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 Kansas State College of Veterinary Medicine
2004 Distinguished Alumnus Award to Dr. Bennie Osburn

May 27, 2004

Thursday, May 27, 2004
MANHATTAN, Kansas -- Dr. Bennie I. Osburn, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, has been selected to receive a Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine 2004 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Osburn will be recognized at the Heritage Evening during the Annual Conference for Veterinarians by the College of Veterinary Medicine and its Veterinary Medical Alumni Association the first weekend in June.

Dr. Bennie I OsburnThe Heritage Evening will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 7, with a reception at the K-State Alumni Center, followed by special alumni recognitions.

After earning his bachelor of sciences in veterinary medicine in 1959, followed by his doctorate of veterinary medicine in 1961 from the Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, Osburn continued to pursue his academic career at the University of California, Davis. In 1965 Osburn completed his doctorate in comparative pathology from the University of California, Davis. From 1964 to 1968 he served on the faculty at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University Medical School from 1968 to 1970, when he returned to the Davis campus as a faculty member in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Osburn served as head of the infectious disease and immunology unit at the California Regional Primate and Research Center from 1975 to 1983 and as associate dean for research and graduate programs from 1975 until he became dean in 1996.

In Osburn's scientific career, he has emphasized the health and welfare of food animals, particularly cattle and sheep. He has been involved in key discoveries about food animal viruses -- including the bluetongue virus -- developmental immunology, congenital infections and food safety. Osburn has produced more than 270 peer-reviewed publications.

Osburn is active in many professional organizations and currently serves as president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. He has earned membership in the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars and is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He is a diplomate and past president of both the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists, and is an honorary diplomate of the American Veterinarian Epidemiology Society. He served as chair of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Biotechnology Research Advisory Committee 1988-1991.

Osburn continues to broaden the school's role of veterinary medicine in animal, human and environmental health issues. Under his guidance, the school has established centers of excellence in comparative medicine, vectorborne disease, ecosystem health, equine analytical chemistry, and other programs. He promotes comprehensive veterinary training programs to support veterinary students interested in research and academic careers. He helped institute a doctoral program for veterinary students, a master's degree program in public health and the Student Training Advanced Research summer program. He has increased the number of veterinary students and residents and developed K-12 outreach activities to encourage the next generation of veterinarians. Osburn was instrumental in establishing the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security and the University of California Veterinary Medical Center, San Diego. He has worked to help the school initiate $140 million in new building programs, raised more than $94 million in private support, and increased the annual research budget 100 percent to $60 million.

Recipients of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumnus Award must have had an outstanding career in veterinary medicine, have made significant contributions benefiting his or her community, state and/or nation, and must have made humanitarian services and contributions to the veterinary profession and society rather than material success alone. This award provides K-State College of Veterinary Medicine with the opportunity to reach out and thank those who have made a difference.

The news release above was originally developed and distributed by Kansas State University.