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 
2006 to present 

Dr. Joan Hendricks, dean, Penn VetDean 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

Dr. Alan Kelly, dean, Penn VetDean 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


Dr. Edwin Andrews, dean, Penn VetA 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 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


Dr. Robert Marshak, dean, Penn VetA 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


 Dr. Mark Allam, dean, Penn Vet




Raymond A. Kelser, DVM


Dr. Raymond Kelser, dean, Penn Vet 




George A. Dick, VMD


Dr. George Dick, dean, Penn Vet 




Harold E. Bemis, DVM


Dr. Harold Bemis, dean, Penn Vet 




Louis A. Klein, VMD


Dr. Louis Klein, dean, Penn Vet 




Leonard Pearson, VMD


Dr. Leonard Pearson, dean, Penn Vet 




John Marshall, MD


Dr. John Marshall, dean, Penn Vet 

Rush Shippen Huidekoper, MD


Dr. Rush Shippen Huidekoper, dean, Penn Vet 

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.