Harrogate, Tennessee, June 25, 2019—Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) President E. Clayton Hess conferred the degrees of the 102 members of the LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine’s Class of 2019 during Spring Commencement Exercises in Tex Turner Arena on Saturday, May 18.
Dr. Christine Jenkins, the Zoetis U.S. Operations chief medical officer and vice president of veterinary medical services and outcomes outreach delivered the commencement address. During her speech she encouraged the students to be ambassadors for LMU as they begin their practice.
“I am proud to have the opportunity to visit a campus that is so beautiful, in one of my favorite states, that is named after one of my favorite presidents,” said Jenkins. “It is important that you let folks know why you are so good at what you do—because of the faculty that are sitting around you today and the friends and family that have supported you these last four years. State proudly that you are graduates of Lincoln Memorial University.”
A number of special awards were bestowed. The late Dr. Edwin Robertson was honored with the Distinguished Service Medal for his pioneering work in embryo transfer in cattle and his service to LMU and the surrounding community. His wife Judy Robertson accepted the award on his behalf. Vice President and Dean Jason Johnson also recognized Dr. Beth Eisenberg and the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital, a part of Ethos Veterinary Health with the Distinguished Clinical Affiliate Award in recognition of the vital role the clinical partner plays in preparing the graduates of LMU-CVM.
During the rollcall of conferees, the Class of 2019 was called by name, presented with diplomas and hooded. Following the hooding ceremony, Johnson presented the family of Kaitlyn Jo DeVries a hood and an honorary doctorate of veterinary medicine posthumously. She was honored with a reserved seat alongside her classmates with a framed picture in her memory and a journal that held messages to Kate and her parents, Mike and Jane DeVries, from the entire LMU-CVM family.
“Kate was a kindred spirit with love and a passion for animals who at the time of her death was engaged with us as a second-year student,” said Johnson. “To quote her father, ‘Kate had a love for life that was evident in her love for animals and her desire to become a veterinarian.’”
Degree candidate Ashley Kotran was commissioned as a captain into the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps by Dr. Gary Vroegindewey, director of the One Health Program. LMU-CVM Executive Associate Dean Dr. John Dascanio led the newly minted Doctors of Veterinary Medicine in The Veterinary Oath at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine is located on LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee, with additional academic facilities in nearby Lee County, Virginia. LMU-CVM is an integral part of the University’s medical programs and provides real-world, community-based education in a collaborative learning environment. For more information about LMU-CVM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7150 or visit us online at vetmed.LMUnet.edu.