Home to one of the nation’s leading companion animal hospitals, NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine also serves as a premier learning environment for veterinary students. Thanks to a $5 million gift from Michele and Ross Annable — and a generous one-to-one match from the R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation — many of those students will now receive scholarship support and powerful encouragement to serve their communities.
The Annables know firsthand the value of world-class veterinary care. When their beloved German Shepherd, Jordan, was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, the couple faced a painful decision: euthanasia or complex surgery. Their local vet in Charlotte recommended that Jordan undergo the necessary procedure at NC State. The Annables took that advice into account, but they also thoroughly researched their options.
NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine won them over for three reasons: the care and competence demonstrated by all of its staff, the quality of its facilities and technology, and its superb national ranking — third in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.
“Through the course of the due diligence we performed, we came to understand why the college was ranked as highly as it is,” says Ross Annable. “The fact that it already had such a strong and richly deserved reputation made it an easy decision for the two of us.”
Jordan’s surgery was a success. Now the Annables are showing their appreciation by giving generously to the college’s teaching mission. Their $5 million donation will establish the Michele M. and Ross M. Annable Scholarship Endowment, a need-based scholarship program that covers up to half the cost of tuition and fees for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine candidates. The scholarship will encourage recipients to lend their time and talent to their communities, and to serve animals and animal owners with compassion.
“The idea behind this scholarship program couldn’t be truer to NC State’s Think and Do spirit,” said NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson. “We want to attract and reward those students who have already demonstrated their commitment to serving the community. Private support helps us do that. It makes us more responsive to the needs of North Carolina and the region.”
The R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation will match the Annables’ gift with one-to-one funds, bringing the total value of the gift to $10 million. The foundation’s $5 million match is part of a $16 million commitment announced in 2015; matching Terry Foundation funds are also pledged for future gifts that may endow professorships or further the college’s extensive research mission.
“This kind of generosity is truly transformational,” says D. Paul Lunn, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “The partnership between the Annables and the Terry Foundation will just have an astonishing impact.”
Ross Annable served as executive vice president of First Union Corporate (present-day Wells Fargo) until 2000. He also served as the president of First Union Securities Inc. until his retirement in that same year. Prior to joining First Union, he served as treasurer of a privately-held international steel-trading company, and before that he was a commercial banker. He earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy submarine program.
For Mr. Annable and his wife, Michele, the power of their gift to NC State lies in the ripple effect it will have on animal care in North Carolina and beyond. They expect that Annable Scholars will make lifelong contributions to the veterinary profession, and to the animals, people and places they go on to serve.
“Our hope is that qualified students who might not otherwise have been able to attend NC State, attend,” says Ross Annable. “They graduate. They become successful veterinarians. And they return their newfound abilities to their communities.”