Summer 2015

Best in Show

$9.5 million renovation of the Foster Hospital is underway

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When the renovations on the Foster Hospital for Small Animals are completed a year from now, clients seeking the very best care for their pets will have a more comfortable reception area, more exam rooms and a new reflection room where they can make decisions about their animals’ care. Students and faculty will benefit from larger treatment and teaching areas that will promote greater collaboration as well as opportunities to conduct research and clinical trials.

Virginia Rentko, medical director of the Foster Hospital and the Hospital for Large Animals, says she is “downright excited” to see the work get underway on the 30-year-old hospital that Cummings School had simply outgrown. “We are looking forward to a facility that will offer our clients and students an experience that matches the high quality of care we provide,” she says. “It is so gratifying that our vision is now becoming a reality.”

The renovations are made possible through extraordinary philanthropy. A fundraising campaign that began in spring 2013 gathered speed with a challenge from the Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund: If Cummings could raise $5 million by the end of 2014, the Peabody fund would donate $2.5 million.

Leading the response were grateful clients Travis and Anne Engen, with a $2.5 million gift, and an anonymous donor, who gave $1 million. Both spurred further giving. By December 2014, Cummings School had not only completed the Peabody challenge a week early, but also surpassed the $5 million goal by nearly $100,000.

“What was most inspiring to all of us was the swift response to the campaign,” says Ana Alvarado, senior director of development and alumni relations. “It’s a tribute to the quality of care our faculty, staff and students provide and to the school’s mission of excellence in clinical service, teaching and research.”

The $9.5 million project is the first phase of the Grafton campus master plan, which includes significant investments in facilities for the care of horses. The next proposed project is an equine arena that will seed the vision for an equine sports medicine complex at Cummings School.

Gifts to the Foster Hospital continue to be a vital part of this renovation project. To learn more about naming opportunities, please contact Ana Alvarado, senior director of development and alumni relations, at or 508.839.7905.

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