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The Francis H. Fox Scholarship

Francis H. FoxWhat comes to mind when you think of Francis H. Fox DVM ’45? If you were one of the legions he trained, you might remember lively lectures off set by mischievous humor, or rolling up farm roads for firsthand lessons in large animal medicine. Perhaps you’ve only heard his name in the College’s legends: rumors of preternatural diagnostic powers or elaborate pranks exchanged with students. If you’ve ever driven down Route 366 near the College, you may think of his name in white paint, emblazoned on the side of an old bridge over the road and accompanied by a public birthday counter

This symbol has become a lasting tribute to the strong bonds between one of the College’s most well-known professors and the generations of veterinary students he trained, challenged, inspired, and befriended. Th at close camaraderie roused a large group of Dr. Fox’s former students and fast friends to unite and establish a scholarship in his honor, gathering  supporters happy to give their mentor a legacy that would continue his passion for helping veterinary students for years to come.

This year’s recipients of the F.H. Fox Scholarship: Nathan Hill (center) and Matthew Curler (right); both from the Class of 2011.

Nathan Hill
Nathan Hill
Matthew Curler

"When I was a student I spent a lot of extra time with Dr. Fox," said Dr. Pete Malnati ’51, who spearheaded the project. "He would call up interested students to go out on special cases with him. He was an exceptionally committed teacher, happy to share his knowledge and experience and sense of humor. I appreciated what he did for me, and for my fellow students, and we wanted to give back.

The friends of Francis Fox had no trouble getting support from enthusiastic peers. More than 200 people contributed over $22,000 in the fi rst year alone. When Dr. Fox entered the Centennial New York State Veterinary Medical Society meeting in Rochester, NY, in the fall of 1990, he was surprised with a formal announcement establishing the endowment in his name "We are honoring Dr. Fox for his contributions to veterinary medicine in the field of large animal medicine and ophthalmology, especially as a teacher, clinician, and advocate of the art of physical diagnosis," said Dr. Malnati. "He has given many of us this basic foundation in veterinary medicine. Thus we owe him this measure of gratitude as a friend, teacher, and fellow veterinarian.

The selection criteria refl ect Dr. Fox’s interests and ideals, seeking students highly motivated to serve the large animal sector and those showing a gift that mirrors Dr. Fox’s famous talent for physical diagnosis.

"It was all done behind my back," said Dr. Fox. "I never expected such a thing and felt very humbled. I hope it will help students who love the profession and feel a calling to medicine because of their love of animals and satisfaction in working with them.

The Francis H. Fox Scholarship Fund has grown substantially since its inception in 1990, with continual support from hundreds of contributors. It aids two to four students in need a year and has supported a total of 29 to date. Should you have interest in contributing to the Francis H. Fox Scholarship, please contact Amy Robinson in the Alumni Affairs and Development Office at amy.robinson@cornell.edu or 607.253.3742.

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