Oregon State University (OSU) has received what it calls a “transformative” donation that will change its college of veterinary medicine’s ability to provide life-saving care, education for future veterinarians, and critical animal and human health research.
The record $50 million gift is a record-breaker for OSU, and the university will name its college of veterinary medicine in recognition of the donor: Gary Carlson, MD, a 1974 alumnus who is a partner at Dermatology Associates of Westlake Village, Calif.
The Gary R. Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine becomes the first named college at Oregon State and the second named veterinary school in the nation. OSU said the donation means it can potentially double the size of OSU’s small animal teaching hospital, attract and retain stellar veterinary faculty, and support the college’s strategic priorities.
“This is a game-changing investment in our college,” said Susan J. Tornquist, Lois Bates Acheson Dean of the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “We are very honored and excited about Dr. Carlson’s partnership. The hospital expansion is a pressing need for us now, but this is just the beginning of what Dr. Carlson’s generosity will make possible as the college adapts and grows to meet the needs of future generations.”
Since its opening in 2006, OSU’s small animal hospital has treated more than 20,000 animals, many of which are referred from veterinarians throughout Oregon, northern California, and western Washington. The number of small animal patients at the hospital has increased an average of 10 percent every year for the last six. Two new hospital wings are in the works, one of which will house a linear accelerator for radiation oncology, allowing OSU to provide comprehensive cancer care to patients in one location for the first time. Additional space and expanded services will provide veterinary students with training in emerging treatment procedures in oncology and other specialties.
“The college of veterinary medicine is a vital way that OSU lives out its mission of service,” said Ed Ray, OSU president. “Thousands of people who have no other connection to this university seek help from our veterinary hospital. Dr. Carlson’s generosity will enhance the care we provide to animals and ensure that graduating veterinarians are familiar with the most current medical technology. That will benefit countless people and the animals that many consider members of the family.”
Carlson said he was inspired to bestow the gift because of his love of dogs.
“As I began thinking about how I might make a difference in this world, I thought about those things that matter most to me,” Carlson said. “High on the list was the joy that our pets so often give us—a special comfort and support that allows us to embrace life more fully. I wanted to do something that would enrich that experience and help us better understand and care for our best friends.
“I am honored to be a partner in building a remarkable future for the College of Veterinary Medicine and those it serves, human, and otherwise,” he added.