Memorial Statements of Veterinary Faculty (1921-present)

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This collection includes Memorial Statements produced by the Office of the Dean of the University Faculty in honor of deceased faculty members of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University.

Compiled by departmental colleagues, each statement or necrology provides brief biographical information and describes areas of specialization and accomplishment in their field.

A comprehensive index to Memorial Statements for all deceased Cornell faculty from 1868 to date may be found at with individual Statements at


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 63
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    Poppensiek, George Charles
    Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty; Robertshaw, David; Earnest-Koons, Kathy; Torres, Alfonso (Cornell University, 2015)
    Memorial Statement for Emeritus Dean George C. Poppensiek, V.M.D., M.S. (1918-2015) who was born in New York City earned his V.M.D. degree from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 1942. His experience with rabies led to him becoming Department Head at Lederle Laboratories of Pearl River, NY, where he was responsible for veterinary virus vaccine production. He returned to Cornell becoming Director of the Diagnostic Laboratory while simultaneously earned a M.S. in virology, pathology and biochemistry in 1951. His research on a number of infectious diseases and vaccinology led to his appointment as Supervisory Veterinarian for Immunological Investigations at the USDA's Plum Island Animal Disease Center. Recruited back to Cornell,, he served as the College's fifth Dean for 15 years from 1959 to1974. Emeritus Dean Poppensiek was then appointed as the James Law Professor of Comparative Medicine before he retired in 1988.
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    Schryver, Herbert Francis
    Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty; Ramanujan, Krishna (Cornell University, 2017)
    Memorial Statement for Professor Herbert F. Schryver, D.V.M. (1927-2017) was known for his expertise in veterinary pathology as well as equine nutrition and biomechanics. He earned his veterinary degree in 1954 from Cornell and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in experimental pathology in 1964. He was appointed to the faculty at Cornell in 1966 and served as director of the Equine Research Program. His interest was in equine nutrition, especially the physiological effects of growth and exercise, and mineral metabolism. His biomechanics of locomotion research led him to investigate the roles of diet and exercise on bone strength in horses, as well as the effects of electrical stimuli on healing of bone fractures. He retired as emeritus professor in 1990.
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    Smith, Donald Frederick
    Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty; Fubini, Susan L.; Hackett, Richard P.; Irby, Nita L. (Cornell University, 2016)
    Memorial Statement for Emeritus Dean Donald F. Smith, D.V.M. (1949-2016) who was born in Ontario, Canada and received his D.V.M. degree in 1974 from the University of Guelph. After a residency at the University of Pennsylvania, he joined the Cornell faculty and established himself as an expert large animal surgeon with research interest in the metabolic disorders in cattle and fluid replacement therapy. From 1983 until 1987, he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before returning to Cornell as Chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences. In 1991, Dr. Smith became Associate Dean of Education and was instrumental in establishing the College’s pioneering problem-based-learning curriculum for veterinary medicine. After serving as Dean from 1997 until 2007, his interest turned to veterinary history in conducting oral history interviews, leadership initiatives for women veterinarians, and publishing several books.
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    Hintz, Harold F. Skip
    Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty; Butler, Walter R.; Thonney, Michael L.; Bauman, Dale E. (Cornell University, 2016)
    Memorial Statement for Professor Harold F. Skip Hintz, M.S., Ph.D. (1937-2016) who had been Professor of Animal Nutrition and chairman of the Department of Animal Science before retiring in 2005. After coming to Cornell, he joined the equine research program in 1967 which was a joint program of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science Department of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Dr. Hintz had a distinguished research career and was considered a preeminent international expert on equine nutrition. He authored more than 200 scientific papers, 36 book chapters, and co-authored four text books, mostly on horse nutrition with emphasis on mineral and energy metabolism and their relationship to performance and health. He also conducted metabolic studies using the College of Veterinary Medicine's treadmill. Dr. Hintz received numerous awards including induction in the Equine Research Hall of Fame.
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    Kirk, Robert Warren
    Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty; Smith, Donald F.; Riis, Ronald R.; Scott, Danny W. (Cornell University, 2011)
    Memorial Statement for Professor Robert Warren Kirk, D.V.M., Ph.D. (1922-2011) who was in general veterinary practice in several states after earning his DVM at Cornell in 1946. He returned to Cornell in 1952 and helped usher in a new age of pet health care at Cornell. In addition to being a superb teacher of veterinary students and postgraduate trainees, Dr. Kirk held a number of College administrative positions including head of the teaching hospital, director of the Small Animal Clinic, and chair of the Clinical Sciences Department. He was a prolific author that included many editions of Current Veterinary Therapy, Small Animal Dermatology, among other books. He was a founding member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, past president of the American College of Veterinary Dermatology, and recipient of numerous professional awards. At the time of his retirement in 1985, he was one of the most decorated and widely-known small animal veterinarians in the world.
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    Hitchner, Stephen Ballinger
    Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty; Calnek, Bruce W.; Fabricant, Julius; Schat Karel A. (Cornell University, 2011)
    Memorial Statement for Professor Stephen B. Hitchner, D.V.M. (1916-2011) held various positions at universities and in industry developing a reputation as one of the most respected members of the field of avian medicine. Upon the retirement of Dr. P. Philip Levine, Dr. Hitchner came to Cornell as head of the Avian Disease Department in 1966. Under his direction, the department broadened its scope to include aquatic animal medicine. In his later years from 1975 until retirement in 1981, he concentrated his efforts on largely neglected pet bird medicine and establishing a program for pet and exotic bird diseases. Dr. Hitchner served on many professional committees, consulted internationally, and published several books and numerous papers on avian pathology.
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    Lewis, Robert Miller
    Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty; Schlafer, Donald; Cooper, Barry; Summers, Brian (Cornell University, 2011)
    Memorial Statement for Professor Robert Miller Lewis, D.V.M., Ph.D. (1937-2011) who spent the early years of his long and productive career in the Boston area, specializing in laboratory research in comparative medicine and spontaneous autoimmune diseases of domestic animals. In 1975, Dr. Lewis relocated to Ithaca to become chairman of the Pathology Department at Cornell. In this capacity, he taught veterinary students surgical pathology and necropsy and also formalized a well-respected residency training and graduate studies program in veterinary pathology at the College.
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    Gillespie, James Howard
    Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty; Poppensiek, George C.; Lust, George; Scott, Frederic W. (Cornell University, 2011)
    Memorial Statement for Professor James H. Gillespie, V.M.D., Ph.D. (1917-2011) began his career at Cornell in the Avian Disease Section of the Department of Pathology and Bacteriology in 1946. When the Veterinary Virus Research Institute (currently Baker Institute) was developed by Dr. James A. Baker in 1950, Dr. Gillespie became its Assistant Director. This appointment enable him to become involved with research on a number of virus diseases of domestic animals in addition to teaching microbiology to veterinary students and advising his many graduate students. Dr. Gillespie's studies on the infectious diseases of the cat lead to the formation of the Cornell Feline Health Center in 1974. He served on a number of international commissions and was recognized as a world leader in developing scientific information about vaccines for animals.
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    Habel, Robert E.
    Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty; deLahunta, Alexander; Bezuidenhout, Abraham; White, Maurice E. (Cornell University, 2013)
    Memorial Statement for Professor Robert E. Habel, D.V.M. (1918-2013) who became Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Anatomy upon his retirement in 1978. After receiving his DVM from Ohio State University, Dr. Habel had joined the Cornell faculty as Assistant Professor in 1947 and then served as Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy until 1976. Known as a dedicated and skill anatomist, he established a course in applied anatomy for veterinary students at Cornell. Dr. Habel was also recognized internationally as one of the founding members of the International Association of Veterinary Anatomists in 1957 and also held leadership positions as President of the American Association of Veterinary Anatomists and World Association of Veterinary Anatomists. He was instrumental in publishing the Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria (NAV) in 1968 and received a number of professional awards.
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    Fox, Francis Henry
    Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty; Smith, Mary C.; Hillman, Robert B; Appel, Leslie D. (Cornell University, 2015)
    Memorial Statement for Professor Francis Henry Fox, D.V.M. (1923-2015) who was initially recruited for Cornell's Ambulatory Clinic upon receiving his DVM in 1945. As professor of large animal medicine from 1947 to his semi-retirement in 1992, he provided Ambulatory Services and taught the art of physical diagnosis to generations of veterinary students. As a beloved prankster, past students fondly remember his sense of humor as well as the annual birthday jokes and bridge painting. Many of these recollections are recorded in The Fox Chronicles booklet. Dr. Fox held various administrative positions, including Head of the Ambulatory Clinic and Chair of the Department of Large Animal Medicine, Obstetrics and Surgery (LAMOS). He was also active in various professional organizations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association and New York State Veterinary Medical Society. Even in retirement he remained a driving force behind Senior Seminars and continued his interest in farm families and their animals. Dr. Fox was a giant in veterinary medicine.