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Florence Kimball
Helen Goldhaft Wernicoff
Interlude, 1910-1936

Marie Koenig Olson
Patricia O'Connor Halloran
Interlude, 1938-1939

Helen Borchmann Doremus
Sylvia Burg Salk
Interlude, 1940s

Catherine Fabricant
Helena Haight

Keynote Address presented at the
95th Annual Conference for Veterinarians
March 14, 2002

Presented by Donald F. Smith, Dean
Research Assistance by Laura Finkel, Former College Archivist


No discussion of Cornell's female veterinary legacy, or of Cornell firsts, would be complete without mention of Florence Kimball, who in 1910 became the first woman in the United States to receive the DVM degree. But the story of Cornell's pioneering veterinary alumnae only begins with Dr. Kimball's groundbreaking accomplishment. Thirty-three more women followed her through veterinary college at Cornell in the period from 1910 and 1949. This is the best of their story.

The use of the word "best" is not intended to pass judgment on the relative merits of these women, either professionally or personally. It does, however, highlight my desire to focus on their career accomplishments and the professional context within which they and their families lived their lives. Less attention will be given to cataloging the extraordinary difficulties and unusual challenges that many faced, though I acknowledge that these were critical issues.

I am indebted to the record of Professor Emeritus Ellis Leonard's various works - I have referred to him liberally during this presentation. I am also grateful for the personal interviews and written reports contributed by these women and by their family members

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Florence KimballHelen Goldhaft Wernicoff
Helen DoremusMarie Koenig Olson
Sylvia Burg SalkPatricia O'Connor Halloran
Catherine FabricantHelena Haight

College Archives
Cornell University
College of Veterinary Medicine