The Lois B. Acheson Dean of Veterinary Medicine


Lois Bates Acheson, a 1937 business alumna, endowed the first chair in the College of Veterinary medicine as part of a $21 million bequest to the college in 2005. Acheson's gift was the second largest gift ever made to Oregon State University.

During her lifetime, Acheson broke barriers in the business world. In 1948 at the age of 32, she became vice president of Black Ball Freight Service, during a time when women rarely held executive positions. She helped steer the freight carrier into new territory, constructing the ferry, the M.V. Coho, which runs between Port Angeles, Wash., and Victoria, B.C. When her husband, Robert Acheson, passed away in 1963, she took over the helm of the company. In 1975, she sold the trucking business to focus on the ferry system, which still runs today.

Lois Acheson had a lifelong interest in animals and veterinary care. For many years, she built a scholarship fund to benefit OSU veterinary students. Acheson's estate gift established the chair and also built the college's endowment to ensure that quality veterinary education and research continues at OSU for many years to come. The college renamed its teaching hospital in her honor.

"She always attributed her business success to her educational experience at Oregon State University," said Acheson's niece Donna Schoen, '56. "She would be pleased with the impact her gift will have on the continuing growth and development of the College of Veterinary Medicine."

 

Susan Tornquist

Susan Tornquist joined the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1996, serving as a professor of clinical pathology and associate dean of student and academic affairs. She became interim dean in October 2013 and then was named Lois Bates Acheson Dean in March 2015.

Tornquist received her veterinary medical degree from Colorado State University and her doctorate in veterinary pathology from Washington State University. Her research interests have focused on immune responses to infectious and metabolic diseases in animals, particularly llama and alpacas.

Before coming to Oregon State, she was on the veterinary medicine faculty at Washington State University from 1990-96. She also has been a research associate in New Mexico's Veterinary Diagnostic Services office; an associate veterinarian in private practice in New Mexico; and a teaching and research assistant at the University of New Mexico.

 

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