Reunion highlights new spaces, fun surprises for Cornell Veterinary alumni

A celebratory spirit filled the air this weekend at the College of Veterinary Medicine, which welcomed alumni back for the first construction-free Reunion in five years. The festivities boasted a mix of classic events as well as a few surprises for alumni and their guests.

“As you can see, the place looks quite different from your time on campus,” said Lorin D. Warnick, Ph.D. ’94, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine, to a large crowd gathered on Friday to commemorate the completion of the class expansion project with a ribbon-cutting and cake. He noted the many ways the college community has been using the new and renovated spaces, like hosting cross-campus symposia and other events.

Activities over the weekend ranged from barbecues to lectures. Before the ribbon-cutting, members of the college community surprised attendees by dashing into the atrium for an unannounced flash mob. They danced to disco and pop hits from 1953-2013 based on the graduation years of Reunion attendees - classes ending in 3 and 8. The group earned a hearty round of applause from onlookers before Warnick and Michael Kotlikoff, university provost and former dean of the college, gave their remarks.

In addition to tours of the facilities, like the farrier shop and the brand-new Small Animal Community Practice, attendees were treated to overviews of the college’s impact at home and abroad and a “Top Five” update from Warnick. Many participated in a game of CVM Jeopardy, in which attendees tested their knowledge of the college’s history and notable persons. Howard Evans, emeritus professor of anatomy with over 70 years of experience, filled the renovated lecture hall for his “Tails of Natural History” talk, where he shared his vast collection of specimens with the audience.

No veterinary college reunion could be complete without the animals. Minnie the miniature horse—the college’s unofficial mascot—joined dogs from the Cornell Companions, a llama, a parrot named Izzy and many other pets for a family-friendly Festival of the Animals meet-and-greet in the atrium.

In his Friday remarks, Warnick described the unique role that the College of Veterinary Medicine plays for current and former students at Cornell: “Our students are able to take advantage of the vast array of resources the university provides, while simultaneously experiencing the close-knit CVM community, before joining a strong, dedicated network of accomplished and exceptionally well-trained Cornell Vet alumni.”

By Melanie Greaver Cordova