to help our understanding. That selflessness was a very special quality that really made an impression with me."”
– Kathryn (Morton) Krista, DVM, MS, CVA, '03

I will always remember Dr. Cash because he made learning enjoyable. He had a great sense of humor and loved his work. He made every student feel special and want to learn. I have tried to always have that same joy no matter where my veterinary career has taken me over the last 30 years. I will always be thankful to him for instilling that joy of learning. I am retired now from a 30 year career but I still love learning new things because of Dr. Cash. I respect him for his vast knowledge and the way he made the class fun. He was a great educator and a wonderful person. The anatomy lab being named for him is wonderful."”
– Dr. Maurine F.W. Bell, '88

“Wally taught our class early in his career at KSU. He often joined the class at parties, of which we had many. Thanks Marby. This memory is a little fuzzy but it has been memorialized in a photo found in our 1st class yearbook. He was captured drinking from a toilet plunger at a party. Also Glen Hardke was incriminated. All prior to social media.

One time a classmate and I shared an elevator with Dr. Cash. One asked him why he was interested in neurology. His reply was "it may appear that I (he) should be more interested in lipocytes however they are not very interesting." He was a humble guy and this is an example of his occasional self-deprecating humor. I remember Dr. Cash as a great teacher who connected with students."
– Alan West, DVM, '80

“I graduated with my DVM from K-State in 1978. Dr. Cash was an intern under Dr. Hartke at that time. Dr. Cash always had a smile on his face and was anxious to help any of us trying to find an anatomical point. I was always grateful for Dr. Cash's presence in our anatomy class.”
– Dr. Debbie Shaw

“I don't have a story but just wanted to say, Dr. Cash had tremendous patience and a knack for not making us feel as stupid as we were.”
– Dave Wendell

“Dr. Cash was one of the first people I met at K-State. Before my interview I asked one of the student ambassadors about my interviewers. One was Dr. Cash. The student said, “You’ll know who he is; he’s the guy with the infectious laugh.” His demeanor — and infectious laugh — made the interview such a comfortable experience that it was one of the major reasons I chose K-State.

As a first year student I can’t remember a single time where he left the anatomy lab before every person who needed his help had received it. There were many nights where most of us had left long before he did. The man was an encyclopedia of knowledge — probably one of the smartest people I’ve ever encountered. Brilliant as he was, he still wasn’t above serenading us with an anatomy-themed song at the Shaft Party. His dedication to us as students was truly remarkable, and there are thousands of veterinarians who owe the foundation of their careers to him.
– Matthew Edson, DVM

“My name is Erin (Kane) Walters and I graduated from KSU CVM in 2011. I am so happy to hear that the freshman anatomy lab will be named in honor of Dr. Cash. He was such a wonderful person and teacher and will be missed by all who knew him! I wanted to share the following memory about him:

I fondly remember the sound of Dr. Cash’s hearty and contagious laugh ringing out through the anatomy lab, as well of the sound of his voice singing the “fascia song” at our Shaft Party following the freshman students’ first anatomy test each year. Thank you to this wonderful man for sharing his knowledge and passion for anatomy with thousands of KSU CVM students!”
– Erin (Kane) Walters, DVM, '11

I was lucky enough to be Wally’s research assistant, which basically means that during vet school summers and “slow times” during the year, I had the privilege of cutting and staining over 5,000 tissue slides for his Ph.D. project. His sense of humor and infectious laugh made this tedious task enjoyable.

Part of Wally’s project involved him having videos of the care he provided for his research calves, including turning them repeatedly. Of course that meant he was bending way over and hefting the calves, with the camera catching a view of his posterior.

One day he was diligently working in his office, over a film-editing machine.

“What are you working on?"

“The video for my project."

“What are you doing to it?”

“Patching cracks.”

Way to make it G rated, Wally! You are missed!”
– Sara Mark, DVM

“Dr. Cash was the first professor of the first class of each day of the first year. A good way to start each day. He presented so much information so well. He always made time for all the questions afterward with a smile and the best memory for what he had actually said to sort out where my note taking went awry. A kind, funny and most enjoyable person to talk to all around. I'm grateful to have known and learned from him.
– Laurie Pearlstein, '98

“Dr. Cash was the first professor of the first class of each day of the first year. A good way to start each day. He presented so much information so well. He always made time for all the questions afterward with a smile and the best memory for what he had actually said to sort out where my note taking went awry. A kind, funny and most enjoyable person to talk to all around. I'm grateful to have known and learned from him.
– Laurie Pearlstein, '98

“It was the first final of our freshmen year. There was snow on the ground and this Cali girl was not used to driving in it. I was on my way to school when I spun out and ended up in a ditch. I was totally fine, but I called Dr. Cash to tell him I would not be in because I just put my truck in a ditch. He of course asked if I was okay and then told me he was going to come a get me and take me to class! He did! He drove the 20 minutes out to Elbo Lake, and he picked me up and took me back. He then let me take the test in his office. He was such a caring man, not only to the animals but to his students as well!
– Aubrey Alfaro, '04

“I think that his big, booming laugh during lecture is what I remember most about Dr. Cash. He was such a great teacher; very caring and supportive of his students. He always took the time to help others and be available. He touched so many lives during his career. The veterinary world lost a great man.”
– Jeff Lake, DVM, '99

Dr. Cash will always be remembered in my mind as the “walking encyclopedia” of neurology. I remember every time he walked into the classroom, my classmates and I would chant, ”joke, joke, joke!” He would always launch into one of his stories — the dead cat on the highway, the Buccaneers Halloween joke — he would have us all in stitches! Afterward, we all would sit in lecture, stunned by his knowledge of the nervous system. I remember as a student thinking I will be “turfing” my neuro cases. Now, I am a graduate student studying neuroanatomy at Washington State University; able to draw from my knowledge of neurology, thanks to Dr. Wally Cash.”
– Dr. N.E. Nicole Marinelli, '91

Wally was a great teacher. Everyone loved him. During our gross anatomy lab one day, our group decided to play a joke on Wally. We had our cadaver dog out and we were dissecting nerves. We decided to do a translocation of a nerve in the leg to a completely different location. We told Wally we were confused trying to identify this leg nerve. He started an up-close examination with his probe, said “hmm interesting,” rubbing his chin. Then as he became more intrigued, he moved the loose nerve and the game was over. He started his unique laugh/cackle and we all had a great laugh. We knew that made his day.”
– Mark Halver, '81

Wally always had great stories and jokes to tell. If we were lucky, he would tell one at the beginning of a lecture. I think he understood that it was a good way to get everyone seated and prepared for class. He was also a great teacher and understood that he had a huge challenge with the sheer volume of things he needed to cover for any particular class. On days when he thought this was overwhelming and he didn’t have time for the preliminary joke or story, we would bribe him with doughnuts. I don’t think I remember a time when it didn’t work.”
– Dean Cornwell, DVM

I worked with Dr. Cash on committees, college work and with graduate students. We talked about our children (of a similar age) from 1989 until his passing. I enjoyed every single minute of it, and I’ve thought of and missed his booming laugh and his painful puns every week since he left us. My most cherished memory of the passion he had for his subject and his students, however is tied to a Curriculum Committee meeting with the goal of trying to trim down the overall course sizes and credit hours required of students. I challenged Wally by asking him, about his own course, “Wally, here are three lectures on the spinothalamic tract alone. Now I learned it in school and I see many of the surgical neurology cases at K-State and do all the clinical neurosurgery procedures available, and I don’t have a clue today what it is and how it’s applicable to a clinical patient’s recovery.” And Dr. Cash, in a completely dismayed voice, passionately responded, “But those three are the most important lectures of all!”
– Dr. James Roush, Professor, Small Animal Surgery

Where's wally“As sophomores in vet school we put on Shaft Party for the school and to welcome the freshmen. We made a t-shirt for the party. I’m sure our classmate, Dr. Bruce Barnes, drew and designed it — he is a great artist also. It was Where's Wally! The back of the shirt had a drawing of the anatomy lab, with Wally hiding in several places.”
– Christina Frick, DVM, '00

“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