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Vet Gazette

Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine eNewsletter

Close Group of Alums Reconnects at Reunion

November 4th, 2014
Drs. Anne Lichtenwalner, Laura Richards-Simmons, and Susie Omstead on a wine tour at the Class of 1989 Reunion.

Drs. Anne Lichtenwalner, Laura Richards-Simmons, and Susie Omstead on a wine tour at the Class of 1989 Reunion.

In September, OSU Vet Med alums from Washington, Montana, California, Virginia, Maine, Oregon, and Minnesota gathered in Corvallis to rejuvenate the life-long bonds they formed as veterinary students twenty five years ago.

The Class of 1989 had thirty-five graduates. Due to the enthusiastic lobbying of classmate Yvonne Wikaner, twenty-one of those graduates recently travelled to Corvallis for a three-day class reunion. “It was an amazing experience for me,” says Wikander. “It’s been twenty-five years since most of us have seen each other, but our interactions were as if almost no time had passed at all. We were a small class and a close one; that certainly hasn’t changed. ”

All the reunion attendees are still veterinarians. “Once a vet, always a vet,” says Wikander. “Some have boarded, some went into governmental agencies, but most of us are GPs.”

Wikander organized a full slate of activities for the group including tours of the hospital by Drs. Reibold, Blythe, and Huber, a barbecue, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the Oregon Aquarium with Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan (the Wet Vet). “It was fascinating and an excellent end to a rockin’ reunion,” says Wikander.

One of the objectives of this reunion was to honor a classmate who died several years ago, by endowing a student scholarship. All twenty-one alums attending the reunion donated to the fund. “A reunion seemed like the perfect time to honor her life. What better way than a scholarship?” says Wikander. “My goal was to raise $1000. We raised $3600! Now we can offer 3 scholarships in her name. Amazing! I think that says a lot about how close our class is and the value of the reunion to everyone; but mostly it speaks mountains about the generosity of my classmates. Really, they are truly an outstanding group of people.”

The reunion inspired the Class of 1989 to set up their own Facebook page, and they are already exploring ideas for their next reunion. “Life gets so busy, we tend to lose touch,” says Wikander. “The reunion brought us back together again.”

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