Former Dean Eyre retires from Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine

BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 5, 2007 – Dr. Peter Eyre, who served as dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine from 1985 through 2003 and has worked with the college for 21 years, announced his retirement effective December 31.

During his tenure as dean, he presided over the funding and construction of the remainder of the college’s Virginia Tech based physical plant and the development of many academic programs that help define the school today.

“I have spent nearly half my career at our college, and it was a rare privilege to serve during an exciting period of growth and transition--from the dream to the reality,” said Eyre. “The successful, mature institution that we see today was created by thousands of dedicated professionals--faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. It is a genuine pleasure to extend my sincere gratitude and warmest wishes to everyone who made it all possible.”

“Margot and I intend to remain in Blacksburg for the foreseeable future. We will be proud to retain our close associations with the college, Virginia Tech, the University of Maryland, and the veterinary profession for as long as we are able,” he said.

Eyre is widely credited with leading a series of initiatives in the late 1980s and early 1990s that consolidated the operating partnership between Virginia and Maryland in the joint administration and funding of the regional college and fortified its political and economic foundations.

In a Jan. 22, 2004 event that crowned his 18-year career as dean, he was formally recognized in the Virginia State Capitol with a joint resolution of commendation that was presented by the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate during a rare “center-aisle” presentation that culminated with a 15-second standing ovation in the historic chamber.

“Former Dean Eyre has made historic contributions to the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, to Virginia Tech and to the profession of veterinary medicine,” said Gerhardt Schurig, dean of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. “His life’s work will live on and be reflected in the good works of our college in perpetuity. We wish him well, and know we will see him often as he continues to teach selected courses.”

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

Eyre has been honored for outstanding leadership by the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association, and the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. He spoke frequently at professional veterinary association meetings and universities around the nation concerning curricular reforms designed to promote the veterinary profession’s economic well-being.

Eyre is a recipient of the Norden Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Sigma Psi Award for Excellence in Research.

Prior to assuming the deanship of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Eyre served as Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College in Ontario Canada, where he also served as associate director of the Canadian Centre for Toxicology.

After earning the BVMS degree and the MRCVS diploma in veterinary medicine, Eyre earned B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in pharmacology, all from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

As a biomedical researcher, Eyre has been responsible for the acquisition and completion of over $1.2 million in sponsored grants and contracts, and has authored 350 scientific publications, including more than 200 in refereed journals.

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) is a two-state, three-campus professional school operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park. Its flagship facilities, based at Virginia Tech, include the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which treats more than 40,000 animals annually. Other campuses include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Avrum Gudelsky Veterinary Center at College Park, home of the Center for Government and Corporate Veterinary Medicine. The VMRCVM annually enrolls approximately 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and graduate students, is a leading biomedical and clinical research center, and provides professional continuing education services for veterinarians practicing throughout the two states. Virginia Tech, the most comprehensive university in Virginia, is dedicated to quality, innovation, and results to the commonwealth, the nation, and the world.