[April 21, 2014; Philadelphia, PA] — The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine announces the appointment of Lawrence Otis Graham and Hope Gittis Sheft to its Board of Overseers.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome two remarkable individuals to join Penn Vet’s Board of Overseers,” said Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “I am confident that Lawrence and Hope will draw on their professional expertise to deliver many benefits to our board and to the entire Penn Vet community.”

Lawrence Otis Graham is an accomplished author who has penned 14 New York Times bestselling books. He previously served as a contributing editor at US News & World Report. Graham is also a real estate attorney, currently serving as Special Counsel at Cuddy & Feder. He sits on the board of the Horace Mann School, where he is chairman of the Annual Fund. Graham received his BA from Princeton and his JD from Harvard Law School. He lives in Chappaqua and Manhattan with his wife and three children. His 11-year-old daughter dreams of one day becoming a veterinarian.

Hope Gittis Sheft, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, began her professional career at Revlon Inc., where she held the positions of Vice President of Classic Revlon Skincare and Color Cosmetics and Vice President of the Revlon Foundation. At the Foundation, her work included management of the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Foundation. Sheft is a member of FARE: Food Allergy Research and Education and a board member of the Parents Club at Pace Academy. She resides in Atlanta with her husband, two sons, and two Coton de Tulears.

Overseer boards serve as bridges between Penn's schools and centers and the community beyond campus boundaries. Although overseers do not have fiduciary responsibility, the President, Provost, and Board of Trustees rely heavily on these boards to help inform the work of the schools and centers.

Penn Vet is a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the only veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health Initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, seeing nearly 33,000 patients a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals, treating 33,000 patients each year – 4,100 in the hospital and 29,000 at farms through the Field Service. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

For more information, visit www.vet.upenn.edu.