African Reserves

47 new doctors of veterinary medicine recognized at the start of the new academic year in spring 2022

May 18, 2022

TU College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2022 Pledge Ceremony.

Contact: Anissa Riley, Director of External Affairs, College of Veterinary Medicine

The Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM) Class of 2022 had 47 newly recognized Doctors of Veterinary Medicine on April 30. In-person Veterinary Medicine Oath and Hood Ceremony from College to University Chapel. Thirty of the 47 students graduated with honors. They included four “Summa Cum Laude”, eight “Magna Cum Laude” and 18 “Cum Laude”. Both ceremonies were streamed live for those who weren’t in attendance and are also available on the university’s YouTube channel for anyone who missed them to watch later.

Additionally, at the university’s commencement ceremony, three TUCVM graduates received the Master of Science degree in Veterinary Science (Darius L. Caffey, Twanda H. Collins, and Bria J. Khabeer); two TUCVM graduates received the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Pathobiology – IDPB Diploma (Nadia Abdel-Rahman Al-toom and Dequarius A. King) and finally, three graduates received the Ph.D. in Integrative Biosciences – IBS (Joakin O. Mori, Ahmad Bin Abdus Salam and Naresh Shahi). The IBS Ph.D. program is jointly supported by the TUCVM; the College of Agricultural, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences; and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Immediately after the start on April 30, veterinary medicine graduates participated in the Veterinary Medicine Oath and Hood Ceremony where Dr. Ruby L. Perry, Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, chaired the program. Dr. Roslyn Casimir, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; Dr. Ebony Gilbreath, Head of the Department of Pathobiology/Assistant Dean for Clinical Skills and Strategic Initiatives; and Dr. Temesgen Samuel, Associate Dean for Research and Advanced Studies, provided assistance during the presentation and reception of the Class of 2022.

In a personal letter to the TUCVM Class of 2022, Dean Perry said: “The TUCVM family salutes you on your successful journey through the professional program to earn the DVM degree which is the culmination of your academic journey. Although the COVID-19 pandemic still required some adjustments to your learning experience, the class of 2022 persevered and you are to be commended for fitting and finishing STRONG! We congratulate you on your accomplishments and accomplishments over the past four years through your hard work and perseverance, and we look forward to hearing about the accomplishments you will make as veterinary professionals, as leaders, educators and researchers.

Former veterinary student Tiffini Brabham, DVM, PhD, DABT, was the speaker for this year’s Veterinary Medicine Pledge and Hood Ceremony. Dr. Brabham, a class of 1993, is a board-certified toxicologist and currently Chief Scientific Officer at Takeda Pharmaceuticals and also current President of the Tuskegee Veterinary Medical Alumni Association (TVMAA).

She delivered a powerful veterinary swearing-in speech titled “Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World…where Legacy Meets New Modern Success.” During his presentation, Dr. Brabham instructed graduates to live a “3-DIMENSIONAL LIFE, which strives to cultivate personal LENGTH, WIDTH AND HEIGHT”. Dr Brabham also encouraged graduates to let them know their TUCVM family is confident they are prepared. They just have to keep rising to the occasion, just like their veterinary student predecessors.

She said: “You are ALL one-of-a-kind gems able to showcase our years of multi-generational strength. Know that despite everything, there is absolutely nothing you cannot achieve. Just lean on our rich Tuskegee heritage, which has trained 70% of African American veterinarians worldwide.

Dr Brabham concluded, “Class of 2022, chart your own path with profound authenticity, honor and charity. Now that the piton has been passed to you, our amazing graduates, all you have to do is catch… congratulations!”

Dean Perry also honored the winners of CVM’s Distinguished Alumni Awards during the Veterinary Swearing-in Ceremony program. This year’s winners included:

  • veterinary oath speaker, Dr. Tiffini Brabham;
  • Dr. Michael Bailey, board-certified veterinary radiologist with over three decades of experience and currently Medical Director at IDEXX Telemedicine Consultants;
  • Dr. Michael J. Blackwell, retired assistant surgeon general, USPHS and current director of the Companion Animal Health Equity Program at the University of Tennessee and founder of AlignCare Health;
  • Dr. Linda C. Bostick, career practitioner for over three decades and proud owner and principal clinical veterinarian of Riverview Veterinary Hospital; and
  • Dr. Irving McConnell, retired colonel in the US Army Reserve (US Army Civil Affairs Special Operations Command-AIRBORNE) and founder and CEO of The McConnell Group Inc., a health sciences company.

Additionally, as CEO of the McConnell Group, upon acceptance of his award by Dr McConnell, he made a surprise announcement to make a job offer to any TUCVM DVM graduate still in need of a job in as a new veterinarian.

The college’s class of 2022 represents the college’s 73rd class to receive DVM degrees from Tuskegee University. With this graduation, the College of Veterinary Medicine awarded 2,963 veterinary medical degrees.

Due to CDC COVID-19 guidelines, a reception did not follow the live swearing-in ceremony; however, a meal with boxed meals was provided outside the chapel.

To view the Graduate and Vocational Schools Commencement Ceremony and Veterinary Medicine Hood and Oath Ceremony beginning April 30, please visit the following links for Tuskegee University’s YouTube channel: https://www and

About Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine

Located in Alabama as one of two accredited veterinary programs in the state, Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine (TUCVM) was envisioned in 1944 by Dr. Frederick D. Patterson, founder of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and officially established in Tuskegee in 1945. TUCVM is the only professional veterinary medicine program located on the campus of a historically black college or university (HBCU) in the United States. The College has educated over 70% of the nation’s African American veterinarians and has been recognized as the most diverse of any veterinary school/college in the nation. The College’s primary mission is to provide an environment that fosters a spirit of active, independent, and self-directed learning, intellectual curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem solving, ethics, and leadership; and promotes education, research and services in veterinary medicine and related disciplines. For more information, visit

© 2022 Tuskegee University

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