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Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine receives its largest-ever gift of over $7 million

Janet Swanson The wife of a Cornell alumnus has donated $7.125 million to Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine to help endow two important veterinary programs and expand imaging facilities. It is the largest gift in the history of the college.

The gift, made by animal lover Janet Swanson, spouse of John Swanson '61, B.M.E. '62, M.M.E. '63, includes:

"Three critical programs in conservation medicine, shelter medicine and our hospital will benefit immeasurably from the tremendous generosity of the Swansons," said Michael Kotlikoff, the Austin O. Hooey Dean of Veterinary Medicine.

In 2006, Janet Swanson, who is particularly devoted to dogs and cats, donated $800,000 to endow a residency at Maddie's Shelter and $650,000 to fund the relocation of the college's Wildlife Health Clinic, which provides in-hospital medical and surgical care to sick and injured native and exotic wild animals. She also provided for renovation of facilities on Hungerford Road, the Wildlife Health Center that is being named in her honor.

The current $3 million gift to the college's wildlife health program will be placed in an endowment fund, and the investment interest will cover most, if not all, of the operating expenses of the Wildlife Health Center, said George Kollias, the George J. Hyman Professor of Wildlife and Exotic Animal Medicine at the Veterinary College. Operating expenses include salaries for technicians, a wildlife clinical resident, medical and surgical supplies as well as clinical diagnostic testing, caging and foods for wildlife in addition to covering the maintenance costs of the facility.

Maddie's Shelter offers instruction and shelter experience for veterinary students and veterinarians, and will use the gift to endow an existing faculty position, currently held by Brenda Griffin, director of clinical programs.

"The endowment means that ... we have a faculty position that is guaranteed, and the program will continue," said Jan Scarlett, professor of epidemiology at the Veterinary College.

By Krishna Ramanujan of the Cornell Chronicle


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