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Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine Names Equine Facility in Honor of Famed Horse Surgeon Don Wheat

FOR RELEASE: June 9, 2005

An area of Comparative Orthopedics Laboratory will be renamed in an effort to honor famed equine surgeon John Donald (J.D.) Wheat, DVM '45, during alumni reunion activities at the College of Veterinary Medicine on June 11, 2005.

The naming of the John Donald Wheat, DVM '45 and Mary Louise Wheat Equine Sports Medicine Laboratory recognizes Don and Mary Lou Wheat's unstinting devotion to and generous support of Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine.

After graduating from Cornell, Wheat began his career as a faculty member at Kansas State. He soon moved on in 1950 to the school of veterinary medicine in Davis, Calif., where he served on the faculty for 41 years.

Don is the founding member of the J.D. Wheat Orthopedic Research Laboratory at U.C. Davis, where he spent 18 years as the department chair. Today, U.C. Davis honors him with the title "professor emeritus." He has traveled the world and ministered to horses across the globe.

Dr. Wheat has received numerous awards and honors, including the Fulbright Senior Lecturer Award and the American Association of Equine Practitioners Teaching Award. In addition, he is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Practice, which recognizes physicians, dentists and veterinarians for outstanding contributions in their respective professions. He also received an award for outstanding contributions to California racing from the Northern California Turf Writers Association. In 2003, Dr. Wheat's immense knowledge of equine health issues and an equally remarkable willingness to share his know-how earned him a place in the International Equine Veterinarians Hall of Fame.

Throughout their remarkable life journey, the Wheats have always felt a special tie to Cornell. Don and Mary Lou said they never made their gifts to receive recognition, but they are honored to have their names associated with Cornell University.