Pat Jenkins has always been an animal lover, going back to her first family pet—a Manchester Terrier named Chip. She later rescued a kitten while in law school, calling him Frank.
When she met her late husband Matthew J. Ryan, and took on helping to care for his children’s pets, a fondness for Labradors, in particular, was born. Today, Pat is the proud owner of a black Lab named Miracle and three adopted cats: Penelope, Isis, and Mya. She feels like her home isn’t complete unless she is sharing it with both cats and dogs.
Pat notes that Matt’s love for the state of Pennsylvania and her love for animals is what sparked their mutual involvement in Penn Vet. As Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for six terms, from 1981 to 1982 and 1995 to 2004, Matt was instrumental in making the case for Penn Vet to both voters and fellow legislators, noting the School’s important role in public health and food safety.
Of her many experiences at Penn Vet, Pat fondly recalls carriage rides at New Bolton Center with Matt and former Deans Mark Allam and Bob Marshak. She was one of the first visitors to the Swine Unit and the Marshak Dairy. In 2003, she was proud to witness the renaming of the small animal hospital in Philadelphia in Matt’s honor.
For nine years, Pat also served on the Penn Vet Board of Overseers, bringing her enthusiasm for the School and its hospital programs to the leadership group. She has been a generous supporter of Ryan Hospital, the Shelter Medicine Program, and the Working Dog Center. Pat became interested in the latter as a result of her many years of service as a Judge for the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, one of the first to use working and therapy dogs in the courtroom. She has since been appointed to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, and her new office is appropriately adorned with an array of dog figurines.
Pat’s commitment to Penn Vet will also extend well into the future thanks to thoughtful long-term planning on her part. She has included Penn Vet as a beneficiary of her estate, ensuring that the programs that mean the most to her at the School will benefit. Pat also hopes that Matt’s tireless efforts to showcase the important role that veterinarians play, in the state and beyond, will continue to be part of the School’s success. She notes that Dean Joan Hendricks has made great progress in this regard by demonstrating Penn Vet’s role in advancing One Health.
To learn more about how you can honor a special pet or veterinarian in your long-term
plans, please contact Jillian Marcussen, Director of Development and Board Relations,
at 215-898-4235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By planning a legacy gift to support Penn Vet, you will receive membership in the
Veterinary Heritage Circle, the School’s membership society for planned giving donors,
and the University’s Charles Custis Harrison Society.