What began with one man’s love for his nine golden retrievers has turned into a long-lasting donor relationship that continues to benefit N.C. State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Randall B. Terry Jr., the late co-publisher of the High Point Enterprise newspaper, used to take his nine dogs to NCSU’s vet school for care. Since 1996, a charitable foundation Terry created has given more than $47 million to the school.
On Monday, N.C. State celebrated the announcement of the latest $16 million gift from the Terry foundation with faculty and students. Even the animals were invited – including Lacy the goat, Masey the horse and Odett the cow, who live at the vet school.
Half of the $16 million will go into the student scholarship fund, doubling it. An additional $5 million of the gift will increase the endowed professorships at the vet school, while the remaining $3 million is designated for research.
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Stephannie Gibson, a fourth-year veterinary medicine student with an equine focus, spoke at Monday’s event, thanking the Randall B. Terry Charitable Foundation for its years of support.
“Donors show their belief in us through their scholarships,” Gibson said. “Their choice to give to the veterinary school of medicine shows a larger belief in the college, the work being done here and the difference our future graduates will make in the world.”
Third-year veterinary medicine student Karen Park attended with her ball python, named Sutra, wrapped around her neck. She said she has already filled out an application for the new scholarships.
The endowed professorships will assist the school in recruiting top-notch faculty and will help honor existing talent, said Matthew Breen, professor of genomics, who recently became the first recipient of the Oscar J. Fletcher chair in comparative oncology genetics.
“I hope I can represent this professorship with as much dignity, honor and professionalism as the man for whom it is named,” Breen said.
Fletcher, dean of the vet school from 1992 through 2004 and current professor of population health and pathobiology, said he was equally honored to have an endowed chair in his name.
“I was blessed twice, one to have a chair named after me and the second to have Matthew Breen be the first recipient,” Fletcher said. “He’s very distinguished and better known than me.”
Developing new ideas
Breen said a private research endowment is key in securing grants for research projects.
“The generosity and foresight of the research endowment announced today will provide a means to develop new ideas quickly and to broaden the research scope to enhance our goals to secure additional extramural funding,” he said.
Of the $47 million the Terry foundation has donated to the vet school, $20 million helped build the new veterinary medical center, which opened in 2011. The vet school has been ranked third in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
“Terry’s love for his golden retrievers named after Greek mythology figures – Achilles, Ajax, Apollo, Athena, Diana, Nike, Rumor, Venus and Zeus – coupled with his appreciation for the tremendous care his animals received at the College of Veterinary Medicine, moved him to build a medical education center like no other in the world,” N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson said Monday.
Before the center, N.C. State’s animal hospital annually treated 12,000 patients. That number has grown to 28,000.
“I know Terry would be so proud looking down on what’s going on today,” Woodson said.