Randall B. Terry Jr. keeps sharing his wealth with the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine long after his death.
The late newspaper publisher and philanthropist’s foundation this month donated $16 million to support student scholarships, research work and faculty endowments. The gift follows millions he gave or raised before his 2004 death and the $20 million his foundation pledged toward construction of the Randall B. Terry Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center, which opened in 2011.
The R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation has agreed to match other donations, potentially doubling the latest gift’s impact, the university reported.
“Randall always said he liked to use money to make money,” said Susan Ward, who serves on the university board of trustees and is a former president of the North Carolina Veterinary Medicine Foundation. “He’d say, ‘Let’s use it as a challenge gift, a matching challenge.’ We’d use that to attract other donors who would want to join in his efforts.”
Terry initiated contact with the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998, when one of his nine golden retrievers, Nike, became sick and was treated at North Carolina State. He later presided over the North Carolina Veterinary Medicine Foundation, which raises money for the school.
His feelings about the college ran deep. The university noted that he once said: “Animals give so much to mankind; it’s only fitting that we give back something to them.”
“I think his association with us was obviously through his love of animals,” said Oscar Fletcher, DVM, Ph.D., a poultry professor and a member of the college foundation’s board. “That just demonstrates the power of the human-animal bond.”
The millions of dollars that Terry and his foundation have given the veterinary college go to great causes, Ward said.
“Every student that graduates that doesn’t have to pay back debt, that’s success,” Ward said. “Every new thing they try here, every problem they solve, that’s success. That’s how I measure it.”
Some $5 million from the latest gift will be used to attract and retain veterinary faculty members.
“Talented people are in demand all over the world, so they can go anywhere,” Dr. Fletcher said. “Private support helps us keep them here. Endowed chairs, additional grant support—they give us a competitive edge.”
North Carolina State was ranked third best among veterinary schools on U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 list.