The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine graduated 108 new veterinarians May 13 during the college’s 67th annual commencement.
Michelle Haven, DVM, PhD, a business development and strategic planning consultant for animal healthcare companies, gave the commencement address. Using Guy Clark’s song “The Cape” as an acronym, Haven urged the graduates to believe in themselves. She said the “C” was for “Choice,” and that success depends on making hard choices and risking failure. The “A” signifies “Anxiety,” which can accompany any new opportunity. The “P” serves as a reminder to “Persevere,” Haven said. Finally, the “E” stands for “Evolve.” Haven told the graduates that they would grow as people and develop new skills and capabilities.
“All of you graduates today had to trust your cape to get to where you are, right? Haven said. “You had to make some hard choices. You took a chance. I mean, it’s not easy to get in vet school and it’s not easy to succeed in vet school, but you did it,” she said.
Haven recounted her own career path and how she had intended to be an equine surgeon, but had instead found she enjoyed the pace of research and business development in the veterinary healthcare industry. She also told the new DVMs that they are
joining their profession during a time of rapid change, and she urged them to embrace the opportunity to make the world a better place.
“Spread your wings, hold your breath and always trust your cape,” she said.
CVM Dean Neil C. Olson, DVM, PhD, served as the master of ceremonies for the event, which was live streamed and can be viewed online.
Jill Luther, DVM, MS, assistant teaching professor, encouraged the graduates to join the MU Alumni Association to
keep in touch with the college. “Don’t forget that this is where it all began,” Luther said.
Mel Falk, DVM, president of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association, led the graduates in reciting the Veterinarian’s Oath. Angela Tennison, DVM, associate dean for Student Affairs, presented the graduating class for investiture, which was conducted by Linda
Berent, DVM, PhD, associate dean for academic affairs, Meghan Harmon, DVM, clinical instructor, and Timothy Evans, DVM, PhD, associate professor. Donald Cupps, a member of the UM Board of Curators, conferred the doctor of veterinary medicine degree to the class members.
Members of the Class of 2016 selected Justin Nash to give a response on their behalf.
Nash noted that for some of his classmates the day
represented the culmination of years of hard work, while for others, it was a milestone on their way toward becoming a veterinary specialist. He told his classmates that they had chosen a profession that would ensure they never become bored.
“We persevered through the hard times, relished the good times and are better people for it,” he said.