Class of 2019 Begins 123rd year of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn

The Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2019 joined fellow veterinary students with the start of fall classes on Monday, Aug. 10, one week ahead of students on Auburn’s main campus.

Dr. Dan Givens speaks to first-year students.

The 120-member first-year class is majority women, which is the national trend in veterinary medicine, and includes 91 women, and 29 men.

The class has 41 Alabama residents and 38 Kentucky residents, through a longstanding cooperative agreement with the Southern Regional Education Board and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The remaining one-third of the class are from around the U.S: California, 2; Florida, 8; Georgia, 4; Illinois, 1; Massachusetts, 2; Mississippi, 2; North Carolina, 4; New Jersey, 1; New York, 2; Ohio, 1; Pennsylvania, 1; South Carolina, 1; Tennessee, 5; Texas, 4; and Virginia, 3.

Prior to beginning classes, the first-year class went through a week of orientation, learning about the college, meeting faculty and making friends with classmates.

The orientation included an introduction of academic standards, college policies and curriculum guidelines; and overview of the college’s departments, clinics and programs; discussions with faculty on issues related to evidence-based medicine, public health issues, communications, research opportunities and transitioning to the college. In addition, students had time to bond as they participated in team-building exercises, as well as learn about Auburn traditions.

Orientation started with a welcome by college administrators, followed by a luncheon for students and their family and tours of the college’s facilities.

Dean Calvin Johnson welcomed students and family members to the 123rd year of veterinary medicine at Auburn. “We are very proud of you and you are a part of a very strong class.”

“We are here to help you learn and acquire the skills you need to be successful veterinarians.”

Dr. Dan Givens, associate dean of Academic Affairs, spoke to students and family members, encouraging them to “enjoy and embrace the challenges and opportunities that are inherent to a rigorous and evolving medical curriculum that has produced leaders in the veterinary profession for more than a century.”

First-year veterinary students open bone boxes.

During orientation, students received top-of-the-line technology as well as a time-honored tradition. They  became accustomed to using new tablet computers, an integral part of the college’s delivery of educational resources, as well as  a bone box which is a time-honored tradition occurring at Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine since 1893.

When Charles Allen Cary, the first dean of Auburn veterinary medicine, agreed to teach at Auburn in January 1893, he provided a list of items that would be necessary for his employment to Auburn President William L. Broun.  Among the items on that list were several complete skeletons of different species so that students could adequately learn the structure and function of the skeletal systems to recognize health and diagnose disease.

“This pattern of true hands-on learning has continued to this day,” Givens said.  “Generations of Auburn veterinary students remember receiving their bone box at the beginning of their educational process in the college.”