Colorado State’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital Offers Unique Way to Pay Tribute to Those Who Deeply Touch Our Lives

Four year-old Ethan Linderer wants to be sure everyone will always know that he and his dog Jasmine are "Best Pals." Emily Asay expresses thanks to mom and dad for helping her through veterinary school. Mitzi Sue is honored as a "gentle helper" for her years of work as a therapy dog who brought smiles and laughter to patients at the Lutheran Medical Center and the local nursing home. These words of tribute by loving family, friends, colleagues and grateful clients are among the hundreds being inscribed on bricks that will become the Path of Honor within the new Tribute Garden of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins.

The Tribute Garden is planned as a unique setting on the hospital grounds beside the new wing. The "Path of Honor," a winding walkway through the garden, will be composed of tan sandstone bricks, individually inscribed with a personal message of tribute to a pet or a person.

The College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is launching a public campaign to solicit gifts from individuals, businesses and groups who want to include their words of tribute in this unique setting. A gift of $100 provides a 4"x 4" brick inscribed with up to three lines of copy, a gift of $250 provides for an 8"x 8" brick with up to seven lines of copy. There are 1,350 bricks available for inscription in Phase One of the campaign. The deadline to include an inscribed brick in Phase One ends July 31, 2002. Brick gifts received within Phase One will be placed in the Path this fall, prior to the dedication of the new wing of the hospital.

"For years the grounds to the southwest of the hospital have offered a convenient outdoor locale for clients and visitors to spend time with hospital patients or to enjoy a quiet conversation. Over the time it has taken on special meaning to the veterinary students, clients and staff," said Dr. Wendell Nelson, Director of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State. "Building the new wing gave us the chance to create this unique garden among newly landscaped grass, trees and foliage."

Several veterinary classes have already dedicated gifts as their senior tribute to the hospital. These gifts, along with many others given in honor of pets and people, will become a part of the several secluded alcoves along the brick Path of Honor, Nelson said.

Lance E. Perryman, DVM, PhD, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences points out that the Tribute Garden and Path of Honor will be dedicated to the alumni, students, clients, patients and staff who together have created a legacy that honors the spirit and tradition of client and patient care at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

"What better way to capture the essence of the work being done at the hospital than this special walkway with messages of love, respect and endearment to be shared with the thousands of people who come to the hospital each year," said Dean Perryman.

Brick inscriptions are coming in from around the country.

"One lady from Georgia sent her gift honoring her horse, Lady for ten wonderful years of shared adventure and looking for ten more of companionship and love," said Debby Morehead, Associate Director of Development for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. "The Williams family made a gift for their son who is currently with the Peace Corps in the Philippines and missing his cat Zeus who had to stay home with the family. They said this was their birthday present to their son this year, and next year they will get him a brick of his own! Just reading the inscriptions–some make you laugh, others make you cry-each reflects a personal story of a very special relationship."

All gifts to the Path of Honor beyond the general construction costs will be used to maintain the garden, create client comfort rooms within the new wing, and enhance services provided by the hospital.

For more information, contact Debby Morehead, Associate Director of Development for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University at (970) 491-3251 or, visit the website at