Over a weekend in May 2016, twenty-one Royal Dick School of Veterinary Medicine graduates and their partners arrived in Edinburgh to celebrate 40 years since graduating from the University.
2016 saw the ruby anniversary of the Bachelor of Vet Medicine (BVMS) class of 1976, which was celebrated with an activity packed weekend in Edinburgh. This was not the groups’ first reunion after having one every 10 years since graduation and every 5 years since 2006. Following several reunions in the Lake District this time they returned to Edinburgh to visit old stomping grounds and the newly opened vet medicine teaching building at the Easter Bush campus.
The twenty one 1976 BVMS classmates attended from across the UK and made the most of their time in Edinburgh with a variety of activities and tours. The reunion teed off with an afternoon of putting on the greens of the historic Gullane No. 1 golf course in East Lothian followed by dinner at the Marine Hotel in the nearby coastal town of North Berwick.
The next morning, the group reconvened at the new Easter Bush Campus. Professor of Equine Surgery, Paddy Dixon, and residents gave a tour of the new teaching building followed by a tour of the equine facilities. Professor Dixon’s starring role did not end with his tour; that evening he joined the gala dinner as guest of honour.
The alumni enjoyed revisiting various old pubs in the City and the visit would not have been complete without a stopover to enjoy a pint or two at the old vet medicine Summerhall campus, now a bustling arts complex.
The final day of the reunion took the class of 76 off dry land and onto the open waters of the Firth of Forth to enjoy some sea kayaking while others enjoyed nearby walks. Despite having met regularly over the years there was still lots to talk about and plenty memories to share including the operation on a tiger.
In those days, they used to bring the tiger to us, now we go to the tiger
Founded in 1823, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is one of the oldest veterinary schools in the world.
Named after its Edinburgh born founder Professor William Dick (1793-1866), a pioneer of veterinary education, the school had humble beginnings, starting life on Clyde Street in a courtyard in the Georgian New Town of Edinburgh. The Clyde Street building housed the institute for eighty-three years until the expanding school moved to the purpose built Summerhall building in 1923.
Summerhall remained the home of Vet studies until 2011 when the school opened its new teaching building on the Easter Bush campus, moving all teaching and staff to the new site. With over £100 million having been spent on the Easter Bush campus, the school boasts world-class facilities and teaching staff.
William Dick lives on not only in name but also in the School's commitment to education and improving the wellbeing of animals.