Giving Opportunities

Caroline Wells Donaldson Scholarship



Caroline Wells Donaldson ('97 DVM) - May 1, 2019

Caroline Wells DonaldsonCaroline Wells Donaldson passed away at Carle Foundation Hospital on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, after a four-year struggle with ovarian cancer.

Caroline was born June 18, 1964, the third child of Malcolm M. Donaldson and Deborah J. Donaldson.

Caroline is survived by her three children, Fiona I. A. Coleman, Quentin A. Coleman and Forrester W. Coleman. The children have the support of their father, David A. Coleman, to help them through this difficult time. Also in mourning are Caroline’s siblings, Hamilton M. Donaldson, Adele D. Donaldson and Thomas C. Donaldson, and their respective families; and a multitude of friends, near and far, accumulated over the course of an all-too-brief but well-lived life.

Caroline earned her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Washington State University in Pullman, Wash., in 1997. She and her family took up residence in Champaign-Urbana in 2000. Caroline worked as a board-certified veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

A restless spirit from a family of restless spirits, Caroline lived in a number of places in her life before settling in Illinois. As a child, she spent many days skiing with her family and developed a lifelong love for riding horses. Everyone who knew Caroline basked in the light of a woman possessed of an iron will, sharp mind, strong opinions and a fiercely independent character; they were the qualities that the people close to her most admired. Without the light of Caroline’s character, the world is a little bit darker for those who knew and loved her, less brilliant, less dazzling. Caroline was loved, and she will be missed.

Caroline’s family would like to thank the wonderful medical professionals at Carle for all the skill and compassion they brought to bear in helping Caroline fight the good fight and the care they showed helping ease her to that which is beyond.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, Caroline’s family would ask that people contribute to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, so that they can continue to do the good work to which Caroline dedicated herself to doing.

Condolences may be offered at

Published in The News-Gazette (Champaign, IL) on May 19, 2019.

Letter to Classmates from Tracy Thompson:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Caroline Wells DonaldsonIt is with a heavy heart that I am writing to you all. Caroline Wells Donaldson (formerly Falkner), class of 1997 (WSU CVM), died on May 1, 2019 following a heroic 4-year battle with ovarian cancer.

Caroline was my classmate, my study-buddy, the wife, and then ex-wife, of my friend/classmate David Coleman, and the mother of their three amazing kids Fiona (20), Quinten (17), and Forrester (15). Caroline was the strong and silent type. She kept her circle of friends small and her struggles quiet through-out our time at WSU but her smile on graduation day was one of the biggest I have ever seen! Besides her smile, what I will always remember about Caroline was her work ethic in school and in practice, her love of cats, dogs and horses, especially for those “special cases” no one else wanted, and her love for her family.

She and David connected during our senior year and their relationship traveled from Pullman to Massachusetts to California to Utah and finally to Illinois. Caroline’s mom and sister were living in Wisconsin and she wanted her kids to grow up with their cousins and to be close to their grandmother and aunt so Caroline and David moved to Champaign-Urbana. The University of Illinois provided opportunities for David to pursue Veterinary Pathology while Caroline embarked on a successful career at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), becoming board certified in Veterinary Toxicology in 2006. Caroline wrote several journal articles and book chapters and participated in several field deployments in which she cared for horses during rescue events.

In honor of all the wonderful work Caroline did through the ASPCA APCC, I am asking you to consider donating to help establish a scholarship in her name for veterinary students interested in pursuing a career in veterinary toxicology. I know together we can achieve the goal of raising $25,000 to make this scholarship a reality and to have a way for our class, and for others who knew and loved Caroline, to honor her memory in this way.

I hope this finds you all leading the lives you dreamed of and that, next time we communicate, it will be about happy events while still knowing we honor those we have lost.


Tracy Thompson


A very special thanks to the ASPCA who made it possible for us to endow the scholarship.

Because of their generosity, each year a student will receive this scholarship for many, many years to come.

For questions about other opportunities to give, please contact Lynne Haley, Director of Development, 
at (509) 335-5021 or

Washington State University