Donor Stories

Lillie Olsen, owned by Robert and Kathy Olsen

Robert and Kathy Olsen

Robert and Kathy Olsen sought treatment at MSU-CVM for their beloved schnauzer, Lillie, who suffered from an ulcer on her cornea. The Olsens, who have three schnauzers, were impressed by the abilities and sincerity of MSU clinicians. One day, Kathy was in her local veterinarian’s office, and a client came with her dog who had the same condition as Lillie. She couldn’t afford the treatment. The positive experience the Olsens had at MSU along with an understanding that not everyone can afford treatments for their pets, led to the establishment of a hardship fund.

The Robert and Kathy Olsen Hardship Veterinary Medicine Fund helps offset major expenses for patients in need of critical or lifesaving procedures and whose owners cannot otherwise afford such care.

The Olsens' fund is specifically for companion animals whose lives can be bettered or saved through treatment at MSU’s Animal Health Center. Special consideration is given to low-income families or to pets that would be euthanized without proper medical care. Clients benefitting from this support can receive assistance up to $2,500, but are also required to pay 10 percent of their overall veterinary bill. Pet owners are assisted but maintain ownership of their companions' treatment thanks to the generosity of Robert and Kathy Olsen.



Marcia P. Lane

Marcia Lane has a passion for animals, and her dream is to teach those around her about animal welfare. Ms. Lane has an overwhelming desire to educate others and provide care for animals not fortunate enough to have an owner.

In 2006, Marcia Lane established the Marcia P. Lane Endowed Chair in Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare. Through the chair, Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine is able to develop collaborative relationships with animal sheltering organizations throughout Mississippi and the surrounding region. Private funding provided for the purchase of two mobile surgery units that expanded the college’s shelter medicine program and increased opportunity for veterinary students to gain surgical skills while meeting the needs of shelters and un-adopted pets.

Through the Marcia P. Lane Endowed Chair in Humane Ethics and Animal Welfare, MSU-CVM is finding solutions to the pet overpopulation problem and addressing what can be done to resolve the problem of pet homelessness.


Malcolm H. Mabry

Former Senator, turned farmer, Malcolm Mabry found a white puppy, obviously abandoned, along a country road in Dublin, MS. He named her Lulu. Lulu was thirteen when a cancerous tumor first appeared on her hind leg. Malcolm brought her to MississippiStateUniversity’s College of Veterinary Medicine for treatment. The surgery performed on Lulu’s leg was successful but it could not remove all of the cancer cells. Because of this, radiation treatment was needed to save her life. In addition to learning that Lulu needed radiation, Malcolm heard more bad news —that there was not a facility in the state of Mississippi to provide the necessary radiation treatment.

Lulu’s life depended on this radiation treatment, and the closest facility at AuburnUniversity was 400 miles away from their delta home. Malcolm drove Lulu to Auburn where she stayed for four weeks to receive the radiation treatments needed to save her life. Every weekend, Malcolm drove to visit Lulu. These radiation treatments kept Lulu healthy and happy for another two years, but at the age of fifteen, Lulu died.

Malcolm started an effort to raise funds to help establish a cancer radiation unit for pets at MSU-CVM in memory of his true friend, Lulu. Malcolm’s efforts led to the establishment of the Lulu Mabry Oncology Unit Fund to support cancer research and to expand treatment options available for our pets in Mississippi. Malcolm knows how difficult it is to hear that your pet has cancer, and he hopes other pet owners will not have to make the long drive to another state for their companions to receive treatment.


Mrs. Joe Ann Ward

Few people can say that they helped build a college of veterinary medicine from the ground up. Mrs. Joe Ann (Willis) Ward’s support of Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine began with her late husband in 1977. Dr. Hugh G. Ward, a Jackson veterinarian, and founder of Briarwood Animal Hospital and Millcreek Animal Clinic, served as president of the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Ward traveled the state seeking support for the creation of a veterinary school in Mississippi. As a member of the advisory committee at the college’s formation in 1977, Dr. Ward’s dream became a reality. He was one of the first practicing veterinarians to serve as a mentor of students. Dr. Hugh G. Ward unexpectedly died in 1998.

Mrs. Ward’s compassion for animals and her wish to continue her husband’s lifelong work-educating veterinarians in our state and assisting MSU CVM- led her to gift $1,250,000 to establish the first endowed chair at the College of Veterinary Medicine. Having the Dr. Hugh G. Ward Chair in Small Animal Veterinary Medicine enabled the college to recruit an internationally recognized scholar and researcher in small animal medicine to mentor veterinary students and to provide excellent care to the companion animals in Mississippi and throughout the world. Just one year later, Mrs. Ward gave a $1.5 million gift to fund a critical care unit for small animals. The Joe Ann Ward Critical Care Unit provides a much needed area for clinicians to examine, diagnose, and treat thousands of individually owned pets a year. The unit is also significant because it provides a unique laboratory for students to learn important medical concepts in intensive and critical care delivery as well as greatly enhances the clinics ability to treat the beloved pets in their care.

Mrs. Ward continues to enhance the veterinary medical program her husband held so dear.

She spends much of her time volunteering with various community efforts in Jackson and at MSU. She is a former member of the MSU Foundation Board of Directors, and she served on the CVM Dean’s Development Council.


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Rocky Sullivan

Two of Mr. Rocky Sullivan’s French bulldogs, Mitzi and Luke, were referred to MSU-CVM Animal Health Center to receive specialty care. Mitzi is thriving after being treated for neurological spinal problems and a nasal resection to open her airways to relieve brachycephalic syndrome.

Luke received care but because of previous health issues, he passed away. Pleased with the compassionate care that Mitzi and Luke received, Mr. Sullivan established the Rocky Sullivan Endowed Fund for Excellence in CVM. Mr. Sullivan’s gift will provide state-of-the-art care for many animals. The fund will support CVM activities and programs, scholarships, faculty projects, purchase equipment, and other needs.


The Vicksburg Kennel Club of Mississippi, Inc.

The Vicksburg Kennel Club of Mississippi, Inc. has supported annual scholarships at MSU-CVM since 2005. The group is passionate about improving the quality of life of animals and people through student scholarships and public education. They are particularly interested in supporting veterinary students who plan to work with large animals.

In 2014, they established the Vicksburg Kennel Club of MS, Inc. Endowed Scholarship. The group established the endowment to fund scholarships for MSU veterinary students in perpetuity.


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Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences, Inc.

Dr. Todd R.Henderson, president and CEO of Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences, Inc. is a 1992 graduate of MSU-CVM. He is passionate about improving the quality of life for people and their pets. Recognizing the need for student travel support, Dr. Henderson established the Paul Farmer Memorial and Nutramax Laboratories Student Travel Support Endowment.

The late Dr. Farmer received a doctor of veterinary medicine degree in 1992. He died in 2011 following a battle with pancreatic cancer. The gift will support the domestic and international travel of CVM students to complete work for the betterment of mankind through the practice of veterinary medicine. Students must demonstrate strong leadership abilities and be members of the MSU-CVM Christian Veterinary Fellowship.



American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The ASPCA provided a $40,000 grant to help fund MSU-CVM's mobile spay neuter program that provides assistance to North Mississippi animal shelters while also giving veterinary students opportunities for applied shelter medicine and surgery experience. The college has two mobile units that annually require $200,000 to operate.

Grants from the ASPCA and others keep the two units running. MSU-CVM is leading the way in mobile surgical education. The program serves as a model for other veterinary schools to start similar outreach programs to help increase pet adoption rates and reduce the number of shelter pet, ultimately lowering the operating costs for shelters and the communities that support them.



 Tommy and Terri Nusz

A $1 million gift from Mississippi State alumni Tommy and Terri Nusz of Houston, Texas will establish an endowed position at the CVM known as the Terri Nusz Endowed Equine Professorship. The endowment will provide a CVM faculty member with support in teaching and equine research to further studies in the area of equine.

The Nusz Family contributed an additional $11.3 million to Mississippi State to support athletics, academics, and American veterans. The gift is a manifestation of the family’s love of the university. The gift is one of the largest to date to MSU during the current fundraising endeavor, Infinite Impact: The Mississippi State University Campaign.


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Nestlé Purina

Nestlé Purina has supported veterinary education at Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine for a number of years through its contributions toward student scholarships, college-wide enrichment activities, and the annual Human Animal Bond Lecture Series.

The relationship between Nestlé Purina and MSU-CVM continues to develop because each are committed to enhancing the education of veterinary students and the work of faculty in the classroom and laboratory which widens the impact that we have on both animals and humans throughout the region and the world.