Published: 13 May 2024 | Last Updated: 13 May 2024 11:51:53

Professor Stephen May, Senior Vice Principal at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the RVC in recognition of his ‘inspirational’ contributions to the veterinary profession.

During the annual Principal’s Dinner, which reflects on the successes of the RVC in the previous year and considers wider challenges and innovations in the veterinary field, Professor May was presented with the fellowship in celebration of his wide-ranging career highlights and the impact of his work and legacy.

Professor May graduated as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Cambridge in 1980 before training as a clinician-researcher and later earning his PhD from the RVC. Beginning his teaching career at the University of Liverpool, he returned to the RVC in 1993 as a Professor of Equine Medicine and Surgery.

In the 30 years since he returned to the RVC, Professor May has held many positions, helping to transform the RVC’s Equine Hospital, doubling caseload and clinician numbers, before becoming Vice Principal for Teaching and later Deputy Principal and Senior Vice Principal.

Professor May has significantly advanced the RVC’s educational offering through various contributions, including leading the development of “LIVE”, the RVC’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The Centre has since received the Association of Medical Education in Europe’s Aspire Award for Excellence in Educator Development, the only veterinary school to be recognised in this way.

In addition to his positions at the RVC, Professor May has served as President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation and the European College of Veterinary Surgeons amongst numerous other posts. His role in sharing veterinary education also extends beyond the RVC with Professor May playing an influential role in the development of initiatives such as Competence Based Veterinary Education through the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges.

Professor Stuart Reid CBE, President & Principal of the RVC, said:

“I am delighted that we were able to recognise Stephen's pivotal contribution to RVC's history, to the Higher Education sector and to the veterinary professions. As was evidenced in the citation for his Honorary Fellowship and in the mini symposium we held in his honour, Stephen made real impact in all he did. It has been a privilege to work with him and, even in his retirement, he will remain a leading role model for what it means to be a veterinary academic.”

Notes to Editors


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About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London.  
  • It is one of the few veterinary schools in the world that hold accreditations from the RCVS in the UK (with reciprocal recognition from the AVBC for Australasia, the VCI for Ireland and the SAVC for South Africa), the EAEVE in the EU, and the AVMA in the USA and Canada. 
  • The RVC is ranked as the top veterinary school in the world in the QS World University Rankings by subject, 2024.  
  • The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.  
  • The RVC is a research-led institution, with 88% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2021. 
  • The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire. 




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