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|David Lawrence Thomson Smith
Larry Smith, founding dean of Western College of Veterinary Medicine, was born in Regina, April 18, 1914.
He received his primary and secondary education in Manitoba. Following work in Northern Ontario mines, the RCMP and selling bread in Toronto, he obtained a degree in veterinary medicine from Ontario Veterinary College. He enlisted in the medical corps in the Second World War. When the war ended he did graduate work in pathology at OVC and Cornell University, obtaining his PhD. He taught at Cornell and OVC until his appointment to the new post of dean of the WCVM in Saskatoon.
This college was jointly supported by the four western provinces and the federal government so Larry Smith was required to think in larger terms than a narrow provincial institution. It was the first time such a joint academic operation had been tried and it is to Larry Smithís credit that it succeeded.
His first decision was that the collegeís first priority would be agriculture. He established good relations with the academic, government and livestock production communities in the West. This paid dividends in building the image of the college and winning the public support it enjoys. He managed to convince Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia to pay part of the instructional costs of students from those provinces.
He established an advisory council with representation from the veterinary profession, the governments and universities. This made the college a true co-operative venture.
In 1969 he visited Uganda and, on his recommendation, CIDA assisted that country to establish its own veterinary college. In 1974, following retirement from WCVM, he went to Malaysia for two years to assist in establishment of a college there and later to Somalia on the same mission.
He served as president of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association in 1988-81 and received a life membership in that organization. Larry was the first Canadian to become a diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists (1956) and its president in 1964-65.
Larry received the Schofield Medal which was followed by the St. Eloi Medal from l'Ordre des Medecins Veterinaires du Quebec in 1970. In 1988 he was installed posthumously in the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame.
He died in 1983.