Billy E. Hooper, DVM, who was nationally recognized for his leadership in academic veterinary medicine, has died at age 86. Hooper received his doctor of veterinary medicine from MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1961, His distinguished career included a return to the CVM for a faculty appointment. He received the CVM’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988.
Hooper was the first executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), 1986 – 1992. He also served on the AVMA’s Council on Education, Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities, and National Board Examination Committee.
On its 50th anniversary in 2016, the AAVMC honored Hooper by renaming the annual AAVMC Recognition Lecture as the Billy E. Hooper Lecture Award for Distinguished Service to Veterinary Medical Education.
Known as a champion for expanding diversity in the veterinary profession, Hooper was instrumental in supporting the Iverson Bell Symposium, which was first held at Purdue University in 1972. It is the oldest and longest-running symposium in veterinary medicine devoted to exploring issues of diversity. He received the Iverson Bell Award for his contributions.
After receiving his DVM from MU, Hooper pursued graduate studies at Purdue University, where he received master’s and doctoral degrees in veterinary pathology. He served on the faculties of the University of Georgia, Oklahoma State University, Western University of Health Sciences and Purdue, where he was elevated to associate dean for academic affairs, serving from 1973-1986.
Hooper and his wife, Janice, retired to Lafayette, Indiana, where he volunteered as president of the Lafayette Citizens Band and chair of the Youth Services Committee of the Lafayette Kiwanis Club.
Hooper, who served in the Korean War as a U.S. Marine, is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and three grandchildren.