Published: 20 Jul 2018 | Last Updated: 20 Jul 2018 10:29:35

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has awarded honorary degrees to two internationally recognised veterinarians. Professor Sarah Cleaveland and Dr Willie Reed were celebrated by the RVC for their exceptional contributions to the profession and society.

The awards were presented by the RVC’s Principal, Professor Stuart Reid CBE, at the 2018 Graduation Ceremony that took place on Thursday 5th July 2018 at Royal Festival Hall, London.

Professor Sarah Cleaveland and Dr Willie Reed

Professor Sarah Cleaveland’s research has pioneered methods for quantifying the burden of human rabies, and has demonstrated the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of canine rabies elimination. Her efforts have contributed towards the joint declaration of a 2030 target for the global elimination of human dog-mediated rabies by the World Health Organisation, Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Professor Cleaveland, of the University of Glasgow, leads an inter-disciplinary research programme in Africa that investigates zoonotic and other diseases of livestock. Her career demonstrates a dedication to research capacity-building, and mentoring African students and early career scientists. In 2014 she was awarded an OBE for services to veterinary epidemiology, in 2015 she was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, and in 2016 was recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Dr Willie Reed has also had an illustrious career, serving in the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases, the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP), the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD), the American Association of Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Research. He is currently the Dean of the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine (PVM) in Indiana, USA.

Dr Reed was recognised by the RVC for his powerful advocacy on behalf of groups underrepresented in veterinary medicine and for his leadership in veterinary medical education and research. Dr Reed adds his honorary degree to the Iverson Bell Award of the AAVMC. This was awarded for promotion of diversity across the profession and in shaping the veterinary student population at Purdue in particular. He was also awarded a Title IX award from his own university for his efforts to promote gender related issues.

Professor Stuart Reid, Principal of the Royal Veterinary College, said: “We are honoured to be able to recognise two outstanding colleagues who have contributed so much to the development of our discipline. As role models for our own graduates, I can think of no more inspirational people than Professor Cleaveland and Dr Reed.

“Not only have they excelled in their scientific fields of endeavour, but they have also demonstrated that veterinarians can change the world through commitment to the societal priorities of protection from disease of the world’s poorest people, and the promotion of equality, equity, and diversity for all. As friends and collaborators of the RVC, it is our privilege to be associated with them as our newest honorary graduates.”


Notes to Editors

For more information please contact: Alex Cassells or Ploy Radford Press Line: 0800 368 9520  

About the Royal Veterinary College

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a constituent College of the University of London.
  • The RVC offers undergraduate, postgraduate and CPD programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.
  • It is currently the only veterinary school in the world to hold full accreditation from AVMA, EAEVE, RCVS and AVBC. In 2017, the RVC received a Gold award from the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) – the highest rating a university can receive.
  • A research-led institution, in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) the RVC maintained its position as the top HEFCE funded veterinary focused research institution.
  • The RVC ranked as the top vet school in the Agriculture, Veterinary and Food Science unit of the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with 55% of academics producing world-class and internationally excellent research.
  • The College also provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals; the Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital in central London, the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (Europe's largest small animal referral centre), the Equine Referral Hospital, and the Farm Animal Clinical Centre located at the Hertfordshire campus. 

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