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

Alumni Stories

Helping Owners and Their Pets in Times of Crisis

By: Jillian Marcussen Date: Sep 1, 2017

Dr. Kenton RexfordA proud member of the class of V’94, Dr. Kenton Rexford is a lifelong Pennsylvanian and a Penn State graduate. As a founding partner with the Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, a practice he first joined in 1998, Kenton leads the emergency team, helping owners and their pets in times of crisis.

With a strong appreciation for the value of the human-animal bond, Kenton was driven to pursue a career in veterinary medicine by a desire to help both people and animals. He enjoys the practice of emergency medicine, in particular, because of the variety; every day and every case is unique.

A supporter of Penn Vet since 1999, Kenton became more involved with the School in 2007 when he sponsored his first Opportunity Scholar. Established in 1998 by legendary equine surgeon Dr. Charles Raker, V’42, the Opportunity Scholarship is a unique veterinary program offering both financial aid and personalized mentorship to students during all four years of study at Penn Vet. It has afforded Kenton the chance to interact with current
students—something that reminds him of his own time on campus.

In 2016, Kenton was inspired to make his support of the program permanent by endowing the Kenton Rexford Opportunity Scholarship Fund and the Camille DeClementi Opportunity Scholarship Fund, the latter to honor a fellow member of the class of V’94. DeClementi is a Vice President with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and currently serves on the Dean’s Alumni Council.

These gifts brought the total number of endowed Opportunity Scholarships to 18, an incredible achievement for the program and a testament to the many alumni and friends who have helped it grow by serving as sponsors and mentors. The program’s total endowment has now reached $3.8 million, with the goal of raising an additional $1 million so that up to 40 students each year can participate.

Kenton also has included Penn Vet in his estate plans, joining many of his fellow alumni in ensuring the future of the School.

“No one is successful on his or her own,” Kenton explained, citing the role that others have played in guiding and mentoring him throughout his career. Today, he feels fortunate to be in a position to share his success with the institutions that mean the most to him. In addition to Penn Vet, he has created scholarships at Penn State. In 2008, he founded the Animal Care Assistance Fund to help animals in need of emergency or specialty care whose owners cannot afford the full cost of treatment. He also has served as President of the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association.

When he is not working, Kenton enjoys spending time with his dogs, Mac and Lucy, and cats, Moon and Spec, and whitewater kayaking and snowboarding.

Planned Giving

Throughout Penn Vet’s history, many supporters of the School have demonstrated their commitment to veterinary education and animal welfare through their estate plans. These special gifts have a long-lasting impact for future generations. Grateful for their generous support, Penn Vet honors these donors through the Veterinary Heritage Circle. Membership in this special group now totals over 300 alumni, clients, and friends.

Planned gifts can be made using your will or retirement assets, or with life income gifts such as charitable gift annuities, and can be directed toward the programs that mean the most to you. For more information, or for gift illustrations tailored to your particular situation and interests, please contact Jillian Marcussen, Director of Development, at 215-898-4235 or