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Dog-Loving Couple Donates $1 Million to Support MU Veterinary Students

Gift will fund scholarships named after couple's dogs

July 29, 2009

Story Contact:  Emily Smith, (573) 882-3346,

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A gift to the University of Missouri will honor the memory of two golden retrievers and support veterinary students in the College of Veterinary Medicine. MU administrators announced today that David and Gloria Lowell, dog owners and friends of MU, have committed $1 million of their estate to fund scholarships for students in the college.

The Lowells became friends of the college in 2003, when they brought their dog Goldi to MU for cancer treatment. The couple was impressed by the commitment and compassion of MU faculty, staff and students. Their gift will create two scholarships named in memory of their golden retrievers, Goldi and Honee, who passed away in 2006.

"The College of Veterinary Medicine will benefit greatly from this gift; it is a privilege to have the support of generous benefactors like the Lowells," said Neil Olson, dean of the MU College of Veterinary Medicine. "These scholarships will help attract talented students to the college, and expand class sizes to meet the growing demands for veterinarians."

The "David and Gloria Lowell Scholarship in Memory of their Beloved Golden Retriever Goldi," will be awarded to veterinary medicine students who will study oncology. The second scholarship, the "David and Gloria Lowell Scholarship in Memory of their Beloved Golden Retriever Honee," will be awarded to students who are interested in the bond between humans and animals. Preference will be given to students who are from rural communities and have financial need.

"The wonderful people we met and the exceptional care that we received at the MU veterinary college inspired us to create these scholarships," Gloria Lowell said. "When Goldi had cancer, MU was one of very few places that offered radiation. We always heard good things about the school, so we brought her there for treatment. We were very impressed by the students and the doctors called us every day with updates."

The couple now owns two more golden retrievers, Tori and Lola. The Lowells love dogs and have a desire to help all animals. They hope that their scholarships will help MU students who want to practice veterinary medicine.

"The MU College of Veterinary Medicine is the only veterinary college in the state and one of only 28 in the nation," MU Chancellor Brady Deaton said. "The number of veterinarians who graduate from these colleges falls short of the demand nationwide; there is a critical shortage of veterinarians in specialized areas, including rural medicine. Dean Olson has a plan for expanding the college's class sizes to meet this need, and partners like the Lowells are helping to make this vision a reality."