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 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
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
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 founded
1973 – Dr. George C. Shelton appointed Dean
1976 – The CVM participates in a collaboration that accomplishes the first primate by embryo transfer (baboon).
1980 – The CVM begins recognizing its “Outstanding Alumni.”
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 opens
1987 – Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center founded
1988 – Dr. John Shadduck appointed Dean
1990 – Reproductive Services Laboratory expanded.
1991 – The CVM celebrates its 75th Anniversary.
1993 – Veterinary Research Building and new Large Animal Hospital constructed at a cost of nearly $40 million
1993 – Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center founded
1994 – Inaugural Veterinary School Open House held
1997 – Dr. Robert F. Playter, Jr. appointed as Interim Dean
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 goat
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 Sciences.”
2005 – First horse cloned in North America born
2005 – The CVM begins to offer dual DVM/MBA and DVM/PhD programs.
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 Anniversary.
2007 – MRI capabilities made are available at VMTH.
2008 – Equine Lameness Arena opens
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.
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 (TVMC).
2015 – The VET deploys in response to the Memorial Day flooding of the Blanco River in Wimberley and San Marcos, Texas.
2016 – The CVM, again, receives full accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education (AVMA COE)—with no substantial compliance issues cited.
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 state-wide reach.
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 River.
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 magazine.
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 Day” Initiative.
2017 – The DVM class size increases to 142 students.
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 events.
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 animals.
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 honored.
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 Biomedical Scientists.
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 Anniversary.