AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine has named three of its graduates as 2010 Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni in honor of their contributions to animal welfare, the profession, and their communities.
Gary Beard, D.V.M., of Auburn is named a recipient along with J. Russell Lindsey, D.V.M., of Birmingham, Ala., and Ernest C. Godfrey Jr., D.V.M., of Largo, Fla.
Dr. Gary Beard received his doctorate of veterinary medicine from Auburn in 1959. After graduation, he established and maintained, until 1992, the first American Animal Hospital Association-certified private practice in Baton Rouge, La. He served as president of the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association and on the American Animal Hospital Association board of directors.
Dr. Beard helped establish the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine and served on the search committee for the school’s first dean. He taught as an adjunct faculty member at LSU and Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
“Dr. Beard’s leadership in veterinary dentistry is clearly part of his legacy,” said Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Tim Boosinger. He is a founding Charter Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College and a charter member and founding president of the Academy of Veterinary Dentistry.
Dr. Beard returned to Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992 as assistant dean of outreach. “Under his direction the college's alumni outreach, continuing education, and public relations programs were reinvigorated,” said Dean Boosinger.
He advanced the annual veterinary conference into one of the top on-campus conferences in the country and he developed the annual open house into a festive event that promotes the college and the veterinary profession to people of all ages.
Over the years, Dr. Beard mentored and trained numerous students, particularly veterinary dentists. He retired in 2008, but continues to consult in veterinary medicine continuing education and in veterinary dentistry.
The distinguished alumni award is named in honor of Dr. Wilford S. Bailey, a veterinary parasitologist, who held a 50-year continuous faculty appointment at Auburn University after receiving his veterinary degree in 1942, serving in positions from instructor to university president.