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The Amazing Class of ‘61 Pays it Forward with a Professionalism Endowment and Scholarship

by Marcia Hill Gossard '99, '04

On May 28, 1961 forty-two men and one woman were awarded Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Washington State University. Graduation was held in Roger’s Field, the football stadium now known as Martin Stadium. Afterward the Veterinarian’s Oath was administered by Dean Earnest C. Stone in the Compton Union Building.

Since then, the career paths of the members of the class have spanned private and public practice, public health, industry, and academic research and teaching. They have held leadership positions in local and state veterinary associations, academia, school and hospital boards, and a variety of other professional and civic groups.

Over the years the Class of ‘61 has remained unusually close. Each Christmas they publish a newsletter without fail and have held four class reunions. In appreciation for the education and guidance they received from the administration and faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine and as a memorial to deceased members of the class, they established the Professionalism Endowment to recognize a high degree of professionalism among veterinary students at WSU. In 2016, they reached $103,115 and the endowment is still growing!

Class of ‘61
Class of 1961 at their 50th reunion in Pullman, June 2011.
(front, l-r) Ken Kellogg, Tom Kelly. BobBill Berry, Tom Migaki (middle row, l-r)
Jim Murphy, Dave Anderson, Bill Moffat, Greg Nelson, Ray Ediger, Gary Duskin
(back row, l-r) Ed Kearley, Ray Johnston, Rich Guthrie, Jim Lebo,
Ken MacRae, Paul Bissonette, Bob Haskell, Bob Wilson, Mel Dennis
Larger View of Photo
Nicholas Paulson
Nicholas Paulson (DVM ’12) receiving the first Class of ’61
Professionalism Award from Dr. Robert Wilson,
former dean of the college.

Twenty-three class members attended their 50th class reunion in June 2011. They presented Nicholas Paulson (Class of 2012) with the first Class of 1961 Professionalism Award. Funds from the endowment are used to provide awards to students completing their third year of the DVM curriculum. Awardees exemplify professionalism, demonstrate knowledge and competence; compassion; attention to duty; adherence to ethical standards; and have respectful and caring relations with classmates. The selection is made by a vote of the third-year class.

The college thanks all the class members and spouses for their generosity and support. And special thanks to Dr. Bob Wilson for spearheading both the scholarship endowment and the 2011 reunion.

To make a gift by mail:

Please make check payable to the WSU Foundation and indicate it is for the Class of '61 Professionalism Endowment and Scholarship.  Send the check to: 

Lynne Haley 
PO Box 647010 
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-7010 

For questions about giving, contact Lynne Haley, Director of Development,
at (509) 335-5021 or

Washington State University