PASADENA, Calif. – May 16, 2007 -The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM)

at Western University of Health Sciences awarded 81 Doctor of Veterinary

Medicine (DVM) degrees to the members of its charter class during a

commencement ceremony May 11 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

Award-winning actress Betty White, best-known for her role as Rose

Lindstrom Nylund in the popular 1980s NBC-TV sitcom, The Golden Girls,

was the keynote speaker.

White was also awarded an honorary Doctor of

Humane Veterinary Sciences degree in recognition of her decades of work

to promote animal welfare with the Morris Animal Foundation and the Los

Angeles Zoo.

“”We are very fortunate to have had Betty White as a spokesperson and an

active board member for Morris Animal Foundation for nearly 40 years,””

said Patricia Olson, DVM, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Englewood,

Colorado-based Morris Animal Foundation.

“”She is passionate about all animals and her dedication to improving animal health through humane research is commendable,”” Olson said. “”Because of Betty’s work to advance animal health and welfare worldwide, veterinarians have better diagnostic tests and treatments. She is truly deserving of this honorary veterinary degree from Western University.””

White’s commencement address was a significant part of a landmark event

that was a celebration of a journey that began for the College of

Veterinary Medicine nearly a decade ago.

In August 2003, the CVM admitted its charter class, making the college

the 28th veterinary medicine program in the United States, the second in

California and the first of its kind in Southern California.

It was the first veterinary college to open in the nation in more than 20 years, and the first founded by a woman, Dean Shirley Johnston.

Even more remarkable is the impressive number of internships (26) awarded

to the students upon completing their studies. Their future plans will

send them to internships across the U.S. including California, Florida,

Michigan and New York. Many of the internships include residencies in

laboratory animal medicine at the University of Michigan and UCLA.

The college uses small group, problem-based learning to promote

development of lifelong learning, communications and teamwork skills in

its students. Because of its ‘reverence for life,’ the college does not

kill or harm animals in its educational programs.

In addition, anatomy cadavers are acquired through

a willed body program, and students master clinical skills such as

surgery on a variety of models before applying them to living animals.

The curriculum also champions strategic alliances with public and private

veterinary institutions in its educational programs, providing student-

learning experiences world-wide.

“”Western University is very proud to contribute to a growing national

need for veterinarians,”” Dean Johnston said. “”Our graduates have accepted

positions in practices, internships and residencies to provide care for

pets, horses, food animals and laboratory animals. I am confident that

they will serve society with excellence as advocates and champions for

animals throughout their careers.””

Many of the new graduates have been employed by practices that are

rotation sites for the CVM and serve collectively as the

College’s “”teaching hospital.””

In August 2007, when current third- and fourth-year students begin their

clinical rotations, a significant number of them will find CVM alumni as

their new mentors. That’s important because the mentors will be very

familiar with the model of teaching that the College has employed.

“”The graduates’ actions will prove that the vision of those who worked to

establish the college was on the mark,”” Johnston said.