Former Veterinary Medicine Administrator Passes Away

Date: 9/21/2011 4:32 pm

Charles D. Knecht, Professor Emeritus of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine and former head of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Small Animal Clinic, died Tuesday, September 20 in Asheville, North Carolina.

Knecht, who joined Auburn’s faculty in 1979, was in his fourth decade in veterinary medicine when he retired in 1997 having served in private practice, the U.S. Air Force, and at three other universities. 

He earned his veterinary medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1956 and he reached the rank of captain in the USAF veterinary corps.  In 1964, Knecht began his academic career at the University of Illinois, completing a master’s degree while serving a surgical residency. He was professor and chief of surgery at the University of Georgia from 1970-72 and at Purdue University from 1972-79 before coming to Auburn.

“Auburn has been a special place because of the family, the people you meet and work with, not only at the university, but in the town as well,” said Knecht in 1997.

Knecht’s achievements were instrumental in Auburn’s standing in the worldwide veterinary community. He was active in several honor societies and he was a diplomate and past president of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the neurology specialty of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine. He was a past president of both the American Neurology Association and the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians.

In 1971, he invented a surgical device known as the Knecht Condyle Clamp. The book he authored, “Fundamental Techniques in Veterinary Surgery,” was the standard textbook for veterinary students.

The funeral service will take place Monday, September 26 at 11 a.m. at Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church at 1100 North College Street in Auburn.

Contact: Tara Lanier, 334-844-3698,



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