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### State Approval Granted to University of Maryland Eastern Shore for Veterinary Graduate School

UMES is set to welcome 100 graduate students in its inaugural year in a hands-on, accelerated three-year program, aiming to enhance diversity in the veterinary profession. Currently, Black veterinarians represent only 3% of the workforce.

Moses Kairo, the dean of agricultural and natural sciences at UMES, expressed optimism about the new school’s potential to provide numerous opportunities in an underserved field.

This initiative coincides with UMES’s announcement of a $60 million fundraising campaign, the most extensive financial effort in the institution’s history. The funds raised will support the construction of a new building for the veterinary school and the enhancement of existing facilities, including the farm.

At present, UMES offers a pre-veterinary program, graduating five to seven students annually. Olivia Ludolph, a junior pre-vet student, aspires to specialize in livestock and large animals, mirroring the focus of the upcoming veterinary school. She is willing to postpone her studies to enroll in the graduate program, emphasizing her eagerness to contribute to this significant endeavor.

Discussions regarding the establishment of a veterinary school at UMES have been ongoing for over six years. While initial considerations included a vet technology program, UMES President Heidi Anderson advocated for a more ambitious approach, aiming to set a substantial goal for Maryland and historically Black colleges and universities.

Kimberly Braxton, an associate professor at UMES and the interim founding dean of the veterinary school, highlighted President Anderson’s vision to strive for excellence and make a lasting impact on the community.