Honoring a Kindred Spirit

Since 2013, the Kindred Companions Memorial Gathering at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine has brought comfort to those who have lost beloved pets.

It’s a celebration of the profound bond between humans and animals. At this year’s event, held at 6:15 p.m. Oct. 3., one such strong and special bond will be honored.

Francine Cronin, who was NC State’s associate vice chancellor for university development from 2015 until her death from cancer in April, was a passionate animal lover who not only cherished her own dogs but went out of her way to help others.

Francine Cronin, who was NC State’s associate vice chancellor for university development from 2015 until her death from cancer in April, was a passionate animal lover who not only cherished her own dogs but went out of her way to help others.

During Cronin’s illness, friends and colleagues raised more than $3,000 to make a gift in her honor to CVM’s All Gifts Great and Small fund. In addition, a paver in the College’s Walk of Honor was donated for the purpose of memorializing her dogs, Chyna and Brodie, as well as honoring her living dog, Sonnie. Cronin had often talked about acquiring a paver for her dogs.

During Tuesday’s event, that paver will be officially dedicated and Brock Matthews, assistant dean for advancement at NC State’s College of Science, will speak about Cronin’s deep love for animals.

Cronin also never hesitated to help an animal in need. Shortly after starting work at NC State, she came across an accident on Hillsborough Street where a pedestrian and his dog had been hit by a car. As first responders were treating the man, Cronin drove his dog to the CVM’s veterinary hospital for its own treatment.

Open to anyone who has lost a pet, the Kindred Companions Memorial Gathering will be held rain or shine on the hearth at the CVM, at 1060 William Moore Dr. in Raleigh. There will be reflections on the human-animal bond, music and a candle-lighting. Register here.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a framed photo of animals they would like to honor.