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The Future of Veterinary Education

By The Power of Penn Published: Jul 23, 2020
Future equine clinicians learn the art and technology of radiograph procedures, an integral component of veterinary training. (Photo by Jim Graham)
Future equine clinicians learn the art and technology of radiograph procedures, an integral component of veterinary training.
(Photo by Jim Graham)

The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has announced a leadership gift of $5 million from Gail P. Riepe, CW’68, and Jim Riepe, W’65, WG’67, HON’10, to build a new clinical skills center on the New Bolton campus, located in Kennett Square, PA. The gift, a part of The Power of Penn Campaign, is the largest of its kind to the New Bolton facility.

“We are extremely grateful to the Riepes for their inspiring leadership and transformative philanthropy that will advance the future of veterinary education at Penn,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “As co-chair of The Power of Penn Vet Campaign and a member of the Penn Vet Board of Overseers, Gail Riepe holds a deep commitment to the tradition of excellence in education, advanced clinical care, and innovative research that are hallmarks of Penn. The new Gail P. Riepe Center for Advanced Veterinary Education will provide the facilities and tools essential for the development of clinical skills and ensure that Penn continues to prepare exceptional veterinarians and clinicians.”

The Riepe Center will be the first dedicated classroom building at New Bolton. Plans include a multi-modal flex space with fully integrated technology to accommodate all learning formats—from remote instruction to live demonstrations to group work. Today’s increasingly connected world demands powerful capabilities to interface with scholars and practitioners and the Riepe Center will address that need for Penn Vet students and faculty.

High fidelity veterinary simulators bridge the gap from classroom to clinic, and expand the abilities for students to gain important hands-on experience, competence, and confidence on the trajectory to treating patients. (Photo by Jim Graham)
High fidelity veterinary simulators bridge the gap from classroom to clinic, and expand the abilities for students to gain important hands-on experience, competence, and confidence on the trajectory to treating patients. (Photo by Jim Graham)

The New Bolton campus is home to a working dairy, a swine center, and a poultry unit—offering world-class veterinary education and research for the agriculture industry since its opening in 1952. The teaching hospital and field service provide emergency and routine veterinary care for over 40,000 patient visits each year.

Every Penn Vet student participates in a large animal rotation at New Bolton Center, and fourth year VMD students spend most of their time there working side by side with the faculty and residents. New Bolton also is known on a local and a national scale as an industry hub and host of professional gatherings for legislators, farm bureaus, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

“In making this gift, we want to support students and provide the very best experience for them. The work of preparing tomorrow’s veterinarians is so incredibly important,” explained Gail Riepe. “Investment in students pays such wonderful dividends when Penn graduates bring their knowledge and skills to veterinary practices near and far. We hope that others will join the call to help Penn Vet fully realize its vision and the importance of a new clinical skills center at New Bolton.”

Emily Griswold, V’20 (foreground, right) participating in a student roundtable discussion hosted by Gail Riepe (background, left) for the clinical skills center.
Emily Griswold, V’20 (foreground, right) participating in a student roundtable discussion hosted by Gail Riepe (background, left)
for the clinical skills center.

“Penn Vet has a long history of innovative educational and training opportunities, having created the majority of specialties in veterinary medicine,” said Andrew M. Hoffman, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “The new Gail P. Riepe Center for Advanced Veterinary Education will provide truly state-of-the-art simulators and models in flexible spaces. These facilities will serve to engage and inspire veterinary students, veterinarians in specialty training, and Penn Vet alumni for years to come, offering them opportunities to develop new competencies and master new skills. The Riepe Center, therefore, represents a cornerstone of life-long learning for Penn Vet students and alumni. Gail’s and Jim’s generous support will have a burgeoning, positive impact on the quality of clinical service delivered by our graduates in their communities throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.”

Together with additional philanthropic support for The Power of Penn Vet Campaign, the Riepe gift will help establish a clinical skills lab and acquire more life-size simulation models to provide limitless training akin to actual patient interactions, including catheter placements, suturing techniques, blood draws, and more.

The Riepes’ leadership gift toward the new clinical skills center supports the overarching goals of The Power of Penn Vet Campaign: to reimagine academic programs, to provide greater opportunities for experiential learning, and to transform clinical care. In combination, supporters of the Campaign will help ensure Penn Vet maintains its leadership position as a major force defining the future of the field for years to come.

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first 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, handling nearly 35,300 patient visits 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. The hospital handles nearly 5,300 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

Media Contacts

Martin Hackett
Director of Communications and Marketing
mhackett@vet.upenn.edu
215-898-1475

Hannah Kleckner Hall
Associate Director of Communications
hkleck@vet.upenn.edu
610-925-6241

John Donges
Communications Coordinator
jdonges@vet.upenn.edu
215-898-4234