Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
March 21, 1997

Funds for the best

Campaign Destiny will help Ved Med fill endowed chairs, give students scholarships

by Steve Jones
When the College of Veterinary Medicine filled its Frank K. Ramsey Endowed Chair in research in 1995, it went for the best.

The college hired Harley Moon, a leading veterinary scholar who's thought to be one of only two veterinarians in the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. Moon cited the Ramsey Chair's $1 million endowment, which allowed him to immediately begin a research program, as one of his reasons for coming to Iowa State.

The college plans to recruit additional outstanding faculty members and provide more student scholarships with funds raised during Campaign Destiny, ISU's $300 million, five-year capital campaign.

Veterinary medicine officials are seeking $7.25 million during the campaign. Three million of that will create an endowment for new faculty chairs and professorships. Another $2.5 million is earmarked for student scholarships. Additional money will fund facilities improvement, new equipment and other needs.

"Endowed chairs and professorships are prestigious positions that enhance our ability to attract and retain the best scholars," said Richard Ross, veterinary medicine dean. He said a researcher of Moon's caliber helps draw other researchers and top graduate students.

"As we recruit faculty over the next few years, it's important to increase the number of endowed positions. They strengthen the college," Ross added.

Endowments provide perpetual sources of revenue to supplement college and grant support for the teaching and research activities of faculty who hold endowed chairs and professorships.

"The Ramsey Chair assured me a source of baseline support to initiate and sustain a research program," said Moon, an expert in E. coli diseases in animals. "The day I walked in the door, I knew that the money was there to get my program going."

The contributors to the $1 million Ramsey chair endowment already have seen a return on their investment: the National Institutes of Health awarded Moon and his research group a $772,000 grant last year. Other grants are expected to follow.

Scholarships needed
A great need exists for more veterinary medicine scholarships, Ross said. Unlike many graduate students at ISU, students in the D.V.M. program do not receive stipends or assistantships. Little gift assistance is available and a student loan is the most common form of financial aid.

Deb Burdick, assistant director, student financial aid, said ISU veterinary students owe an average of $42,000 by the time they earn their D.V.M. degrees. "And the average goes up each year," she noted. Some students, who still owe on their under-graduate loans, face debts of $50,000 or more.

Contributors already have reached one campaign goal at the college. More than $200,000 was raised to conserve the popular veterinary medicine mural by sculptor Christian Petersen. The mural, now in Connecticut for conservation, will be installed and dedicated this fall.

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