Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine Honors 2023 Wilford S. Bailey Award Recipients

By Mike Jernigan

Three outstanding alumni of Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine — Dr. Dennis A. Feinberg ’75, Dr. Fairfield T. Bain ’83 and Dr. Calvin M. Johnson ’86 — were honored as the 2023 recipients of the Wilford S. Bailey Distinguished Alumni Awards during a ceremony April 13.

The Bailey award is the highest honor given to Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine alumni to recognize their professional accomplishments in veterinary medicine, outstanding contributions to their communities and the overall advancement of animal and human health. It is named to honor the late Wilford S. Bailey, who held a 50-year continuous faculty appointment at Auburn, serving in positions ranging from veterinary instructor to university president. A 1942 graduate of the college, Bailey was the first recipient of the college’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Following his death in 2000, the award was named in his honor.

Dr. Dennis A. Feinberg, Dr. Fairfield T. Bain and Dr. Calvin M. Johnson
Pictured, from left, are Dr. Dennis A. Feinberg, Dr. Fairfield T. Bain and Dr. Calvin M. Johnson.

Awardees are recognized in three areas of eligibility: research and public policy, private practice and academia. This year’s recipients include:

Dr. Dennis A. Feinberg, DVM ’75 (Private Practice)

Dennis Feinberg was named the 2023 Bailey Award recipient in private practice. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory University before attending Auburn to earn both a B.S. in pharmacy and DVM. Following graduation, he practiced at the Dorchester Veterinary Clinic for a year before opening the Charles Towne Veterinary Clinic in Charleston, South Carolina, where he practiced from 1976-2017 and still serves currently as relief veterinarian.

Dr. Feinberg has been active in various professional and scientific organizations. He previously served as president of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and as chair of both the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and AAHA Foundation. Honored as the 1999 South Carolina Association of Veterinarians Distinguished Veterinarian of the Year, he has served as an officer, committee and board member of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians, and member and chair of the South Carolina State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Dr. Fairfield T. Bain, DVM, MBA, DACVIM, DACVP, DACVECC ’83 (Research and Public Policy)

Fairfield Bain was named the 2023 Bailey Award recipient in research and public policy. He earned a B.S. in animal science from North Carolina State University before completing a DVM at Auburn. He later completed post-graduate work at both Kansas State and Wake Forest Universities before earning an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology.

Dr. Bain has held numerous professional positions during his career, including serving as co-owner/vice president of Equine Oxygen Therapy Acquisitions, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of hyperbaric oxygen chambers for veterinary applications. He has also served as a staff pathologist at Histopathology Associates in Ashland, Virginia; associate professor and senior clinician in equine sports medicine and surgery of the University of Queensland (Australia) Equine Hospital; department head of veterinary clinical sciences at Washington State University; and senior account manager of equine veterinary professional services and associate director of strategic development and innovation for Merck Animal Health. He currently serves as CEO of The Bain Group, LLC, based in Wakefield, Virginia, and practices equine internal medicine at Tennessee Equine Hospital in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee.

Dr. Bain is board certified in large animal internal medicine by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) and is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP). He is also board certified in large animal by the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC), where he has also served on the Board of Regents. In addition, he is or has served as a member of numerous other professional and scientific organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the Veterinary Infection Control Society, the Davis-Thompson Foundation for Veterinary Pathology and the Morris Animal Foundation.

Dr. Calvin M. Johnson, DVM, PhD, DACVP ’86 (Academia)

Calvin Johnson was named the 2023 Bailey Award recipient in academia. He earned both a B.S. in agricultural science and DVM from Auburn University. He later earned a Ph.D. in Veterinary Medical Science (Pathology) from North Carolina State University (NCSU). He worked in private practice in Fayetteville, North Carolina, before joining the anatomic pathology residency program at NCSU. He joined the veterinary faculty at the University of Florida as an assistant professor, rising to tenured associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Pathobiology. Dr. Johnson led NIH-funded research in animal models of HIV-1 infection and contributed to studies of other infectious diseases of importance to animals and humans. Topics of teaching expertise include systemic pathology, molecular pathology, immunology, viral pathogenesis and veterinary ethics.

In 2003, Dr. Johnson returned to Auburn as professor and later head of the Department of Pathobiology. He next served as acting dean for two years before being named dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 after a national search. A Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (ACVP), he is board certified in anatomic pathology. Dr. Johnson served as president and chair of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) from 2019-2020. He has served in numerous leadership roles in the AAVMC, ACVP, AVMA, Southeastern Veterinary Pathology Conference and others, as well as a member of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association.

Dean Johnson has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including being selected as a Distinguished Fellow by the National Academies of Practice, a Distinguished Alumnus by North Carolina State University, a Young Achiever by the Auburn College of Veterinary Medicine and ACVP Mentor of the Year.

Learn more about the Bailey Awards and previous recipients.