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Clemson welcomes new College of Veterinary Medicine and its inaugural dean

NC State // Courtesy
Clemson’s new College of Veterinary Medicine will be the first of its kind in the state of South Carolina.

On Aug. 14, Steven Marks officially became the inaugural dean of Clemson’s new College of Veterinary Medicine.

The college will be the first of its kind in South Carolina and seeks to provide the next academic step for undergraduates in the department of animal and veterinary sciences as well as other students looking to work in animal medicine.

“The veterinary school will be a graduate degree,” Marks said. “They will try and attract undergraduate degree holders from degrees like animal science, pre-vet, zoology, chemistry, really any science, and then parlay that into a curriculum that provides a doctorate of veterinary medicine.”

Students in traditional veterinary schools typically undergo years of preclinical study followed by clinical years in a teaching hospital, according to Marks. At Clemson, however, students will go directly to local veterinary hospitals for training and clinical study.

Marks hopes that this method, known as a distributed model, will provide students with abundant practical experience and a unique advantage once they enter veterinary practice.

“My vision is that we will create a day 1-ready veterinarian,” Marks said. “When students finish their degree of veterinary medicine, they will be prepared to go into any practice and be able to work on any species, large animal, farm animal, small animal or exotic species.”

Though his title may be new, Marks is no stranger to the Clemson Family or its tradition of excellence. He was initially introduced to Clemson through his son George, a member of the 2021 men’s soccer national championship team.

Before coming to Clemson, Marks served as the director of veterinary medical services at NC State and initially did not intend to leave his position. However, the appeal to become a Tiger proved too great to resist.

“There’s lots of aspects of Clemson that are very appealing,” Marks said. “The opportunity to start a brand new veterinary school from the ground up, a clean slate to build it the way you want it and build it with the Clemson brand, as a world-renowned land-grant university, carries a lot of weight.”

As of now, the College of Veterinary Medicine is expected to welcome its first class in 2026 and join Clemson’s efforts to combat the nationwide veterinarian shortage, which is particularly acute in rural South Carolina.

Marks is confident that the school will flourish and stay true to the University’s values.

“I think we will build a veterinary school and veterinary program that Clemson will be proud of, and it’ll be representative of the quality education that Clemson provides,” Marks said. “Although this is a new college at Clemson, it will be designed in the style and quality that Clemson is used to. I’m very excited to be here.”

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Juliana Coates
Juliana Coates, News Editor
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  • J

    Justin ChurchSep 27, 2023 at 7:46 am

    Dr. Marks is an amazing addition to Clemson. Class act doctor.

  • G

    Gayle MorrisSep 25, 2023 at 3:00 pm

    I hope there will be specialties for allergies and nutrition.