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Animal Lover Leaves $3.4 Million Gift for MU
Donation to fund three MU College of Veterinary Medicine residencies

James Redhage, who passed away in 2008, has left a $3.4 million-dollar estate endowment to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.

“It gives me great satisfaction to have made this commitment to education, in honor of my parents and my best friend, Red,” Redhage wrote in a letter that accompanied a previous donation to MU.

James Redhage

James Redhage, an avid outdoorsman and animal lover, has left a $3.4 million-dollar estate endowment to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in honor of some lifelong friends: his dogs. Redhage, who passed away in 2008, had a strong bond with his dogs “Red”, “Pepper” and “Pepper II”. A native and lifelong resident of Pike County, Missouri, Redhage first became a friend of the college when he brought Red to MU for veterinary care. Redhage was so pleased with the treatment and care given to Red that he decided to donate to the college.

Randy Anderson (left), executor for the estate of the late James H. Redhage, is pictured with the first veterinary Redhage Residents, (from left) Drs. Meredith Thoen, Kerry Rissetto and Dylan Buss during a ceremony Dec. 17, 2010, held to announce Redhage’s $3.4 million estate gift to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine.


MU Chancellor Dr. Brady Deaton (center) and College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Dr. Neil Olson (left) present Dr. Meredith Thoen with a white Redhage Resident laboratory coat.


Redhage’s gift will support the annual salaries of three CVM senior residents as well as a $1000 stipend for the awardees to provide vital continuing education opportunities. The chosen residents will be able to enhance their advanced veterinary training in a clinical setting as well as serve as teachers for veterinary medicine students. The inaugural awardees are Meredith Thoen, Kerry Rissetto and Dylan Buss. Thoen says the gift will provide her with wonderful learning opportunities.

“I love the challenge of trying to determine what is wrong with my patients and how rewarding it is when we can fix them and send them home to their owners,” Thoen said. “This gift will allow me to receive invaluable teaching experience with some of the leading experts in our field, and will help immensely in my preparation to take my board examination next year.”

Veterinary residents in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine are veterinarians who seek further training and specialization in specific fields. Much like human medicine, there are many different fields of veterinary medicine, including oncology, radiology and neurology. Ronald Cott, director of development and associate dean of student and alumni affairs in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, remembers Redhage’s interest in furthering this specialized training and education.

“He was very interested in helping to enhance the opportunity for education and advanced training,” Cott said. “He had a passion for the human-animal bond, and his generous gift will help further the college’s mission of education and animal care immeasurably.”

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Last Update: February 29, 2012