The College: History
August 23, 1963
- Representatives from the
four western provinces, the Government of Canada and western universities agree
to build a regional college of veterinary medicine on the campus of the
University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Sask.
December 10, 1963
- The U of S Board of Governors confirms the appointment
of Dr. David Lawrence (Larry) T. Smith as the college's first dean.
September 10, 1965
- The university's new college is named the Western
College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) during the first meeting of the WCVM's
Advisory Board (renamed the WCVM Advisory Council in 1966).
- WCVM's first class of 33 veterinary students begin
their studies at the University of Saskatchewan. By the fall of 1968, more than
130 students were enrolled in the four-year program.
- The American College of Veterinary Medicine (AVMA), the
licensing body for veterinary colleges in North America, recommends provisional
accreditation for the WCVM. Two years later, the college receives "confidential
probation" status - allowing the first class of students to graduate from an
accredited veterinary college. The WCVM received full AVMA accreditation in
- Drs. Margaret Benson and Don MacDonald become the first two
students to complete and receive graduate degrees from the WCVM. Both received
their Master of Science degrees.
- The 27 members of the WCVM Class of 1969 - the
veterinary college's first class - receive their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
(DVM) degrees from U of S Chancellor John Diefenbaker (former Prime Minister of
Canada) during the university's Spring Convocation exercises.
July 2, 1969
- More than 500 people gather for the official opening of
the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. The opening is held in conjunction
with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association's annual conference.
November 12-14, 1970
- WCVM students organize and host the first Vetavision at
the veterinary college. The College's public open house continues to be held
every three years.
- Dr. N. Ole Nielsen, one of the first WCVM faculty members hired
in 1964, becomes the veterinary college's second dean after Dr. Larry Smith
completes 10 years of leadership at the WCVM.
- Crews complete the second phase of construction at the WCVM. The
Veterinary Teaching Hospital is expanded to accommodate the growing number of
small animal and large animal patients.
- Dr. Gavin Hamilton, who joined the WCVM faculty in 1966, assumes
the role of the WCVM's third dean.
- Dr. Alex Livingston, a professor of pharmacology with the
University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences, becomes the WCVM's
- Dr. Charles Rhodes, who joined the WCVM faculty in 1971, becomes
acting dean for the WCVM. One year later, Dr. Rhodes becomes the fifth dean of
the veterinary college.
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) announces a
$113-million investment in infrastructure upgrades for Canada's four veterinary
colleges. WCVM's share is $22.24 million. In November 2004, the Government of
Saskatchewan commits $15 million to the veterinary college's infrastructure
- The WCVM begins a multi-phase expansion and renovation of its
facilities. The $37-million project is slated for completion in 2008.
- The WCVM implements a revised curriculum for its undergraduate
veterinary students. The revised program includes more streamlined,
co-ordinated courses in the students' first two years, a range of third-year
elective courses, and "free time" every Wednesday afternoon.
- Four years after construction began at the WCVM, the veterinary
college has a new research wing, a two-storey addition to its Veterinary
Teaching Hospital, a renovated small animal clinical services area, a food
animal teaching centre and a renovated Animal Care Unit. A diagnostics addition
and renovations to the large animal clinical services area are still in
construction. High costs for construction materials and labour have increased
the total project cost to $71 million.
- Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) invests
$2.77 million in the construction of the College's new diagnostics addition and
the Veterinary Teaching Hospital's large animal clinical services area.
Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan announce a $9.06-million investment in
the WCVM's infrastructure project. The additional funding allows the college to
begin the final stage of construction: renovations to the existing diagnostic
laboratories and the development of a multi-use diagnostics laboratory complex.
First day of class, September 1965