1. K-State home
  2. »College of Veterinary Medicine
  3. »Alumni
  4. »VMAA
  5. »Introductory Letter

College of Veterinary Medicine

Introductory Letter - Veterinary Medical Alumni Association

Introductory letter from Dr. Howard Erickson

August 6, 2013

Dear VMAA Members:

This letter brings greetings from the Executive Board of the Kansas State University Veterinary Medical Alumni Association. Our association continues to grow and represents over 4965 living alumni. We have 932 Lifetime members and have seen an increase in annual dues participation. The balance in our VMAA Endowment to support alumni activities is now at $375,000.

Kansas State University is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year, beginning with a kickoff event on February 14 looking back at 150 years of colleges, academic departments and other facets of university life. Kansas State Agricultural College (KSAC) was founded on February 16, 1863, becoming the first land grant college. When KSAC, now Kansas State University (KSU) opened on September 2, 1863, an equal number of men and women (26 each) were admitted. It was the first agricultural college and only the second fully coeducational public college anywhere in the United States. The college was also open to African American students and embraced diversity from its beginning.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is also celebrating 150 years in 2013. The AVMA was organized as the United States Veterinary Medical Association during the Civil War in the Astor House in New York City on June 9-10, 1863 by some 40 veterinary surgeons and practitioners. It became the AVMA at the annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, on September 6-8, 1898. Our College is the sixth oldest college of veterinary medicine in the United States. Veterinary medicine at KSAC can be traced back to January 25, 1871 when Joseph Bushman, a graduate of the Royal Veterinary College in London and one of a handful of veterinarians during the Civil War, was a lecturer at the 5th Agricultural Institute at KSAC. The four-year degree was not established until 1905, 34 years later. In 1907, a class of seven students became the first to graduate in veterinary medicine. Since 1907, the college has graduated more than 6300 DVMs.

When you return to the campus, check out the Centennial Plaza and Whispering Garden between Trotter and Mosier Halls. The Centennial Plaza is a special place where alumni, students, faculty, and friends of the College of Veterinary Medicine and their families can be honored with personalized granite plaques and bricks. The Whispering Garden is a place where we can recognize our special pets.

We invite you to visit our web site at http://www.vet.k-state.edu. Here you can read about alumni activities and awards, continuing education, our history, news and events, our teaching hospital, the centennial celebrations, view a Walk through the Decades DVD and Virtual Tour of the College of Veterinary Medicine.

We certainly appreciate your support of the College of Veterinary Medicine.


Howard H. Erickson, DVM, PhD
VMAA Executive Board