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CVM Graduates 65
New Veterinarians


With an exhortation to keep their passion alive fresh on their minds, 65 members of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2008 took the Veterinarian’s Oath and became the newest members of the profession on May 16. Students’ friends, family and mentors gathered in Jesse Hall on the MU campus to witness the CVM’s 59th annual commencement.

After Dr. Jimi Cook, president of the MU CVM Alumni Association, offered greetings to the graduating students, CVM alumnus Dr. Gary A. Vroegindewey, a colonel in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, presented the commencement address. Vroegindewey talked about his decision to leave his practice and join the Veterinary Corps in order to reignite his passion for veterinary medicine. He advised the class that while some of them would find that the passion for helping animals and others that had carried them so far would sustain them throughout their careers, in future years others would find themselves at a crossroads wondering what else they could do with their degrees.

“I want you to imagine where you could be, what you could do and be prepared to follow your passion,” he said.

He also counseled his newest colleagues to take their work, but not themselves seriously, and asked them to make their graduation day memorable by picking up the telephone and calling someone who had influenced them to thank them for encouragement, guidance and support.

Dr. Steve Strubberg, president of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, led the graduates in reciting the Veterinarian’s Oath, after which Dr. Ron Cott, associate dean for Student and Alumni Affairs and director of Development, presented the graduating class. Dr. Timothy J. Evans, assistant professor, Cook, and Dr. John Dodam, associate dean for academic affairs, conducted the investiture. Bo Fraser, vice chairman of the MU Board of Curators, conferred the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree to the class members. Veterinarians completing internships, residencies and graduate programs at the CVM also received recognition during the ceremony.

The Class of 2008 selected Dr. Gerald Ryan Bader to offer their response.

Dr. Neil C. Olson, CVM dean, who served as the master of ceremonies, congratulated the class members on their achievement. “… accept your degree with pride and as a symbol of your achievement. It is a treasure that cannot be lost, borrowed, or stolen. It will afford you respect and establish you as an authority figure in animal health. It will open doors to a wide variety of professional opportunities to serve mankind through ministering to the needs of billions of animals on this planet.”


Dr. Neil Olson, College of Veterinary Medicine dean, served as master of ceremonies for the college’s 59th Commencement.
Commencement speaker Dr. Gary Vroegindewey, colonel in the United States Veterinary Corps, advised the CVM Class of 2008 to measure their success not by what they do, but by who they are.
Under the direction of Missouri Veterinary Medical Association President Dr. Steve Strubberg, the CVM Class of 2008 takes the Veterinarian’s Oath.
Dr. Timothy Evans, assistant professor (left) and Dr. John Dodam, associate dean for academic affairs, conduct the investiture as Dr. Elizabeth Leverenz receives her hood.
Dr. Gerald Ryan Bader offered the response for the Class of 2008.
The switching of the tassel symbolizes the transition from student to newest members of the veterinary profession .
The CVM mules were on hand to provide a photo opportunity for the new graduates and their families.


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College of Veterinary Medicine
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Columbia, MO 65211
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Last Update: February 29, 2012