This goal has been achieved with the 2011 opening of the 110,000-square-foot Randall B. Terry, Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center, one of the nation’s largest and most advanced veterinary hospitals. With a focus on patient care, client comfort, and staff efficiency, the Terry Center is designed to help clinicians exceed client and referring veterinarian expectations for specialty health care. The Terry Center’s stated mission is to partner with veterinarians and provide excellent and compassionate medical care; advance the veterinary profession through medical innovation and clinical research; and prepare the next generation of veterinarians and veterinary research scientists.
Mr. Terry, a businessman and newspaper publisher in High Point, NC, cherished the companionship of nine Golden Retrievers named for figures in Greek mythology— Achilles, Ajax, Apollo, Athena, Diana, Nike, Rumor, Venus, and Zeus. When Nike became ill in 1998, Mr. Terry’s veterinarian referred him to the Internal Medicine Service at the NC State Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH). The care and compassion Nike received impressed Mr. Terry and led him to become a friend and supporter of the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM).
The businessman joined and then became president of the North Carolina Veterinary Medicine Foundation (NCVMF), a group organized to attract funding for the CVM. He chaired a campaign which raised $10 million for student education. A champion of preparing the next generation of veterinarians, he donated more than $4 million in challenge grants and student scholarships.
As NCVMF president, Mr. Terry became aware that the limitations of the VTH did not reflect the quality of care, the demands of an increasing case load, or the educational requirements of one of the nation’s top-ranked veterinary colleges. He advocated for a veterinary medical center that would be a “an outstanding environment in which our faculty and students can promote animal health.”
The philanthropist died in May of 2004 and in the fall of 2005 the R.B. Terry, Jr. Charitable Foundation provided the CVM with a $20 million pledge to initiate his vision of a state of the art veterinary medical center. An innovative public/ private partnership of state appropriations from the 2006 North Carolina General Assembly and ongoing private giving that continues to be matched by the Terry Foundation is making the $72 million, 110,000-square foot Terry Center complex possible.
“The commitment Randall Terry has shown to the CVM is a reflection of the power of the human-animal bond,” says Dr. Oscar Fletcher, past CVM dean and acquaintance of Mr. Terry’s. “His great affection for his golden retrievers led him to encourage our college leadership and advance veterinary medicine in a significant way.”
Beyond the immediate care for companion animals, the Terry Center and the continued support of the Terry Foundation is helping develop the Centennial Biomedical Campus and encouraging CVM efforts in biomedical research, bio- and agro-security, food animal health and food safety, ecosystem health, animal welfare, and the critical job training of the next generation of veterinarians and veterinary scientists.
More than three million North Carolina residents share their home with pets and thousands of these individuals are able to enjoy extra time with their companions because of Mr. Terry and his compelling vision.
Woof, Wow! News and Observer Editorial