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New MU Chancellor Addresses
Connaway Society

MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin meets with members of the John W. Connaway Society on April 5. He talked about his own interactions with veterinarians as a child growing up on a farm, and the importance of veterinarians to rural Missouri as well as to research into comparative medicine.

The John W. Connaway Society held its annual social Saturday, April 5, prior to the Gentle Doctor Benefit. The Connaway Society was formed to encourage private participation in the support and development of the College of Veterinary Medicine, and its membership is dedicated to securing the future of the College.

Members enjoyed cheese, fruit, wine and other beverages during a reception at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia. College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Neil C. Olson addressed the donors to the College before introducing guest speaker MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

Dr. Olson recounted information about the organization’s namesake and the early history of comparative medicine at Mizzou. Although he taught veterinary medicine for many years John Connaway held a doctorate in comparative medicine from the Chicago Veterinary College and an MD from the University of Missouri in 1891. Connaway had intended to pursue a career in human medicine, but he diverted from his planned career path on the advice of a mentor who advised him that farmers would be quicker and more willing to pay for treating their horses or cows than their sick wife or children.

Dr. Loftin discussed the importance of comparative medicine and how the resources available at Mizzou, with its College of Veterinary Medicine, School of Medicine and College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, position the University to accelerate discovery within the One Health discipline.

“We are linked together inseparably with the health of plants and the health of animals, as humans,” he said. He also talked about MU’s Comparative Oncology Program and the recent partnership between the University’s Ellis Fischel Cancer Center and Houston, Texas-based MD Anderson Cancer Network, which makes Mizzou the only academic medical center in the country affiliated with MD Anderson.

Lofton predicted that the next advances in human health will be made at an institution like MU, which is in a position to chart the course. “This is an exciting moment, folks. We are watching a birthing,” he said.

Following the reception, Connaway Society members had the opportunity to preview Gentle Doctor Benefit auction items prior to the start of the event.

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Last Update: April 7, 2014