Spring 2018

Our School at 40

In this issue, we invite you to journey through the history of veterinary education at Tufts University with a former Massachusetts governor, a legendary university provost, and distinguished faculty past and present. Founded in 1978, the veterinary school at Tufts has matured from a dandy and proud little start-up to an educational institution that excels nationally and internationally in clinical service, research, and teaching. Our students rank in the top tier, and their post-graduation accomplishments provide compelling evidence of the school’s educational success.

This issue also marks a personal milestone, as I will soon be leaving Cummings School after serving as its dean for twelve years. I have been privileged to work with hundreds of talented students who are making a difference across New England and globally. The faculty who support our veterinary and graduate students are an impressive bunch, with achievements ranging from stemming global pandemic threats, to advancing translational cancer research, to promoting quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education through our K-12 school partners. I will miss colleagues and friends who have served as role models of active citizenship and selfless commitment to advancing animal and human health and well-being. The school thrives because our faculty, staff, and students care so deeply about their work and the animals and clients they serve.

What does the future hold for Cummings School? We have long embraced an entrepreneurial model that encourages innovation and financial accountability. Extraordinary support from donors and friends, especially Cummings Foundation, have enabled the school to grow and expand its impact. That is especially true in signature areas such as Global One Health, clinical and translational medicine, and wildlife and conservation medicine. New or expanded graduate programs have arisen that tap faculty talents in these and other areas of strength to educate new scientists ready to fight infectious disease and inform our understanding of human-animal interactions.

Cummings School also has maintained a productive public-private partnership with the Commonwealth, and I believe that our role in Massachusetts’ life-sciences economy will only grow. One Health thinking and research around naturally occurring animal diseases shared by humans will drive innovation and development of drugs, vaccines, and devices that benefit animals and people.

It took grit for a small, private university to establish the only veterinary school in New England and to achieve such success in just forty years. It is inspiring to think of how Cummings School will help make our world a better and healthier place over the next forty years. I am grateful to have been a part of its story.

Deborah Turner Kochevar, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Dean and Henry and Lois Foster Professor

Top Stories

A Revolution in Grafton

Over 40 years, Cummings School has built itself into an international leader in veterinary education, expert clinical care, and interdisciplinary research.

Editor's Picks

A Mastiff Issue in China

A conservation medicine alum addresses the problem of free-ranging dogs on the Tibetan plateau.

On the Road with the Goat Doc

After she had trouble finding care for her own dairy goats, Cara Sammons-Shepard, V16, decided to become a traveling veterinarian herself.

Birth of the Veterinary School

Over 40 years, Cummings School has become an international leader in veterinary medicine. And all it took was buying nearly 600 acres for a dollar, palpating police horses, and performing the occasional surgery by penlight.