Dr. Leon Russell, professor of toxicology, epidemiology and biostatistics at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, received an honorary degree from his alma mater, the University of Missouri, on May 15, 2010. An honorary degree is one of the highest honors the university can give.
Dr. Russell is a graduate who has dedicated his life to education and research. He received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Missouri, as well as his doctor of veterinary medicine degree. His research focus in zoonotic diseases played an important role in the development and epidemiologic evaluation of the oral vaccination that helped control coyote and grey fox rabies in Texas. He has both researched and taught the subjects of public health, toxicology, and zoonotic diseases. Russell is also the first American elected president of the World Veterinary Association.
The Doctor of Science Letters Honoris Causa was awarded to Dr. Russell at the University of Missouri’s convocation ceremony. Dr. Russell spoke and advised students to give credit to others when good things happen and to take the blame for the bad.
“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of this degree” states Russell. “I have been fortunate to work with so many good students and to be supported in that work by my colleagues. To be able to share with others what I have learned from a lifetime of experience has been an important part of my professional career, and to be recognized by my alma mater for doing something I enjoy is very humbling.”