University Leadership: Lonnie King

January 1, 2011

You’ve been dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine since September 2009, but your ties to Ohio State include two degrees, including one from the college you now lead. Had you been back to Ohio State much since you graduated?
I hadn’t been back much, but by being a member of the College of Veterinary Medicine alumni group and the Ohio State Alumni Association and by receiving the mailings, I was able to keep in touch with the university.

What were your thoughts upon returning to Ohio State?
The university has changed since I have left. It has gotten bigger and more comprehensive. I think that makes the possibilities greater. The reputation of Ohio State and the College of Veterinary Medicine have improved greatly also. One of the key things that attracted me back was the opportunity to work collaboratively with other departments, from public health to agriculture and the health science hospitals. New leadership like Gordon Gee was an influence in returning to Ohio State.

For those who are not familiar with Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine, what would you want them to know?
The College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked 5th in the United States. Our veterinary hospital handles about 35,000 cases per year including cats, dogs, horses, cattle, and more. We also contribute to the public health of Ohio’s wildlife and ecosystems, and engage in important research including biomedical and agricultural research. We are passionate about what we do, carry a great sense of pride about what we have done, and are excited about what we still have to accomplish.

What have been some of the things you’ve enjoyed most about being at Ohio State this past year?
Returning to a school as a dean where I once was a student, there are a lot of opportunities to renew old friendships. Reconnecting with dedicated alumni has been very satisfying. Currently, I am meeting with my class (1970) to organize a class gift this fall. Being that the school is turning 125 years old there is a sense of history that is very enjoyable. At Ohio State I have enjoyed being in contact with great faculty and highly qualified students.

You became a member of the President’s Club with gifts you made in 2009 shortly after you arrived. How did you decide where to designate your gift? Were you aware that your gift would be recognized by the President’s Club?
President’s Club was a positive, but not the only thing. I wanted to lead by example; how could I ask someone for a gift when I have not given myself? Philanthropy is in Ohio State’s culture and I believe in what Ohio State does. I will continue to make gifts to the college and the university for a long time to come

President's Club
The Ohio State University
2200 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 292-9550
Fax: (614) 247-6614