PULLMAN – Warwick M. Bayly, dean of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has been named the 2006 Washington State Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinarian of the Year.
The award was presented at the WSVMA’s annual convention banquet held Sept. 30, in Yakima. It is the most prestigious award given by the association in recognition for Dr. Bayly’s outstanding career in veterinary medicine.
Dr. Bayly, 54, has been at WSU for more than 25 years and was the named the first, Robert B. McEachern Distinguished Professor in Equine Medicine in 1995. He also has served as the college’s associate dean for continuing education and interim chair of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences before being named dean in 2001.
Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Dr. Bayly earned his veterinary degree from Melbourne University in 1974. He served residencies in equine medicine and surgery at both Texas A&M and Ohio State universities. While at Ohio State, he also earned a master’s degree in 1979 before coming to WSU. He was board certified in large-animal internal medicine in 1987. In 1999, Dr. Bayly was awarded a doctorate from the University of Liege in Belgium. He is both a past president of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association and the World Equine Veterinary Association.
“He has improved the quality of WSU’S College of Veterinary Medicine tremendously,” said Dr. Rick DeBowes, associate dean for veterinary development and external relations at WSU and one of four prominent veterinarians who nominated Dr. Bayly for the award. “‘Waz’ as he is known to his colleagues, has published more than 100 scientific papers and is known internationally for his humility and compassion as a human being. His commitment to bettering the profession is unwavering.”
The night before accepting his award, Dr. Bayly stood on a podium in the Yakima Convention Center and personally rallied the crowd to donate nearly $10,000 in two hours of auctioneering. Funds went to the Past Presidents Scholarship Endowment at WSU’s veterinary college and will increase the endowment by 25 percent. His self-deprecating style included wearing Australian schoolboy attire, old WSU Cougar fan clothing and a crimson wig to urge people to give to the fund. He ended the night singing the Cougar Fight song acapella with a group of students.
“Waz is one of the rare deans in this world that doesn’t mind being silly for a couple of hours if it means his students benefit,” said Dr. DeBowes. “It was a perfect match for the generosity of the members of the WSVMA who open their wallets for WSU veterinary students.”
“I’m totally surprised by this honor,” said Dr. Bayly at his acceptance. “What I do for veterinary medicine does not seem like work for me. It seems like a wonderful journey and I’m amazed I get paid for it. I am so overwhelmed to be honored by people I’ve spent my career admiring.”