The Texas A&M College of
Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) is an
institution that represents 100 years of growth from a small school
of veterinary medicine in 1916 to its present role as a major
veterinary educational, medical, and research center
Dr. Mark Francis, who
was the first trained veterinarian at what was then the
Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, began by lecturing to
agricultural students. Although he had no labs or equipment, Dr.
Francis made his mark in veterinary medicine when he proved the
tick was the cause of Texas cattle fever (which had plagued
Southern livestock since the late 1700s) and developed inoculations
against this devastating disease.
"It was the latter part of July
or the first of August when I arrived at College Station. The
college work at first was merely some classroom lectures to the
agricultural students. There were no laboratories or equipment for
this work. We had a room about 14 x 16 feet that was on the ground
floor of the Main Building (destroyed by fire in May 1912) that
served as office, classroom and laboratory. At the end of the
school year (June 1889) the adjoining room became vacant and was
assigned to us as a classroom. In this unsuitable place we toiled
for 15 years. There was no hospital. Along about December 1888, a
frame barn was built to serve this purpose. It was about 20 x 36
feet and was near where the Agriculture Building now stands. The
following year a frame building was provided that served as a
Eventually, in the 1930s, the veterinary hospital building was
erected along with an anatomy building and stables to provide the
students with useful hands-on learning opportunities. The
veterinary hospital has been one of the cornerstones of CVM's
history and academic prowess. As a teaching hospital, it still
provides students with real-life medical cases while also providing
much needed services to the community.-
1878 - The first attempt to teach veterinary
science at Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas (as Texas
A&M University was called): the college surgeon, D. Port
Smythe, M.D., was also listed on the faculty as professor of
anatomy, physiology and hygiene, but no course is described and no
further record is available to indicate that such a course was
1888 - In April, Agricultural & Mechanical
College of Texas received a state appropriation of $2500 for
equipping and operating its Department of Veterinary Science
1888 - Texas Agricultural Extension Station
established as a division of Texas A. and M. College under the
provisions of the Hatch Act
1888 - On June 6, Dr. Mark Francis
received his formal appointment to the faculty, which marked the
real beginning of professional veterinary medicine in Texas
1902 - Erection of the Chemistry and Veterinary
1903 - First Veterinary Association in Texas
Organized at Fort Worth and Dr. Mark Francis elected president
1908 - Veterinary Hospital Constructed
1916 - School of Veterinary Medicine, with Dr.
Mark Francis as the first Dean, opened its doors with 13 students
1918 - Francis Hall built
1920 - First grads (4) to receive DVM degrees
from Texas A&M
1929 - Texas A&M Student Chapter of the
American Veterinary Medical Association organized
Campus in 1956 (Courtesy of Cushing Library and Archives)
1937 - Dr. Ross P. Marsteller appointed
1941 - Enrollment limited to 100 new students
1947 - Dr. Ralph C. Dunn appointed Dean
1948 - Dr. Ivan B. Boughton appointed Dean
1949 - Veterinary Library opened
1953 - Veterinary Medical Hospital built
1953 - Dr. Willis W. Armistead appointed
1955 - Veterinary Sciences Building built
1957 - Dr. Alvin A. Price appointed Dean
1958 - Public Health department (the precursor
of today's Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences) is
1963 - The designation "College of Veterinary
Medicine" replaced former designation of "School of Veterinary
1963 - Women admitted (on a limited basis) to
the DVM professional program
1966 - First woman (Sonja Oliphant Lee)
receives DVM degree from Texas A&M
1967 - The Texas
Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory established
1968 - Clinical Pathology Laboratory opens.
1970 - Biomedical Sciences program
1970 - First African American (James L.
Courtney) receives DVM degree, after being one of first African
American undergraduates, at Texas A&M.
1971 - Office of Continuing Education formed
1971 - Women granted unrestricted admission
1972 - Institute of Comparative Medicine
1973 - Dr. George C. Shelton appointed Dean
1976 - The CVM participates in a collaboration
that accomplishes the first primate by embryo transfer
1980 - The CVM begins recognizing its
1980 - Texas A&M Medical Sciences Library
(MSL) becomes a separate entity
1981 - Small Animal Hospital building opens
1985 - Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
(VMTH) formally established
1985 - The new MSL facility opens and is
connected to the CVM by an underground tunnel.
1985 - Wildlife and Exotic Animal Center
1987 - Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center
1988 - Dr. John Shadduck appointed Dean
1990 - Reproductive Services
1991 - The CVM celebrates its 75th
1993 - Veterinary Research Building and new
Large Animal Hospital constructed at a cost of nearly $40
1993 - Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care
1994 - Inaugural Veterinary School Open House
1997 - Dr. Robert F. Playter, Jr. appointed as
1997 - Dr. H. Richard Adams appointed Dean
1999 - First cloned calf
2001 - Michael E. Debakey Institute for
Comparative Cardiovascular Sciences established
2001 - First cloned pig and
2002 - Equine Pavilion completed
2002 - First cloned cat
2003 - First cloned deer
2004 - The National Center for Foreign Animal
and Zonotic Disease Defense (FAZD) is founded.
2004 - The name of the CVM is officially changed
to the "College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical
2005 - First horse cloned in North America
2005 - The CVM begins to offer dual DVM/MBA and
2005 - The Large Animal Hospital becomes a surge
hospital, housing special needs human patients, in response to
Hurricane Rita hitting the Gulf Coast. The CVM's response to the
storm paves the way for the eventual establishment of the Texas
A&M Veterinary Emergency Team (VET).
2006 - Biomedical Sciences becomes the largest
degree-granting undergraduate program at Texas A&M.
2006 - The CVM celebrates its 90th
2007 - MRI capabilities made are available at
2008 - Equine Lameness Arena opens
2009 - Dr. Eleanor M. Green is
named first woman dean of veterinary medicine at Texas
2009 - Texas A&M Institute for Preclinical
Studies (TIPS) building opens
2010 - The Texas A&M Veterinary
Emergency Team (VET) is established. It eventually becomes the
largest and most sophisticated veterinary disaster response team in
the nation. In addition to providing medical support to canine
search-and-rescue teams and disaster response, the team assists
local governments in emergency preparedness planning that
includes provisions for livestock and companion animals. The CVM
requires fourth-year veterinary students to participate in a
two-week disaster clinical rotation taught by VET faculty.
2010 - Shubot Center researchers prove that avian
bornavirus leads to proventricular dilation disease, a fatal
neurological disease in birds.
2011 - The VET deploys for the first time in
response to the Bastrop Complex Wildfire.
2011 - Completion of the Diagnostic Imaging and
Cancer Treatment Center
2012 - Groundbreaking for the Thomas G.
Hildebrand, DVM ’56 Equine Complex, home to the Texas A&M
Equine Initiative, a collaboration with the College of Agriculture
& Life Sciences
2013 - The VET deploys in response to the
fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.
2013 - The Center for Organ and Cell
Biotechnology (CCOB0, a collaboration between the Texas Heart
Institute (THI) and the Texas A&M College of Veterinary
Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) led by Dr. Doris Taylor,
director of Regenerative Medicine Research at THI, launches.
Groundbreaking for new Avian Complex
Groundbreaking on a new $120 million Veterinary & Biomedical
Phase I, a $35 million component, of the $80 million Thomas G.
Hildebrand, DVM ’56 Equine Complex is dedicated
2014 - During the Ebola outbreak in Dallas, the
VET cares for an affected nurse's dog and helps create protocols
for canines potentially exposed to the virus.
2014 - The CVM becomes the recipient of the first
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Center
grant at Texas A&M University. The grant provides funding for
the Center for Translational Environmental Health Research that is
a collaboration among Texas A&M, Baylor College of Medicine,
and the University of Houston.
2015 - The Texas A&M University System
announces initiative to expand veterinary education, research, and
undergraduate outreach into several regions of the state through
partnerships between the CVM and West Texas A&M University
(WTAMU), Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), Texas A&M
University-Kingsville, and Tarleton State University, which
constitutes the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Center
2015 - The VET deploys in response to the
Memorial Day flooding of the Blanco River in Wimberley and San
2016 - The CVM, again, receives full
accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association's
Council on Education (AVMA COE)—with no substantial compliance
2016 - A DVM Class Size Task Force, including
Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) representation, is
formed by Dean Eleanor M. Green. Using existing data and
data-driven projections, the task force recommends that the DVM
class size be increased by 30 students.
2016 - The TVMA Board of Directors provides a
letter of strong support for the TVMC Strategic Partnership plan
and the proposed DVM class size increase.
2016 - The $120 million Veterinary &
Biomedical Education Complex (VBEC) is completed, enabling
immediate and future class size increases to meet the veterinary
medical education needs of Texas far into the future and to provide
2016 - The 2016 Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board (THECB) report, “Veterinary Medical Education in
Texas: An Update,” is completed. The conclusion is: “In summary, no
new college of veterinary medicine is recommended at this time.
However, the need to address the pending shortage of large animal
veterinarians could be addressed in a variety of ways.”
2016 - The VET deploys to Fort Bend and Brazoria
Counties in response to historic flooding along the Brazos
2016 - The CVM celebrates its centennial with a
slate of events throughout the year and publishes a special coffee
table book, "Celebrating CVM 100 Years 1916–2016: Serving Every
Texan Every Day."
2017 - The CVM is one of three
DVM programs and one of only 24 health profession schools in the
U.S. to receive the 2017 Health Professions Higher Education
Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity
2017 - The VBEC provides new learning
opportunities for students who attend the four Texas A&M System
universities that are part of the TVMC "Serving Every Texan Every
2017 - The DVM class size increases to 142
2017 - The first eight DVM graduates of the CVM's
revitalized Food Animal Track hit the field—specifically trained
for beef cattle and food production medicine.
2017 - A data-driven curriculum renewal is
implemented in the fall with the incoming class of 2021. Changes
ensure the curriculum continues to include extensive, engaging,
didactic instruction and hands-on learning opportunities.
2017 - The CVM holds the inaugural Veterinary Job
& Externship Fair, in partnership with TVMA.
2017 - The CVM hosts the first PoreCamp in the
U.S., a one-week course based on the Oxford Nanopore Technology
(ONT) MinION sequencing system.
2017 - The CVM hosts the National Student
American Veterinary Medical Association (SAVMA) Symposium.
2017 - The VET deploys in response to the
tornadoes in Canton, Texas.
2017 - The Texas A&M Superfund Research
Center, housed at the CVM, is established with the support of a
five-year, $10 million grant from NIEHS to develop a comprehensive
set of tools that can be used by cities, counties, states, the
federal government, and other entities to respond to disasters and
mitigate the health and environmental consequences of exposure to
hazardous mixtures during emergency-related contamination
2017 - The CVM hosts the inaugural Veterinary
Innovation Summit (VIS) in partnership with the North American
Veterinary Community (NAVC).
2017 - The VET provids the largest and most
complex veterinary medical emergency response effort to date during
Hurricane Harvey, deploying to 10 Texas jurisdictions spread across
approximately 375 miles and impacting approximately 3,000
2018 - The CVM receives the 2018 Health
Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award
from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine—for a second straight year.
It's one of only 35 health profession schools in the U.S. to be
2018 - The CVM hosts the National Veterinary
Scholars Symposium (NVSS), titled "Veterinary Scientists in Global
Health Research," and the National Colloquium for Combined DVM/PhD
2018 - The CVM hosts the second annual VIS in
partnership with NAVC.
2018–19 - The VET deploys for the first time
out-of-state to assist with recovery efforts in Butte County,
California, in the aftermath of the Camp Fire.
2019 - The VET celebrates its 10th