The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies
Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies Bicentenary

Gala dinner celebrates School’s bicentenary year

Friends and family of the School gather to celebrate milestone and support charity.

Over 400 people gathered at a dinner to celebrate the bicentenary of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

Students, staff, alumni and friends of the School attended the event at the National Museum of Scotland. They attended a drinks reception followed by dinner and a ceilidh, and contributed to Dick Vet charity All4Paws, which provides veterinary care for the pets of homeless and vulnerably housed people in Edinburgh.

Bicentenary celebration

Since its establishment in 1823, the School has grown to be a world leader in teaching, research, and clinical practice.

Dinner guests, some of whom had travelled overseas to attend, celebrated the achievements of the School over the past 200 years.

They were entertained by bagpipe music and a harpist during the drinks reception before sharing tables bearing the names of people and places associated with the rich history of the School. A ceilidh band and Highland dancers led the dancing after dinner.

The evening was part of a weekend of celebrations to mark 200 years since the School's founder, William Dick, gave his first veterinary lecture at Calton Convening Rooms in Edinburgh.

At a separate alumni event, Dick Vet graduates gathered at Summerhall – the home of the vet school from 1916-2011 - for an afternoon celebration and an opportunity to reminisce on their time at the School. As well as reflecting on the past, the event was an opportunity to highlight the School's latest clinical, research and teaching advances.  

Supporting charity

The dinner raised funds for Dick Vet charity All4Paws. This student-run outreach project offers free health checks, vaccinations and routine flea and worm treatments for cats and dogs belonging to Edinburgh's homeless and vulnerably housed community. The project works closely with hostels and other support organisations to reach those in need and offers drop-in clinics across Edinburgh.

Veterinary legacy

William Dick was born the son of a farrier in 1793. He had a love of horses and science, particularly anatomy. He attended comparative anatomy lectures at Edinburgh Medical School before studying veterinary medicine at the Royal Veterinary College in 1817, completing the course in three months.

He founded the Vet School in 1823 and gave lectures at Calton Convening Rooms at Waterloo Place before commissioning a building to house teaching in Clyde Street, which opened in 1833. The School then moved to new premises at Summerhall in 1916, and relocated to Easter Bush Campus in 2011.

Looking forward

At the dinner, the Principal of the University of Edinburgh, along with the current and previous Heads of School, reflected on the Dick Vet’s history and highlighted why they are confident that the School has a bright future.

I am honoured to have joined the School in this, its bicentenary year. The Dick Vet is one of the leading providers of veterinary education in the world today, and I am excited to lead the School in the next chapter of its history.

Professor Lisa BodenHead of School and Dean of Veterinary Medicine

I am so proud to have been part of the School for almost 20 years and to witness first-hand its unwavering commitment to nurturing talent, both in the education of veterinary surgeons and by advancing knowledge and practice in veterinary medicine.

Professor David ArgyleVice Principal and Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

The University is proud of the achievements of the School, which is regarded as one of the best veterinary schools in the world. Many congratulations to the School and best wishes for the next 200 years.

Professor Peter MathiesonPrincipal of the University of the Edinburgh

Related links

Bicentenary timeline video

History of the R(D)SVS

R(D)SVS Bicentenary events 

All4Paws promotional video


About the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies is a one-of-a-kind centre of excellence in clinical activity, teaching and research. Our purpose-built campus, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park, is home to more than 800 staff and almost 1400 students, all of whom contribute to our exceptional community ethos.

The School comprises:

The Roslin Institute

The Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems

The Roslin Innovation Centre

The Hospital for Small Animals

Equine Veterinary Services

Farm Animal Services

Easter Bush Pathology

The Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education

We represent the largest concentration of animal science-related expertise in Europe, impacting local, regional, national and international communities in terms of economic growth, the provision of clinical services and the advancement of scientific knowledge.