CVM's Pegasus Gala: 30 years in the making
In 1981, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University conferred doctor of veterinary medicine degrees on 25 new graduates. Thirty years and over 1,300 graduates later, the college is welcoming its first graduating class back this week to enjoy the Pegasus Gala, a celebration including dinner and tailgating, fellowship and tours, and performances by special guest Jack Hanna.
"It was a landmark decision to bring a veterinary college to Mississippi," said Julie Burt, CVM clinical services coordinator and gala organizer. "This gala will celebrate the original class and all of our faculty and staff who have made each graduating class possible through the years."
Set for Friday, Oct. 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15, the Pegasus Gala will feature special appearances by Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo and Aquarium and host of "Jack Hanna's Into the Wild," a nationally syndicated television show, and the just-launched "Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown."
Made possible through the support of Nutramax Labs Inc., Hanna's visit to MSU-CVM will include an event for pre-invited Starkville-area schoolchildren on Friday at 1:30 in the CVM Auditorium. This show, featuring exotic animals, is part of this year's 4th Annual Human-Animal Bond lecture Series sponsored by Nestle Purina. An autograph session will follow the show.
Hanna will also bring his exotic animals to the Hunter Henry Center on Friday evening for a performance at a Gala dinner for invited guests beginning at 6:30 p.m.
On Saturday, CVM alumni and faculty will also be able to witness the unveiling of plans for a memorial garden on the grounds that will honor the first graduating class. During that morning, the CVM will also be open to the public for tours. Additionally, the CVM will host a tailgate party before Saturday's football game against the University of South Carolina.
"We're so proud of our founding faculty and our first graduating class," said CVM Dean Kent Hoblet. "They led the way for all those who came after them, and we're happy to see them back here on campus."