Gifts in Action

Your Gifts Tell the Story

Behind every gift to WSU's College of Veterinary Medicine is a story. The detection of a new disease helps save lives. A scholarship makes school more affordable. A beloved animal's life is saved from cancer. From everyone at the college, you have our sincere gratitude for your generous support.

  • Keeping Families Together

    Story by Marcia Hill Gossard ’99, ’04

    Nick Snyder Family

    Nick Snider ('14 DVM) with his wife Jennifer and their two daughters.

    Sometimes it takes many bends in the road to get where you are going. For Nick Snider ('14 DVM) he managed a coffee stand, he and his wife, Jennifer, worked as camp counselors, and he went back to school planning to become a biology teacher. But then he took his first virology and zoology classes and he was hooked. He knew his calling was to be a veterinarian.

    "It is mentally stimulating and I get to work with people. Not just clients, but also staff," said Snider, a self-described people person. Many go into veterinary medicine because they love to work with animals, but for Nick it was because he also likes to work with people. And that goes a long way for being a good veterinarian.

    "Working with people is something I always liked. It is a bit of the camp counselor in me," he said.

    That love for animals and caring for people made him a natural to receive the "Our Caring Profession Award," which is funded by John Mattoon ('84 DVM) and his wife, Jennifer Mattoon. The recipient is selected by the 4th year class as someone who has sincere compassion and caring for animals and people, excellence in mentoring and serving as a role model, and someone with good judgment and understanding.

    "It was a huge honor to be voted as the gentle doctor by my class," said Snider. "It gives me a lot to live up to."

    Snider also received the Thomas Montgomery Scholarship three years ago, which is given to non-traditional students with a family, and was the recipient of the Dr. & Mrs. E. Doyle Montgomery Scholarship.

    The scholarships helped make it financially possible for him, Jennifer, and their two young daughters to live together in Pullman during his last two years at WSU. He commuted to Spokane during his second year where his wife was a Kindergarten teacher.

    "These scholarships are a huge help on an already tight budget," said Snider. "Over the four years even small amounts really add up. They go a long way."

    After graduation, he started working at SouthCare Animal Medical Center in Spokane. But one day he hopes to own his own practice.

    As for receiving the Our Caring Profession Award, Snider was humbled to be honored by his classmates, and felt it was a special way to finish his final year.

    "As classmates we go through a lot together," said Snider. "It was a nice way to end our time there and honor the relationships we built."

  • We Can Feed Our Patients Even Better Thanks to a New Diet Kitchen

    Story by Marcia Hill Gossard ’99, ’04

    Nestle Purina Kitchen

    (l-r) Emily Cross, Purina Veterinary Communications Manager;
    Bryan Slinker, dean of the college; Ainsley Bone (’11 DVM);
    Harmon Rogers, former director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

    Feeding our patients the very best nutrition got a whole lot easier thanks to a partnership between WSU and the Nestlé Purina Center for Nutrition Excellence program. In the spring of 2013, the Veterinary Teaching Hospital received the state-of-the-art dietary kitchen thanks to a $70,000 gift from Nestlé Purina to the college.

    "Nestlé Purina partnered with Washington State University to install a state-of-the-art diet kitchen, which provided a significant upgrade to the hospital’s facilities," said Emily Cross, Purina Veterinary Communications Manager.

    With the diet kitchen, veterinary students, residents and faculty have easier access to therapeutic diets for hospitalized animals. A computer workstation inside the kitchen allows students and veterinarians to use special nutrition software to calculate optimal diets depending on a patient’s needs. There are also dispensers for dozens of dry and canned pet foods that makes it easy to prepare the special diets required by hospital patients.

    "The organization in the kitchen is very helpful in making diet recommendations based on patient conditions," said Matt Mickas, WSU small animal veterinarian.

    For oncology patients, for instance, who greatly benefit from additional calories and high quality nutrition, the kitchen can help veterinarians easily find the optimal diet plan.

    "When animals are really sick they can have food aversions," said Rebekah Lewis, a WSU oncology resident. "Having a variety helps a lot because we can try different foods."

    Lewis explained that maintaining a good quality of life for patients is the goal. "We want them to be as happy and comfortable as we can," she said.

    "By providing ready access to optimally formulated diets, the kitchen enhances the care and recovery of small animal patients," said Deb Sellon, director of the Teaching Hospital. "It also is a great educational tool to help veterinary students better understand how important nutrition is in a comprehensive medical care plan for their patients."

    Nestlé Purina also supports the WSU Pet Loss Support Hotline, the Veterinary Clinical Communications Program, senior papers, scholarships, and our Transitions Ceremony for third year students.


    The state-of-the-art kitchen makes it easy to prepare special diets for patients.