Celebrating Our Pioneers

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During Black History Month, we would like to honor Dr. Jean Proctor McNeil and Dr. Anthony D. Peterson as the first black female and male graduates of the UTCVM. Their images and biographies have been sent to the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association to celebrate their accomplishments.

Dr. Jean Boyd McNeil (CVM '81) was the first African-American student to graduate from UTCVM
Dr. Jean Proctor McNeil (CVM ’81) was the first
African-American student to graduate from UTCVM
Dr. Anthony Peterson (CVM '92) was the first African-American male to graduate from UTCVM
Dr. Anthony Peterson (CVM ’92) was the first
African-American male to graduate from UTCVM

Dr. Jean Proctor McNeil (CVM ’81), born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, graduated from the UT College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981. She has always enjoyed encouraging others to pursue their dreams and shares her story to encourage others to follow their heart to reach their goals, despite possible hardships along the way. She shares her story here.

Dr. Anthony D. Peterson (CVM ’92), originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in May of 1992. He began his career as a large animal practitioner in Nashville, TN then moved to Florida to pursue mixed animal practice in 2001. He was also a consultant and spokesman for Triad Specialty Product from 2004-2005. Dr. Peterson continued to provide medical and surgical care for mixed animal patients until 2006 when he returned to Cordova, TN as a veterinary associate at the Pet Med Veterinary Emergency Hospital. In 2008 he was a veterinarian and practice manager at Pets Choice Animal Clinic Whitehaven in Memphis, TN then became the lead veterinarian for Benfield, the Pet Hospital in Memphis TN in 2009. In 2011 Dr. Peterson became a Supervisor/Veterinary Medical Officer with the USDA/FSIS in Newbern TN and remained in that position until 2015. Currently, Dr. Peterson is a Consumer Safety Office for the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs in Memphis, TN.