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Embert H. Coles, Jr. Hall Dedication
June 4, 2000


Embert Coles, Jr.

Coles Hall, formerly the Veterinary Medical Sciences Building, was completed in 1972 as the first component of the twenty-eight million dollar Veterinary Medical Complex. It was originally occupied by the Diagnostic Laboratory, the Toxicology Laboratory, and offices and research laboratories for faculty in the Departments of Anatomy and Physiology, and Infectious Diseases. The latter was renamed the Department of Laboratory Medicine in 1975. Coles Hall currently houses the Animal Resource Facility, and research laboratories and offices for the faculty of Anatomy and Physiology and faculty from the renamed Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology.

Embert H. Coles, Jr. was born to Embert H. and Neva B. Coles in Garden City, Kansas on October 12, 1923. He spent much of his youth in Colby where his father was Director of the Kansas State Agricultural Experiment Station. Dr. Coles received the DVM degree in 1945 from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, and the MS degree in 1946 from Iowa State University. He was an Instructor at ISU until 1948. Dr. Coles was a veterinary practitioner in Colby, Kansas from 1948-53. He used an airplane to call upon distant clients and became known as "the flying veterinarian."

In 1954, Dr. Coles joined the faculty of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine as an Assistant Professor and simultaneously continued his studies, receiving the PhD degree in 1958. Dr. Coles was promoted to Associate Professor in 1958, and to Professor and Head of the Department of Pathology, Parasitology, and Public Health in 1964. In 1968, the Department was divided, and Dr. Coles continued as Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases. During that period, Dr. Coles was chair of the building committee that developed the overall plans for the Veterinary Complex and the specific plans for Coles Hall. In 1970, Dr. Coles was named Dean/ Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Chief of Party, KSU/AID Project, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria. He served KSU in that capacity until 1972, when he returned to Manhattan and resumed his position as Professor of Clinical Pathology and Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases.

Embert Coles Jr. Dedication

David, Allison, Kay and John Coles

From left to right, David, Allison, Kay and John Coles complete the planting of the Memorial Tree in honor of Embert H. Coles, Jr.  David and Kay are the children of Dr. Coles, and Allison and John are the children of David.

In 1982, Dr. Coles resigned from departmental administration and after a short sabbatical leave, returned to teach Clinical Pathology and a course in Immunology; he also assumed the position of Director of Federal Research Programs until 1984.

Dr. Coles retired in 1985, and in 1986 was awarded the KSU Certificate of Honor for his many contributions to the University and his profession. In typical fashion for Dr. Coles, retirement was only the beginning of a new career as a consultant internationally to veterinary colleges, other agencies, and as a clinical pathologist for a large commercial veterinary clinical laboratory. From 1987 until just prior to his death on August 13, 1993, Dr. Coles served as part-time Assistant for Financial Affairs to the Dean of Veterinary Medicine.

Kay, John, Allison and David Coles unveil the stone dedicating the new Coles Hall Kay, John, Allison and David Coles unveil the stone dedicating the new Coles Hall
Kay, John, Allison and David Coles unveil the stone dedicating the new Coles Hall.

Dr. Coles was accomplished in debate when he entered KSU, and he used these organizational and speaking skills well during his professional career. Veterinary students perennially ranked Dr. Coles as one of their best teachers, and he received the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award in 1986. Dr. Coles was frequently invited to speak at continuing education programs in Kansas and across the United States.

David and Kay Coles John, David and Allison Coles, Provost James Coffman, Kay Coles, Dean Ralph Richardson
David and Kay Coles

John, David and Allison Coles, Provost James R. Coffman, Kay Coles, Dean Ralph C. Richardson

As a researcher in microbiology, Dr. Coles was author of numerous papers, and he was truly a pioneer in the field of Veterinary Clinical Pathology. He was a charter member of the American Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathologists, and was that organization’s first President. Dr. Coles’ text, "Veterinary Clinical Pathology," first published in 1967, provided the "how" and "why" for many veterinarians to learn to use diagnostic testing in their practice. Four editions of this text were published, the last (1986) in several languages. Dr. Coles co-authored "Veterinary Laboratory Medicine: Interpretation and Diagnosis," (1992), and had co-authored a program of computerized algorithms for veterinary diagnosis which he continued to edit for improvement throughout his final year.

Dean Ralph Richardson, M. M. Chengappa, George Kennedy, Frank Blecha, Greg Grauer, and Ronnie Elmore David and Kay Coles, Robert Ridley, Linda Johnson, Gayle Willard, William Moore, Allison and John Coles.

Dean Ralph C. Richardson, M. M. Chengappa; Head of DMP, George A. Kennedy; Assistant Director of Diagnostic Lab, Frank Blecha, Interim Head of A&P, Greg Grauer, Head of Clinical Sciences; and Ronnie G. Elmore, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

David and Kay Coles, Robert Ridley, Linda Johnson, Gayle Willard, William Moore, Allison and John Coles.

Dr. Coles' distinguished veterinary career spanned nearly 50 years. His contributions as a veterinarian, teacher, researcher, administrator and author will have a long and positive impact upon Kansas State University and the Veterinary profession.

Coles Hall Dedication Committee

Robert Ridley, Chair

Michael Dryden      William Moore

Linda Johnson      Gayle Willard