College of Veterinary Medicine mourns passing of professor and equine surgeon Dr. Warren Beard

Dr. Warren Beard, RIP 07/24/23Long-time Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine professor and equine surgeon Dr. Warren Beard passed away unexpectedly Monday, July 24, 2023, in Olsburg, Kansas.

A memorial service for Dr. Beard will be held 4:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25 at the college. A memorial fund to honor Dr. Beard has been established in support of equine resident training. For those persons attending the service, if parking on the west side of the complex is unavailable, please park on the east side of the college or in the parking lot at Edwards Hall (just across the street on Denison). A livestream of the memorial is posted on this page.

Dr. Beard was born Feb. 25, 1958, in Corpus Christi, Texas. He is married to Dr. Laurie Beard, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM and clinical professor/section head of equine medicine and surgery. They have two children, Nat and Anne.

"I have known Dr. Beard my entire veterinary career," said Hodes Family Dean, Dr. Bonnie Rush. "I was a first-year veterinary student in 1985 – the first-year of his equine surgery residency. He was smart and quick-witted, with innovative solutions to difficult patient problems. His calm, measured approach provided instant credibility with horse owners and veterinary students. There was nothing he enjoyed more than teaching creative problem-solving and quick hand skills to generations of veterinary students."

“Dr. Beard was a pioneer, leader, friend and tremendous clinician,” said Dr. Elizabeth Davis, associate dean of clinical programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Dr. Beard specialized in surgery of the upper airway and head of performance horses, colic surgery and urogenital disorders. He taught courses in veterinary ethics and surgery for third-year students and equine surgery for fourth-year students. His research interests were in management of postoperative colic patients, surgical treatments for dorsal displacement of the soft palate, endotoxemia and devising new surgical methods to deal with difficult surgical problems.

Dr. Beard received his bachelor’s degree (Magna Cum Laude) and DVM degrees from Texas A&M University in 1982 and 1983 respectively. He entered private practice in Dickinson, Texas, for two years before moving to Ohio State University to begin a residency in equine surgery. He completed his surgical residency and received a master’s degree in surgical sciences in 1988. In 1989, he became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Following his residency, Dr. Beard began a clinical instructorship as the emergency surgeon at Ohio State for one year. He remained on the faculty as an equine surgeon for 14 more years as an assistant and in 1995 as an associate professor before leaving to start a new position at Kansas State University in 2004.

He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, American Association of Equine Practitioners and Veterinary Orthopedic Society. He received the 2015 Teaching Excellence Award for outstanding instruction of third-year students and 2013 Excellence in Resident Mentoring, both from K-State. At Ohio State, he received the Resident Teaching Award for excellence in clinical teaching in 2003, Faculty Recognition Award for time and efforts devoted to the Residency program in 1996 and Resident Teaching Award for excellence in clinical teaching in 1991.