by Lynne Haley, senior director of development
As you read in this issue, researchers in the WSU Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health are doing exciting research to help ensure that no one dies from canine rabies. This important work that will save thousands of lives each year could not be done without the generous support from donors like WSU alumni Don and Dori Ferrel. For more than two decades, Don (’69 BS Physics) and Dori (’69 BA Education) have been committed to improving the health of animals and people through their donations to Washington State University.
In 1993, donations from the Ferrels, along with donations from other family members, friends, and colleagues, established the Donald R. Weldin, DVM Research Endowment to memorialize Dori’s brother who died in a skiing accident when he was just 38 years old. Dr. Weldin (’69 DVM), a dedicated and greatly respected veterinarian in Walnut Creek, California, was a skilled surgeon and was loved by his clients. Because of his deep commitment to his patients, Dr. Weldin slept on the floor of his veterinary practice one Christmas to see that a seriously ill dog made it through the night.
Since the first award given in 1996, funds from the Weldin Endowment have supported many types of research to benefit animals and humans. In the past three years alone, funds from this endowment have supported research for some of the most pressing health problems including drug therapy research for skin cancer, understanding the underlying causes of obesity, and learning more about what causes heart disease. This year, the Ferrels gave additional funds to support this research endowment.
The Ferrels also supported the Allen School’s rabies research (mentioned earlier) to help ensure vaccines can reach the villages that need them most. Their generous donation will be used by Dr. Felix Lankester’s research team to test low-tech cooling storage methods for rabies vaccines in remote rural areas. Many villages do not have reliable sources of electricity. By testing the low-tech cooling methods that are most effective for vaccine storage, it means that many more dogs could receive the vaccine.
We at the college are grateful to donors like the Ferrels, and to all of our supporters. You make a difference in improving the health of animals and people at home and around the world.