Love Your State donations unlock three challenge gifts for student scholarships

The CSU’s Love Your State Day of Giving numbers are in: 154 supporters raised and unlocked more than $60,000 in student scholarships in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. These gifts will help students like Alex McFarland, Nhung Nguyen, and Amy Downey (featured in the video, above) invest in their futures. Learn more about our three challenge gifts:

New scholarship celebrates legacy of two veterinarians

CSU vet med class of 1961 photoThe Pigford-McKinney scholarship honors the careers of two extraordinary graduates of Colorado State University’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program, Dr. Jean Pigford from the class of 1961 and Dr. Charles McKinney from the class of 1975. Created by an anonymous donor, the Pigford-McKinney Scholarship will benefit D.V.M. students who pursue veterinary medicine as a second career.

Charles “Chuck” McKinney was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, attending East High School. He completed his undergraduate degree in Animal Sciences at Colorado State University in 1958. He then entered the Peace Corps, rising quickly through the ranks thanks to his hard work and efficient leadership. McKinney served as director of the Central and South American regions in the Peace Corps, where he discovered his passion for veterinary medicine. McKinney graduated from Colorado State University with his D.V.M. in 1975 and he completed an internship at the University of California-Davis in 1976. McKinney eventually relocated to Oakland, Calif., where he has owned a successful small animal practice for nearly four decades.

Jean Pigford, also a native of Denver, went to Manual High School, where he was a star athlete. He then completed his undergraduate degree in Microbiology in 1957 from Colorado A&M and his D.V.M. in 1961 from Colorado State University. While a D.V.M. student, Pigford worked as a veterinary assistant with the Colorado Racing Commission at the Centennial Horse Racetrack. Upon receiving his D.V.M., he relocated to California where he practiced small animal veterinary medicine until his passing in 1971.

Established by a $50,000 gift from an anonymous donor, the Pigford-McKinney Scholarship provides one scholarship to a talented, second-career veterinary student each year. The scholarship honors these alumni for their commitment to the profession of veterinary medicine and dedication to service through the decades.

Donations to the Pigford-McKinney Scholarship fund help second-career students reach their full potential, and commemorate McKinney and Pigford, so that their impact lives on through the next generation of veterinarians.

Graduate students in Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology receive new support

Patrick Brennan and Carol Blair with running medals
Patrick Brennan and Carol Blair

Dr. Carol Blair and husband Dr. Patrick Brennan are well-known around the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology. In late 2017, the dynamic, scientifically minded-duo helped create a new fund to support graduate students in their department. Acknowledging the vast changes to the traditional funding landscape, Blair and Brennan were joined by other key current and former faculty in creating a new fund to support graduate students. Thanks to the generosity of additional faculty and alumni, the fund is now fully endowed. But as Blair and Brennan reflected on how to continue giving back to their department, they wished to add to the newly endowed fund.

The MIP Graduate Student Support fund will empower a talented graduate student in the department who demonstrates financial need, is in good academic standing, and has an interest in and aptitude for pushing science forward.

A grateful client supports the next generation of veterinarians

People in black graduation gowns at Colorado State University's Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Commencement
Colorado State University’s Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Commencement, May 12, 2017. (CSU photo)

Christine (Tina) Elliott-Armstrong always had a deep connection with animals. As a child, she dreamed of being a veterinarian until she realized that she would not be able to save all animals that needed her help.

Since then, Elliott-Armstrong has transferred that passion to caring for her own pets. She has taken many animals to the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital for diagnosis, treatment, and – when it was time to say goodbye – euthanasia. She values each experience that she has had with the team at CSU, especially veterinary students. They have made each experience positive, regardless of the reason of the visit.

Elliott-Armstrong understands the high cost of veterinary education and the commitment that a “vet in training” must make to earn a D.V.M. This knowledge inspired her to establish the Christine Elliot-Armstrong Scholarship, which will support at least one half of the tuition, books, and fees for a student in the D.V.M. program, who demonstrates financial need and is in good academic standing.