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Our History

College History PageThe 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.

Francis recalled:

"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 dissecting room."

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 actually given

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 Building

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 in September

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

College History Campus
CVM Campus in 1956 (Courtesy of Cushing Library and Archives)

1937 - Dr. Ross P. Marsteller appointed Dean

1941 - Enrollment limited to 100 new students each year

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 Dean

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 formed

1963 - The designation "College of Veterinary Medicine" replaced former designation of "School of Veterinary Medicine"

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 initiated

1971 - Women granted unrestricted admission

1972 - Institute of Comparative Medicine founded

1973 - Dr. George C. Shelton appointed Dean

1990 - Dr. John Shadduck appointed Dean

1990 - Reproductive Services Laboratory expanded.

1993 - The Veterinary Research Building and new Large Animal Clinic (now called the Large Animal Hospital) constructed at a cost of nearly $40 million

1993 - Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center founded

1997 - Dr. Robert F. Playter, Jr. appointed as Interim Dean

1998 - Dr. H. Richard Adams appointed Dean

1999 - First cloned calf

2001 - Institute for Comparative Cardiovascular Sciences established

2001 - First cloned pig and goat

2002 - Equine Pavilion completed

2003 - First cloned deer

2007 - MRI capabilities made available at Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital

2009 - Dr. Eleanor M. Green appointed Dean

2011 - Completion of the Diagnostic Imaging and Cancer Treatment Center

2013 - Ground broken for new Avian Complex

2014 - Broke ground on a new $120 million Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex

2014 - Dedicated phase I, a $35 million component, of the $80 million Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ’56 Equine Complex

2015 - Ranked No. 6 in the world and No. 3 in the United States by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), an educational services firm that has rated the top 50 veterinary medical schools globally.