Terry Holliday, one of the first graduates of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and a “founding father of neurology” died on January 17 at the age of 87.
Born October 17, 1925 in Corvallis, Montana, Holliday served in the U.S. Army from 1943-46 and then the Army Reserves from 1946-48 before attending veterinary school. He received his DVM in 1953 and was in private practice for several years in Los Angeles and then Medford, Oregon before pursuing his graduate education. After receiving his PhD in 1965, Holliday joined the school as an assistant professor and served in many capacities before retiring in 1989.
Holliday’s expertise focused in the areas of electromyography, nerve conduction, spinal cord evoked potentials, electroencephalography and brainstem auditory evoked potential testing. He was considered one of the premier veterinary electrophysiologists in the world and his work resulted in several landmark publications in the field of veterinary neurology.
Holliday was instrumental in developing a neurology specialty within the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) and was an internationally recognized and respected scientist, scholar, teacher and mentor. He participated in numerous continuing education programs in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan.
During his career, Holliday taught a great number of neurology residents. Nearly all of them became board certified in the ACVIM Specialty of Neurology and went on to practice in countries around the world where they are at the top of their specialty in academia and private practice. Even in retirement, Holliday remained actively involved in the electrophysiology lab at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and conducted weekly rounds with the residents in neurology and neurosurgery.
Holliday was a member of numerous professional societies and received several awards including the School’s Alumni Achievement Award in 1998 as well as the ACVIM’s Robert W. Kirk Distinguished Service Award in the same year.
Holliday also played a key role in establishing the neurology and neurosurgery departments in the UC Davis School of Medicine when it was established. He served on all the recruitment and appointment committees for these new departments and helped maintain a mutually beneficial relationship between neurology in the veterinary and medical schools.