Maryland College, HBCU, Veterinarian School

The University Of Maryland Eastern Shore To Become 2nd HBCU To Have Veterinarian School

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore is making strides in diversity, becoming the second HBCU to host a veterinarian program.

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Maryland, is set to become the second HBCU to have a veterinarian school. Classes are set to begin in 2026.

Not only will the school join Tuskegee University as the only HBCU in the nation to have the program, it will soon be part of the just over three dozen schools that grant the degree, as reported by USA Today on Feb. 20, granting more opportunities for aspiring Black veterinarians.

“We are hoping that our new school will open the door and create plenty of opportunities in an underserved field,” said Moses Kairo, the dean of agricultural and natural sciences at the university. “There are very few vet schools being established, so there’s room for growth. We feel our timing is just right.”

Black veterinarians only make up 1.2% of all professionals in the United States, according to a 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

“The bottom line is we need more veterinarians of all races, from all backgrounds,” said Stacy Pursell, CEO of the VET Recruiter. “It’s a much bigger picture than just race. There are very limited spots at veterinary schools, and they turn away more students than they can accept.”

The establishment of the school and its designated building will be part of the university’s $60 million fundraising campaign. The grand scale operation also happens to be the largest financial plan in the school’s history. A portion of the raised funds expected to go toward the construction of its veterinarian studies building as well as updates to its farm so that students can have access to hands-on practice.

The school anticipates hosting an accelerated 3-year program, with a year-round curriculum equal to the rigor met at other prestigious veterinary schools. According to its interim dean, Dr. Kimberly Braxton, the UMES is taking steps to ensure that future generations of Black veterinarians are prepared to overcome a shortage in a vital field.

“It’s a huge task,” said Braxton, “but a good task to have.”

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