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$50M gift to College of Veterinary Medicine largest donation ever to Oregon State

The university will name the college in honor of the donor, Gary R. Carlson. (SBG)

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A $50 million gift to the College of Veterinary Medicine is the largest donation ever received by Oregon State University.

Oregon State officials said the gift will transform the "college’s ability to provide life-saving clinical care, professional education for future veterinarians, and research critical to animal and human health."

The university will name the college in honor of the donor, Gary R. Carlson.

Carlson is a Portland native and 1974 graduate who went on to a career as a physician and partner in Dermatology Associates of Westlake Village, Calif.

"The Carlson College becomes the first named college at Oregon State and only the second named veterinary school in the nation," the university said in a statement. "Carlson’s gift will enable doubling the size of the OSU Small Animal Hospital. It also will establish an endowed fund to attract and retain top-tier veterinary faculty and support college strategic priorities."

“This is a game-changing investment in our college,” said Susan J. Tornquist, the Lois Bates Acheson Dean. “We are very honored and excited about Dr. Carlson’s partnership. The hospital expansion is a pressing need for us now, but this is just the beginning of what Dr. Carlson’s generosity will make possible as the college adapts and grows to meet the needs of future generations.”

In each of the last six years, the number of small animal patients at the hospital has increased an average of 10 percent. Plans are being formulated to build two new hospital wings, one of which will house a linear accelerator for radiation oncology. Adding this new service to the hospital’s existing chemotherapy services means OSU will be able to provide comprehensive cancer care to patients in one location for the first time. Many owners must currently travel out of state for access to advanced cancer care for their animals.

“The College of Veterinary Medicine is a vital way that OSU lives out its mission of service,” said OSU President Ed Ray. “Thousands of people who have no other connection to this university seek help from our veterinary hospital.”

“Dr. Carlson’s generosity will enhance the care we provide to animals and ensure that graduating veterinarians are familiar with the most current medical technology. That will benefit countless people and the animals that many consider members of the family.”

The donor was inspired by his own love of dogs to make the investment.

“As I began thinking about how I might make a difference in this world, I thought about those things that matter most to me,” Carlson said. “High on the list was the joy that our pets so often give us – a special comfort and support that allows us to embrace life more fully. I wanted to do something that would enrich that experience and help us better understand and care for our ‘best friends.’”

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