BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 12TH 2013 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas was in New York on Monday 10th June, where he attended the 47th Commencement Ceremony of the St. Kitts-based Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in the Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center in New York.
Some 280 students were given diplomas during the ceremony at which the commencement speaker was Clinton Lewis, Executive Vice President and president of U.S. Operations at Zoetis (formerly Pfizer Animal Health.)
Before delivering the keynote address, Dean of the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Elaine Watson conferred on Mr. Lewis, the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Dr. Lewis encouraged graduates to stay focused on advancing the profession of veterinary medicine and emphasized the role of veterinarians across fifty-plus professional areas of concentration, from research and development to corporate veterinary medicine to non-governmental agencies.
“The profession and the broader world needs ambitious, determined practitioners and there are a myriad of opportunities across the country and around the world,” said Lewis, adding: “I see the future of veterinary medicine as very bright and full of opportunities but you need to see it and seize it.”
Lewis oversees the management of the livestock and companion animal businesses in the United States and is also responsible for leading the global genetics business for Zoetis.
Zoetis is a global animal health company dedicated to supporting veterinarians and livestock producers who raise and care for farm and companion animals.
Dr. Lewis said that Zoetis is committed to better understanding and addressing real-world challenges faced by those who raise and care for animals.
“The partnership between Ross and Zoetis has been positive, collaborative and focused on advancing your training and the profession,” said Lewis to the RUSVM graduates.
In brief remarks, Dr. Watson said the students, who spent seven semesters at the Ross Campus on St. Kitts, had completed all the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and the diploma each received signifies the degree and all the dignities, rights, privileges, and protections belonging to it.
She encouraged the graduates to explore the many opportunities available to them in veterinary medicine and understand the importance of human dependence on animals.
“Veterinarians are central in ensuring the health and well-being of our planet. Challenge yourself in new directions and look for ways to connect varying disciplines and societal gaps. Do not limit yourself by conventional thinking,” said Watson. “Connecting people, animals and the environment provides a unique platform to understand the interdependence of all species.”
RUSVM’s graduating class includes students from 43 different states, Canada, Puerto Rico, and other international locations.
Dr. Watson provided a final reminder to graduates, “As you begin your various careers, be guided by the values symbolized by the white coat you will wear. You are the leaders of your generation, the new ambassadors of Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, and starting today, the future of veterinary medicine. Fulfill that destiny with responsibility, determination and humility.”
As the candidates received their diplomas to the loud cheers of hundreds of families and friends, they were hooded and their names announced with the national flags of St. Kitts and Nevis and the United States on the stage.