Dr. Andrew Smith (1862 - 1908) graduated from Edinburgh Veterinary College (now known as Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies) and founded the Ontario Veterinary College on Temperance Street in Toronto in 1862. Smith was more interested in the practice of veterinary medicine than in veterinary sciences. In Toronto, he ran the college as a private school and offered a popular lecture series, which turned into fulltime courses that were comparable to those offered in Edinburgh. Smith was highly regarded as a leader in the veterinary sciences in the 1860s and succeeded in differentiating the profession from the trades of farrier and farmer. In 1908, Smith became Professor Emeritus. The Provincial Government acquired ownership of OVC and the College became an institution under the Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Edward Alexander Andrew Grange (1908 - 1918) was one of 17 men who graduated from OVC in 1873, the seventh class of graduates to receive a diploma. In 1908 the curriculum was revised and extended by one year. The University of Toronto established a three-year course leading to a BVSc degree, which was followed by a one-year doctoral course leading to a DVSc degree. 1909 marked the first year students received a diploma signifying their qualification of a Veterinary Surgeon, as attested by the provincial legislation, principal of the college and the Minister of Agriculture. Dr. Grange appealed for the standardization of veterinary college curricula throughout North America. OVC moved from Temperance Street to a larger modern facility at 110 University Avenue in Toronto in 1914. With an emphasis on equine health, Dr. Grange successfully led the College through World War I.
Dr. Charles Duncan McGilvray (1918 - 1945) ensured all faculty members were qualified veterinarians. After World War I, the profession was no longer dominated by the equine industry and became a field of scientific inquiry. By Fall of 1918, McGilvray had extended OVC's BVSc course of study from three years to four. New facilities were required and with approval from the Provincial government, the OVC relocated to Guelph and officially opened on Gordon Street in 1922. McGilvray developed a strong connection with the Ontario Agricultural College and successfully fought to maintain the OVC's distinct identity as resting upon the same scientific fundamentals as human medicine. In the years following World War I, emphasis was shifting from the horse, the previously single unified interest in veterinary science.
Dr. Andrew MacNabb (1945 - 1952) immediately established connections with other academic, governmental and professional agencies. The University of Toronto Senate approved granting the DVM degree to OVC graduates in 1945. MacNabb laid the groundwork for a graduate studies program at OVC and piloted a subsidized veterinary practice in six Northern Ontario centres in 1946. The Department of Fur-Bearing and Small Animals formed to meet demand in 1947. OVC's west-wing opened to accommodate a higher faculty and student population in 1948. Admission requirements and a new five-year curriculum that integrated applied agricultural instruction were in place in 1949. The OVC Alumni Association formed in 1951. OVC's true academic force shone through when 1,100 veterinarians signed up for a post-graduate refresher course.
Trevor Lloyd Jones
Dr. Trevor Lloyd Jones (1952 - 1968) reorganized and consolidated OVC administration. He placed high importance on research. The MacNabb Memorial Library opened in the early 1950s. An ambulatory farm service clinic and comparative medicine program started in 1953. Dr. Jones created the new Department of Pathology and Bacteriology in 1955.
The improved program for graduate degrees approved by the University of Toronto Senate was offered in 1957. OVC celebrated its centennial anniversary in 1962. Principal Jones' title changed to Dean Jones when OVC became one of the three founding colleges of the University of Guelph in 1964. OVC maintained its College identity. 1965 marked a curriculum change: the DVM program reverted back to a four-year course of study including arts and humanities, which followed two years of pre-vet study. Dr. Jones was involved with several domestic and international organizations; he also advised South American and Indian governments in 1955 on veterinary education.
Dr. Dennis Howell (1969 - 1979) Dr. Howell presided over OVC during the creation of a hospital teaching program and the inception of an intern/residency program. In 1970, graduate diploma programs at the College are approved. In 1972, a new BSc (Biomed) Honours program, to be directed by OVC and given jointly by the Department of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Human Biology, begins. A major revision of the DVM undergraduate curriculum, to begin in 1974, is approved. It will be based, in part, on the systems method of teaching.
Dr. Doug Maplesden (1980 - 1984) graduated from OVC in 1950, acquired his Master's in Nutrition and Biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 1957 and his PhD in Nutrition and Physiology from Cornell in 1959. He commenced his appointment as Dean of OVC with administrative experience gained from his previous role as a faculty member; he understood the primary producer's problems and the need for rapport among OVC staff, faculty and farmers. Dr. Maplesden was a key member in establishing the farm service clinic, which provided service for a small fee to local farmers and also provided firsthand experience to senior students. Throughout his appointment, Dr. Maplesden maintained his interest in research, and his continuous involvement in numerous professional veterinary organizations. He was responsible for many major projects during his appointment, including planning for a new curriculum, the implementation of an integrated information management system for the Hospital and the capital construction of a new Clinical Studies and Biomedical Sciences facility.
Dr. Ole Nielsen (1985 - 1994) was Dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine from 1974-1982 and began his term as Dean of OVC in 1985. He remained in this position until 1994. Dr. Nielsen received his DVM degree from OVC in 1956, and his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1963. He held the role of President of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association before joining OVC. His main research interest was gastroenterology and comparative medicine. During his time at OVC, Dr. Nielsen was successful in negotiating adequate funding for the hospital and completed capital projects. He was the founder of the Department of Population Medicine.
Dr. Alan Meek (1994 - 2004) eliminated the pre-vet year in 1999. New admission requirements included two years of university study and high MCAT scores. He instituted the Summer Leadership Research Program and the virtual Learning Commons in November 2000 in collaboration with other Canadian veterinary colleges. DVM 2000, a learner-centered, innovative curriculum debuted in Fall 2000. It aimed to match the knowledge, skills and attitudes taught at OVC with society's expectations of entry-level veterinarians. February 2003 was the re-opening of the renovated Small Animal Clinic reception area. New clinical teaching and examining rooms contributed to the OVC expansion.
Under Dr. Meek's leadership, OVC welcomed 25% more graduate students and tenure-stream faculty members. Research funding increased by 100%. Dr. Meek secured substantial federal funding for renovations and additions to support the growing College.
Dr. Elizabeth A. Stone (2005 - present) in her time at OVC, Dr. Stone has spearheaded the OVC Integrated Plan, including the University of Guelph Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses, the Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation and the Primary Healthcare Centre. Her vision for the OVC Health Sciences Centre is to increase the relevance and contributions of veterinary medicine to society, animals and the environment, in Canada and worldwide. Under her leadership, OVC has raised funds to establish the Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Endowed Chair in Canine and Feline Clinical Nutrition and support independent research and graduate scholarships through an endowment from Royal Canin. She also worked to secure major investment from Hill's Pet Nutrition to create the Hill's Pet Nutrition Primary Healthcare Centre.
Dr. Stone is leading celebrations of OVC's 150th anniversary. Plans include displays, four books, numerous events and a multi-year symposium series on the theme of "Vet Med Evolution: Animals, People, and the Environment."