Former veterinary college dean Peter Eyre receives top honor from University of Edinburgh

Peter Eyre

Peter Eyre

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 23, 2010 – Dr. Peter Eyre, professor and dean emeritus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, has been awarded one of the University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies' highest honors, receiving a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery - honoris causa, for his contributions to veterinary medicine.

Eyre, who served as the second dean of the college, received the honorary degree during a graduation ceremony held in Edinburgh in July. He presented the graduation address and was invited to sign the University of Edinburgh’s Sponsio Academica (Registry), joining a small number of individuals who received similar distinctions since the university’s founding more than 400 years ago.

“It is humbling to be honored among such noted individuals, especially at my alma mater – 50 years after I received my first veterinary degree there,” Eyre said. He received his bachelor of veterinary medicine and surgery degree from the university in 1960, followed by a bachelor of science degree in pharmacology in 1962 and a Ph.D. in pharmacology and toxicology in 1965. 

He served as dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine from 1985 until 2003 and is credited with leading a series of initiatives that consolidated the operating partnership between Virginia and Maryland, fortified the college’s political and economic foundations, and developed its programs.

Eyre has served on the board of directors and as president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. He also served on the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Government Relations and provided leadership for many other professional associations.

In 2008, Eyre was presented with an American Veterinary Medical Association President's Award for the contributions he has made to the veterinary profession through his extensive career in veterinary education, research, and public service. As a biomedical researcher, Eyre was responsible for the acquisition and completion of over $1.2 million in sponsored grants and contracts, and he has authored more than 350 scientific publications. Eyre received the Norden Award for distinguished teaching, the Sigma Psi Award for research, and the Compass Award from the American Public Relations Society.

“Peter has played a significant role in advancing not only the college but also the veterinary profession as a whole in North America and the United Kingdom,” said Dr. Gerhardt Schurig, the college's dean. “We are extremely proud that he received this mark of distinction.”

A native of Glossop, England, Eyre currently resides in Blacksburg, Va.

The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine is a leading biomedical teaching and research center, enrolling more than 700 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, master of public health, and biomedical and veterinary sciences graduate students. The college is a partnership between the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland. Its main campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, features the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and large animal field services which together treat more than 79,000 animals annually. Other locations include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia, and the Gudelsky Veterinary Center in College Park, Maryland.