BROOKINGS, S.D. — The first class of South Dakota State University’s professional program in veterinary medicine was honored at the Inaugural Blue Coat Ceremony on Nov. 5, where the students were presented with a personalized blue Carhartt work coat.

Among them was Mariah Beckmann of Slayton, who was sponsored by Dr. Jennifer Stevens from Horizon Pet Care in Brandon, South Dakota.

“We carefully selected our first class of students, all of them are exceptionally bright and committed to learning the many aspects of veterinary medicine,” said Gary Gackstetter, professor and director of the professional program in veterinary medicine.

Each coat presented at the ceremony was sponsored by a local veterinarian.

This fall, the first cohort of students began veterinary school at SDSU through the Professional Program in Veterinary Medicine in collaboration with the University of Minnesota. Students who completed the required pre-veterinary curriculum were able to apply to the professional program.

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Students admitted into the program will complete the first two years of their DVM degree at SDSU and then transfer to the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine for their final two years of study.