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Vet Med graduates class of `96

By Jeffrey Douglas

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 34 - June 27, 1996

Honor plays a big part in most graduation ceremonies, but the term has special meaning for a husband and wife team who graduated with the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine's Class of `96.

Renee and Don Prater both distinguished themselves academically during the DVM program; Renee is the first student to ever complete the College's Honor's Program, and Don mentored under College Dean Peter Eyre.

"They are both remarkable students," said Eyre. "But Renee's historic role in our new Honors Program is a special achievement." Renee spent half of her senior year conducting research in computer modeling and pharmacokinetics.

Renee has been funded by the Chemical Industry's Institute for Toxicology (CIIT) in North Carolina's Research Triangle Park to conduct a Ph.D./Residency program in pathology in the VMRCVM. Husband Don will begin a Ph.D./Residency program in Blacksburg.

The VMRCVM awarded 76 DVM degrees, three Ph.D's, nine certificates of residency and seven M.S. degrees during its thirteenth annual Graduand's ceremony.

Four individuals were recognized for distinguished service and inducted into the college's prestigious John N. Dalton Society. Those included John Brooks and Mike Radebaugh, Maryland private practitioners; Archibald B. Park, assistant secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture; and Sashi B. Mohanty, retiring associate dean-Maryland campus.

Class members were presented their ceremonial academic garb during the hooding ceremony by Dean Eyre, Associate Deans Mohanty and Blair Meldrum, Spencer Johnston, winner of the 1995 Norden Teaching Award, and Don Waldron, chair of the college's Graduation Committee.

The Veterinarian's Oath was administered by Constance I. Pozniak, president of the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association. John R. Brooks, past president of the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, welcomed them into the profession.

John C. Lee, associate dean for research and academic affairs, then presided over the presentation of graduate degrees from the college.