Winter 2013

What’s in a Name?

Dean Kochevar

In September 2004, William S. and Joyce M. Cummings, through their foundation (, committed an extraordinary gift of $50 million to the School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. In recognition of that support, the school was renamed Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

The Cummings Foundation philanthropy has given Tufts the opportunity to shape the educational and clinical missions of the veterinary school as well as its research programs to embrace a vision for One Medicine—that the health of animals, humans and the environment are tightly intertwined. It is a concept that former Tufts President Jean Mayer promoted when the veterinary school was founded nearly 40 years ago. The Cummings gift also has given us the ability to finance important projects that have advanced scientific discovery and helped our veterinarians provide top-flight care to animals throughout New England and around the world.

In his remarks at the school-renaming ceremony in 2005, Bill Cummings, an alumnus of Tufts University, underscored the important role that Cummings School plays in fighting diseases that affect animals and humans. In this he foreshadowed the close association that would develop between the school and Cummings Institute for World Justice around a global vision for One Health, particularly in aiding the postgenocide recovery in the Republic of Rwanda. Cummings School and the institute have established an ambulatory clinic in the African nation that offers on-site diagnostic capabilities and professional development for veterinarians and paraveterinarians. With the Rwandan clinic and other endeavors, the school has embraced the principles of active citizenship that are dear to Tufts and shared personally and professionally by Bill and Joyce Cummings.

The partnership with Cummings Foundation has allowed our school to grow and thrive. Our students, faculty, staff and graduates are exceptional; our clinical services are first-rate, and our burgeoning research enterprise is producing discoveries that will benefit animal and human health.

It is fitting that we celebrate the 10th anniversary of our relationship with Cummings Foundation with another name change—that of this magazine, which will now be known as Cummings Veterinary Medicine. The quality of the magazine directly reflects the excellence of our school. Neither would be possible without the generous investment of Cummings Foundation and the support and friendship of Bill and Joyce Cummings.

This issue showcases the breadth and depth of Cummings School. I invite you to read about dolphin health, urban interfaces among wildlife, people and the environment, and the school’s ambulatory food animal practice, among other topics. You will see that our students, faculty and staff make the school special, and it is their contributions that advance animal and human health and well-being.

Thank you for your interest in and support of Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

Deborah Turner Kochevar, D.V.M., Ph.D., is the dean and Henry and Lois Foster Professor at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

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