TTU vet school professors excited to welcome inaugural class

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 10:02 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - 64 students will make history on Monday as the first to step foot on campus at Texas Tech University’s School of Veterinary medicine in Amarillo. Almost two years ago, Texas Tech broke ground on the new school. After months of waiting, professors moved in earlier this week, making these facilities their new home.

“Many of us have been here for a year to a year-and-a-half officially as faculty and we’ve been waiting for Monday to get here for that long,” Professor of Microbiology Jason Fritzler said.

Fritzler says for the past year, faculty have been working on creating curriculum to produce veterinarians who are ready to practice even before graduation.

“It’s really the opportunity of a lifetime. A brand new vet school has only occurred 33 times in the history of the United States. So, to be a part of that and be a part of the founding faculty and welcome that inaugural class is something we’re all excited to do,” Fritzler said.

Working with state-of-the-art equipment will help students reach that goal.

“You know it’s, I haven’t been in a place yet that has the technology that we’re going to have, essentially in every space of the building,” Fritzler said.

Annelise Nguyen, Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Toxicology, says the past year has been like living out of a suitcase.

As soon as she moved into her office on Monday, she got to decorating.

While her office still doesn’t have a room number, she’s ready to welcome students in.

“Those are things that we, we going to have a lot of challenges, but that is nothing comparing to the bigger picture,” Nguyen said.

After 50 years of roadblocks, many wondered if the bigger picture would ever become a reality. University leadership, West Texas communities and elected officials finally won the fight.

“A founding faculty of a new school, excitement. But, to know the history behind it, it’s worth so, worthwhile, and to hear the fight that they fought,” Nguyen said.

While both of these professors are Aggies at heart, they’re ready to welcome in Red Raiders for the first day of class August 16th.

The east wing and Mariposa Station are complete. Construction is still in progress on the west wing, which houses the laboratory and research facilities. So, the facilities are not yet open to the community. The west wing is projected to be completed in October.

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