College of Veterinary Medicine History
In the 1950's, veterinary medical
students relied on the microscope as their primary diagnostic
Veterinary medicine at the University of
Missouri began in 1884. It progressed through five stages
— a course in veterinary science, a department of veterinary
science, a school of veterinary medicine in the division of
agricultural sciences, a school of veterinary medicine as
a separate division, and finally, a College of Veterinary
In 1885, the first vaccine-virus laboratory
in the United States was established at the veterinary science
department. A veterinary laboratory was erected in 1887. In
early years, staff veterinarians taught courses to medical
and agricultural students, conducted research on tick fever,
and investigated livestock disease throughout the state.
The College's first building, Connaway
Hall, was built in 1910-11 to house veterinary science faculty
who taught courses to agricultural students, investigated
animal and poultry diseases, performed diagnostic and extension
work, and produced animal vaccines.
The professional curriculum leading to
the DVM degree was established in 1946 to offer educational
opportunities to World War II veterans. In 1950, 26 new veterinarians
graduated in the first class.
From 1946-65 there were 30 students, all
Missouri residents, in each of the four classes studying for
the DVM degree. In 1965, class size doubled and non-residents
were admitted in response to federal funding incentives. These
federal “capitation” funds offered to alleviate
a national shortage of veterinarians and stimulated another
class size increase (to 76 students) in 1976. In the early
80's, the national need for veterinarians stabilized, federal
funding was withdrawn and enrollment was lowered in the interest
of quality education and efficient space planning. The College
has graduated more than 2,600 veterinarians since 1946.
A teaching hospital
was built in 1961, and a diagnostic laboratory and a teaching-research
building were added in 1977. Clydesdale Hall, a 149,000-sq.-ft.
medical teaching hospital, was completed and occupied in March
1993 (and was remodeled in 2000 to remain at the forefront
of clinical education). A multi-million dollar renovation
to the veterinary medicine building and Connaway Hall were
completed in 1997 and 1998, respectively.