Dr. Midge Leitch, V’73, embodied the true pioneering spirit of many female veterinarians entering the profession at a time when it was still dominated by men. After graduating from Penn Vet, she was one of the first women to do a surgical residency at New Bolton Center and one of the first women equine practitioners to become board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, achieving that distinction in 1982. She subsequently served on New Bolton Center’s surgical and sports imaging staff for several years and established a successful private practice.
Leitch served as an official veterinarian to the United States Equestrian Team and was an active member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) for more than 40 years. In recognition of her many contributions to equine medicine, she was awarded the Penn Vet Alumni Award of Merit in 1988 and the AAEP Distinguished Service Award
In addition to her remarkable professional career, Leitch was a devoted alumna, supporting a variety of initiatives at the School. She cared deeply about helping students through the Opportunity Scholarship Program. Her numerous community and civic activities included Canine Partners for Life and The Seeing Eye, for which she served as a puppy-raiser until her death in early 2014.
This experience with working dogs fueled her interest in the Penn Vet Working Dog Center (WDC) when it was established in 2012, as Leitch had a unique appreciation for the value of high-quality, high-performing working dogs to society. After a visit to the Center not long after its opening, she stressed her belief in the importance of studying the genetic factors impacting working dog success.
Continuing her history of thoughtful generosity to the School, Leitch decided to leave a sizeable portion of her estate to the WDC, where it has had an immediate and direct impact on furthering the Center’s research and education goals.
About Planned Giving
Over the years, Penn Vet has received generous support from many donors whose estate gifts have furthered the School’s mission by funding scholarships, professorships, hospital needs, cutting-edge research, and more. These special donors are members of the School’s Veterinary Heritage Circle and the University’s Charles Custis Harrison Society.
Bequests are one of the simplest ways to leave a permanent mark upon the School and can be directed to an area that is most meaningful to you. You can give a specific amount or a percentage of your estate to Penn Vet; you can also leave the School the amount that remains after you have taken care of family and other loved ones.
To learn more about how to make a gift through your will, or other ways to make a planned gift, please contact Jillian Marcussen, Director of Special Gifts and Board Relations, at 215-898-4235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.