Faculty, staff and special guests celebrated student achievement and the value of scholarship support at the annual Awards Ceremony May 19, 2004. School officials have distributed more than 500 student awards valued at approximately $1.3 million. Fifty donor guests attended and met scholarship recipients at the afternoon ceremony, hosted by the school and the Phi Zeta veterinary honor society.
Bennie I. Osburn, dean, explains that private scholarship support is a vital part of the public veterinary school experience. "The importance of financial support for veterinary education is well understood by friends of the school. We make every effort to assist students in keeping veterinary school affordable." Scholarships range from smaller merit prizes of several hundred dollars to comprehensive awards of up to $38,000 (for dual-degree candidates). "This year," says Osburn, "we've awarded an average of $2,400 per scholarship recipient."
This summer, fourth-year students will for the first time begin an extended year of clinical training. Thanks to the school's benefactors, school officials are able to distribute $225,000 to seniors with demonstrated financial need—defraying costs associated with 10 additional weeks of veterinary school.
Academic achievement and research
Phi Zeta, the national veterinary honor society, inducted 27 new members. The school has 38 members in its chapter of the society, which promotes scholarship and the advancement of the veterinary profession.
While most scholarships are awarded based on academic merit during the DVM program, a number of students receive support based on their research interests. Research scholarships recognize academic accomplishment and provide tangible encouragement for students exploring new career paths, including veterinary research. They may also pursue disciplines where qualified veterinary scientists are in high demand, including food animal medicine, zoonotic disease, ecosystem health and comparative genetics. Fellowships such as the Veterinarian Scientist Training Program provide long-term financial support and a flexible course of study to students pursuing DVM and doctoral degrees concurrently.
"As our current generation of veterinary faculty retires, scholarships and fellowships are critical for recruitment of veterinarians into advanced training programs" Osburn says. "With this training, graduates will become qualified for a broad range of veterinary careers, including faculty positions."
More than 50 scholarships were awarded in memory of family members, alumni or special companion animals. These awards may be based on student accomplishments, career interests or other criteria. Breed associations, kennel clubs and corporations sponsored more than 30 additional scholarships based on students' financial need, early contributions to the veterinary profession and recognized career potential.
Bradford P. Smith, director of the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, bestowed nearly 40 awards to recognize the clinical proficiency of outstanding fourth-year students. These awards also recognize exceptional aptitude for and professional interest in particular species or veterinary disciplines.
Although UC Davis is a public veterinary school, state support accounts for only 23% of the school's budget. Thanks to scholarship contributions and a grant program, student loan debt remains lower at UC Davis than at most other veterinary schools in the United States. Endowments and other gifts come from kennel clubs, businesses, professional organizations, breed associations and individuals who love animals. More than 85% of students receive some form of financial support while attending veterinary school.
The School of Veterinary Medicine Office of Development solicits scholarships and fellowships benefiting veterinary students. For more information about how you can contribute to veterinary education, please contact a member of the development team at (530) 752-7024.