First Decade Achievement Nomination Criteria
This award is presented to a person who has graduated from The
University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine with a DVM degree
within the last ten years. The nominees should show promise of
continuing contributions to their profession through service to their
clients, animals, and their community.
UTCVM Distinguished Alumnus Award Winner 2016
Dr. Halford Named Distinguished Alumnus
Dr. Charles Halford (UTCVM 1981) has been named the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumnus for 2016 for a veterinarian in private practice. The award honors alumni who have risen to the top of their profession while committing to community service. Dr. Halford will be recognized at the college's commencement ceremony on May 7.
Dr. Halford is a practicing veterinarian and owner of Walnut Grove Animal Clinic in Memphis. He is a member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Task Force One as the canine team veterinarian and has been certified for deployment as a technical support specialist. As the primary care veterinarian for the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Canine unit, Dr. Halford has been managing the medical care for a large population of search and rescue canines for over 25 years. He also provides the veterinary care for the canine units of Memphis; Crittenden County, Arkansas; Memphis Airport Authority; Shelby County Sherriff's Department; and Federal Express. He provides consulting services to several other law enforcement agencies in the Mid-South area as needed. Dr. Halford is regularly utilized as a trainer for FEMA task force canine units primarily in the areas of medical care, first aid, wellness assessment, and field care for the canine handlers. He also conducts required training for Task Force physicians who are required to provide first aid for canines during deployment.
In addition to his professional work, Dr. Halford serves his community extensively through mission work and faith-based organizations. With his wife Vicki and seven other families, the group founded and developed Westminster Academy in 1996. The school is a charter member of the Association of Classical Christian Schools.
Dr. Halford has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Life Action Ministries since 1995, including a position as chairman from 2006-2009. He also serves as a volunteer missionary with Life Action by teaching Christian marriage and family life principles. He serves as an advisory board member and speaker on Christian men's issues at national conferences sponsored by the Ministry to Men foundation. Dr. Halford is a member, church officer, and currently serves as an elder of Independent Presbyterian Church in Memphis.
Leadership roles have played a large part in Dr. Halford's professional service. Along with speaking regularly for local and state veterinary medical associations, he has served on the boards of the Animal Emergency Center of Memphis, Inc.; Memphis/Shelby County Veterinary Medical Association; Southern Veterinary Medical Federation; Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association; Memphis Animal Shelter; Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners; and the Urban Search and Rescue Veterinary Medical Team. He served as president of the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association in 2006-2007 and was the Memphis/Shelby County Veterinary Medical Association Veterinarian of the Year in 1987.
Dr. Halford has been married to Vicki Garey Halford for 38 years. They have three children and six grandchildren. They live on a farm in Millington, raising hay, corn, soybeans, sheep, and horses. He enjoys blacksmithing, woodwork, hiking, hunting, and running.
The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1974 and has provided veterinary medical education to almost 2,300 veterinarians. The Distinguished Alumni award recognition began in 1994.
Previous Award Winners
View our list of previous Alumni Award winners.
UTCVM Distinguished Alumnus Award Nomination Criteria
The nominee must be a graduate of The University of Tennessee
College of Veterinary Medicine with a DVM degree. The person should have
excelled in at least one of the five areas of veterinary medicine:
private practice, teaching, research, public service, or organized
veterinary medicine. Consideration will be given to the nominees
contribution to any or all of the following areas: Professional Service
Organized Veterinary Medicine (Local, State & National) Involvement
in Education, Research and Service Animal and Human Health Related
Public Service Civic contributions to Local community, State and Nation
It is requested that individuals nominating candidates document the
accomplishments of the candidate on the form provided. Any additional
supporting material may be included with the nomination form. Up to two
awards may be presented each year, one from private practice and one
from one of the other four areas of the profession.
Submit a nomination online now.