State Your Purpose elevates Veterinary Medicine

Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences has been at the forefront of researching animal and human health issues for more than a century. So, it was no surprise when the college took a lead role in solving the issues presented by COVID-19.

CVMBS scientists and researchers have been working on a variety of COVID-related projects, including the search for a vaccine. Successful Student recently included CSU among the top 10 universities working on virus-related issues, along with Harvard, Oxford and the Broad Institute at MIT.

And part of the reason behind CSU’s prominence in this battle is the generosity of thousands of donors during the university’s recently completed State Your Purpose Campaign, which funded research and added world-class facilities and faculty to an already-stellar lineup at the college.

“The college has been improving the health of animals, people and the planet since 1883, when the first veterinary classes began at Colorado Agricultural College,” said Mark Stetter, dean of the college. “That vision remains at the heart of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. We empower the next generation of leaders to change the world, and we couldn’t do that without the generosity and help of donors. We are, as always, humbled by those who support our students, faculty, research, programs and facilities. We are world class because of them, and we can’t thank them enough.”

CVMBS, already ranked in the top three veterinary programs nationally, truly took gigantic steps forward during the campaign thanks to several transformative gifts.

A $42.5 million gift from Colorado philanthropists John and Leslie Malone – second largest in the university’s history – helped, among other things, establish the C. Wayne McIlraith Translational Medicine Institute, which brings together ground-breaking research from across the campus to solve global health issues. Then, a $20 million anonymous gift was secured to support the project.

After that, a $10 million gift from the Helen K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation played a lead role in breaking ground on a new Johnson Family Equine Hospital which, when completed, is expected to be among the finest such facilities in the world.

There were also significant upgrades and additions to the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital that included oncology treatment facilities and labs, surgical facilities and even a new lobby. It total, donors contributed $89.9 million for facilities.

From there, the momentum never stopped. Six new endowed faculty chairs, valued at more than $28 million, helped Stetter recruit the very best faculty to maintain CSU’s reputation for teaching and research excellence.

And donors made sure that CSU can fulfill its land grant mission to provide access to all qualified students, contributing $41 million for merit- and need-based scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and DVM students.

At the heart of everything the college does, though, is research – and that’s where the campaign’s impact was truly remarkable. More than $170 million was raised for research projects that included human and animal cancer, stem cells, prions and even the Laramie Foothills Bison Project, a uniquely CSU program that re-established a bison herd directly related to the Yellowstone herd.