Penn Vet | Giving Stories
New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
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Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA

Leadership Gift - the Gail P. Riepe Center for Advanced Veterinary Education

By: Kristin Sanderson Date: Nov 20, 2020
Gail P. Riepe, CW’68
Gail P. Riepe, CW’68

In July, Penn Vet announced a $5 million leadership gift from Gail P. Riepe, CW’68, and Jim Riepe, W’65, WG’67, HON’10. The gift is the largest of its kind to New Bolton Center and will be used to build a new clinical skills center on the Kennett Square campus.

“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 Advisors, 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 Center. Plans include a multimodal 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.

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 Center also serves on 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.

Gail R. Riepe Center for Advanced Veterinary Education 
Dr. Kathryn Wulster and students view radiographs (x-rays) taken of the simulation model in the background. One of the model’s legs contains material of similar density and composition to bone. This allows students to practice taking radiographs without having to use a live teaching horse.

“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.”

“Penn Vet has a long history of innovative educational and training opportunities, having created the majority of specialties in veterinary medicine,” said Dean Andrew Hoffman. “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 lifelong 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, 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. 

Penn Vet - Inspiring Impact