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Major gift from alumni yields new name for lecture hall at the College of Veterinary Medicine


Dean Lorin Warnick, D.V.M., Ph.D.'94 (right) with Gary Yarnell ’74, D.V.M. ’77 (left) and Mrs. Laurie Yarnell ’75 (center), whose major gift was commemorated with the dedication of the Yarnell Lecture Hall. Photo: Rachel Philipson/CVM

On Saturday, June 11, the college dedicated the Yarnell Lecture Hall, formerly known as Lecture Hall 4, located on the first floor of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s atrium.

The dedication recognizes a major gift from Gary Yarnell ’74, D.V.M. ’77 and Mrs. Laurie Yarnell ’75, who were also attending Gary Yarnell’s 45th reunion.

Lorin D. Warnick, D.V.M, Ph.D.’94, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine, presided over the event, which was attended by the Yarnells, their son and daughter Adam and Nikki, as well as other guests, alumni, and members of the CVM community.

“It gives me great pleasure to dedicate the Gary and Laurie Yarnell Lecture Hall, one of the premiere lecture halls in our new space,” Warnick said. “From today moving forward, this lecture hall will be known to all as the Yarnell Lecture Hall. I am personally very grateful to you for your generosity, and on behalf of the faculty, staff and students who use this space every day, I extend their appreciation as well.”

Gary Yarnell then took the podium to describe the meaning behind their gift. “….Through Cornell, I was able to achieve my life’s ambition,” he said.  “I remain excited to witness the incredible advances in veterinary medicine since graduation, advances made through the hard work and efforts of folks who serve institutions such as Cornell. For these and other reasons, Laurie and I are very happy to be able to pay  forward our commitment to this most noble profession, and we urge all of our graduates to consider Cornell as part of their legacy.”

“Giving back is our way of saying ‘thank you,’” Laurie Yarnell added. “And to hopefully inspire the next generation of vet school students and veterinarians.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Warnick read from the newly installed plaque outside the lecture hall doors:

“A Gift of Gary 1974, DVM 1977 and Laurie Yarnell 1975: In recognition of the exceptional education provided by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and to acknowledge the generations of veterinarians who greatly contribute to society by improving the health of animals in our communities and throughout the world. Dedicated 2022.”

As former classmates mingled and admired the space during reunion, the Yarnell Lecture Hall promised to be another storied space for the next generation of veterinarians to learn and grow.

Written by Lauren Cahoon Roberts