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Deans of Penn Vet


From its inception in 1884, with Rush Shippen Huidekoper, MD, as Penn Vet's inaugural dean, the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has been led by visionary thinkers. Here is a list of our deans:
Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD

Joan C. Hendricks, VMD, PhD

Term: 2006-Present

Dean Hendricks has served on the faculty of the school for more than 20 years. In 2001 she became the first woman named to an endowed professorship at the school when she was named the Henry and Corinne R. Bower Professor of Small Animal Medicine. In addition to serving as chief of critical care in the Department of Clinical Studies at Philadelphia, Dean Hendricks is founding director of the Veterinary Clinical Investigation Center (VCIC) at the school and holds a secondary appointment as professor in the Department of Medicine at Penn Medicine. During her sabbatical year, Dean Hendricks chose to investigate how molecular biology could be applied to neuroscience, specifically to the field of sleep and sleep disorders, in which she is a recognized expert. In 1979 and 1980, Dean Hendricks earned her VMD and PhD from Penn. She also carried out her residency and postdoctoral fellowship at the university. She has a BS in biology and psychology from Yale University.

Alan M. Kelly, BVSc, MRCVS, PhD

Alan M. Kelly, BVSc, MRCVS, PhD

Term: 1994-2005

Dean Kelly completed his undergraduate work at the University of Reading and received his veterinary degree from the University of Bristol, both in the United Kingdom. He received his PhD in pathology from Penn in 1967 and joined the faculty of Penn Vet the following year. Dean Kelly served as chair of the school’s Department of Pathobiology from 1990 until his appointment as acting dean in January 1994. A renowned researcher on muscle disease and muscular dystrophy, he has authored more than 100 book chapters and scientific papers and is a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the American Society for Cell Biology and the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute. He received the University’s Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1974.

Edwin J. Andrews, VMD

Edwin J. Andrews, VMD

Term: 1987-1993

A graduate of Penn Vet, Dean Andrews came to the school at a very difficult time and worked extremely hard to achieve a balanced budget, reconfigure its administrative structure, assist faculty in continuing to develop excellent teaching and research programs and attract and retain distinguished faculty. At the point of achieving extraordinary success, the threatened loss of support from the Commonwealth placed the school in further difficulties, at which point Dean Andrews worked even more diligently. As he sought to find new funding and worked to recover the threatened appropriation, he also attempted to find creative ways that would enable the school to do its business in a more economical fashion.

Robert R. Marshak, DVM

Robert R. Marshak, DVM

Term: 1973-1987

A graduate of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Dean Marshak joined the faculty of Penn Vet in 1956 as professor and chair of medicine, later becoming chair of clinical studies. His work in bovine leukemia led to the establishment in 1965 of the National Cancer Institute–sponsored Bovine Leukemia Research Center at New Bolton Center. As dean, his energy and vision were the catalysts for building the new small animal hospital in Philadelphia, expansion of the large animal hospital at New Bolton Center, introduction of aquatic veterinary medicine and development of veterinary specialties parallel to and in cooperation with those in human medicine. A dedicated "cow doctor," he returned to research and teaching in dairy farming at the completion of his deanship, and both the school itself and the field of veterinary medicine have benefited from his personal and professional contributions.

Mark W. Allam, VMD

Mark. W. Allam, VMD

Term: 1953-1973

Mark W. Allam graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a V.M.D. in 1932. He served on the faculty of Veterinary surgery and medicine at the University of Pennsylvania from 1932 to 1977, as chairman of the department of surgery, 1951-1955, as dean of the School of Veterinary medicine, 1952-1973, and as assistant vice-president for Health Affairs of the University, 1973-1977. He was a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and member of the American Veterinary Medicine Association. He served as president of the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, 1962-1966; and was named Honorary Associate in the English Royal College of Veterinary Associates in 1983.

Raymond A. Kelser, DVM

Raymond A. Kelser, DVM

Term: 1946-1952

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George A. Dick, VMD

George A. Dick, VMD

Term: 1931–1945

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Harold E. Bemis, DVM

Harold E. Bemis, DVM

Term: 1930–1931

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Louis A. Klein, VMD

Louis A. Klein, VMD

Term: 1910–1930

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Leonard Pearson, VMD

Leonard Pearson, VMD

Term: 1897–1909

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John Marshall, MD

John Marshall, MD

Term: 1890–1897

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Rush Shippen Huidekoper, MD

Rush Shippen Huidekoper, MD

Term: 1884–1889

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The Gilbert S. Kahn Deanship

Gilbert S. Kahn, Friend of Penn Vet

In 1993, Gilbert S. Kahn, breeder, exhibitor and judge of purebred dogs and supporter of animal welfare and canine health issues, made a gift to name the deanship of Penn Veterinary Medicine. The Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine at Penn was the first endowed veterinary deanship in North America.

Penn Vet History Resources

From images to archives, from Bellwethers to books to a seminal talk by Dr. Benjamin Rush on the veterinary profession, you can find it on the Penn Vet History Resources webpages.