On June 19, 1865, more than two months after the formal surrender of the Confederacy to the Union that ended the Civil War, an even more resounding moment in United States history was declared: “All slaves are free.”
The order, made after Union troops arrived in Texas, effectively fulfilled President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation that was issued in 1863 as the war raged and the outcome was uncertain.
Susanna Lee, an associate professor of history at NC State, has written a compelling piece about Juneteenth, now celebrated annually on June 19 as both a recognition of freedom and the struggles experienced by those proclaimed “free.” It’s a message as relevant today as it was then.
In recognition of this year’s Juneteenth, the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine is encouraging contributions to the Tracy Hanner Endowed Scholarship, named for the CVM’s first black graduate. Any contributions received through next month will be matched by the college.
Contributions can be made here.
“Dr. Tracy Hanner is a legend at our college,” says Allen Cannedy, director of diversity and multicultural affairs at the CVM. “He served for years on our DVM admissions committee and is responsible for helping hundreds of students from all backgrounds gain access into veterinary colleges everywhere.
“This scholarship will help sustain his legacy as one of our most influential alumni to support diversity and inclusion at our college of veterinary medicine.”
The Tracy Hanner Endowed Scholarship was established in 2018 by the North Carolina Association of Minority Veterinarians (NCAMV) to honor Hanner, who graduated from the CVM in 1986. The scholarship fund supports underrepresented minority DVM students at the CVM, with a preference given to students coming from underserved communities.
Hanner was a founding member of the NCAMV who began work at North Carolina A&T University following his CVM graduation as a clinical associate veterinarian for diagnostic facilities.
Quincy Hawley, president of the NCAMV and a 2013 CVM graduate, said Hanner was the first black veterinarian he ever met. That was when he was an incoming freshman at A&T University in 2005.
“It was very empowering to see a veterinarian who looked like me,” says Hawley. “More important than his appearance was – and still is — his leadership as an instructor and mentor. He leads by example. He’s not just sitting back and talking about change. Rather, he has taken massive action to create change, and he is still working towards building a more diverse and inclusive profession to this day.”
For 32 years, Hanner helped grow and elevate the animal studies department at A&T University as a professor and researcher. In September he returned to A&T to serve as the interim chairman of the Department of Animal Sciences, part of the university’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES).
According to CAES, A&T’s animal sciences department produces the nation’s second-highest number of African-American students who go on to pursue a DVM. Many have attended the CVM.
Among numerous honors, in 2009 Hanner received the prestigious Iverson Bell award from the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, recognizing an impactful commitment to diversity and inclusion in veterinary medicine.
Andrea Gentry-Apple, NCAMV vice president and a 2015 CVM graduate, remembers sitting in Hanner’s office as a pre-veterinary student at A&T as he told her that since he was a “ladder for her,” she must be a ladder for others. Gentry-Apple is now an assistant professor of animal science at A&T.
“Dr. Hanner is one of the reasons I am currently in academia, aiming to promote diversity and inclusion in the veterinary profession by training the next generation of groundbreaking veterinarians,” says Gentry-Apple. “His dedication to students’ success, the progression of the profession and the passion he had for change resonates in the hearts and minds of every student he touched.
“This scholarship is only fitting for a mentor that did so much for others.”
Hawley says the true scope of Hanner’s impact is difficult to quantify. He has been a game-changer, an invaluable influence on countless others who have gone on to further enrich and strengthen veterinary medicine.
“This scholarship will show underrepresented minority students that they are valued and supported in this profession,” says Hawley. “It’s something tangible that shows the commitment of our association and the CVM to improving diversity in our amazing profession.
“The NCAMV is honored to create a scholarship in his name, and we are grateful for everyone who sees the value in this scholarship and who has a desire to contribute.”
~Jordan Bartel/NC State Veterinary Medicine