The turn of the decade brought new developments. The veterinary research farm was placed under the jurisdiction of the dean of the veterinary college, and a full-time foreman was hired. The veterinary curriculum was significantly revised in 1961, changing the clinical training schedules for seniors. The fourth-year class was divided into two sections: one took classes during summer, fall, and winter terms and graduated in March; the other attended during the regular academic year and graduated in June.
This revision was enacted in order to improve year-round utilization of college facilities, to take advantage of the clinical teaching material available during the summer months, and perhaps most importantly, to do away with the necessity of hiring students to operate the hospital and farm veterinary service summer term.
In 1963, a proposal was developed for a complete, centralized animal disease diagnostic service. It was hoped that support would come from a separate line-item appropriation, but the service failed to get necessary funding.
Several significant developments involving veterinary medicine occurred in the mid 1960s. In 1964, in view of the developing College of Human Medicine and administrative decisions that existing departments should be adapted to serve it, the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology was split into two departments. Also, the Department of Veterinary Pathology was renamed the Department of Pathology.
Construction began on a new veterinary clinic located on the corner of Wilson and Bogue Streets. The clinical departments were reorganized in preparation for moving into—and making the best use of—the new clinic building, to be a laboratory for the entire college.
The "Veterinary Clinics" were established to include small-animal clinic, large-animal clinic, the farm veterinary services, and the clinical and diagnostic activities of the pathology and microbiology departments. The clinics were headed by a director, who was directly responsible to the dean.
The building, which became known as the Veterinary Clinical Center, was completed in 1965 at a cost of $4.5 million. At the time, it was the largest facility of its type in the United States. In August 1965, the clinical activities were transferred into the VCC and, effective September 1, Dr. Fayne H. Oberst became its director.
A new veterinary medicine curriculum was inaugurated Fall 1965, as well. Dean Armistead hailed it as "the most significant change in the approach to veterinary education in at least 50 years." This new curriculum was designed to increase the number of veterinarians graduating from the college and to decrease the calendar time needed to earn the DVM degree.
The number of students admitted to the college increased from 64 to 100. Two classes of 50 students were admitted each year to matriculate in September and March. The program was expanded to operate year-round, so that it could be completed in 33 months instead of the previous 45. In 1965, planning also began for a university-wide laboratory animal resources organization.
MSU's Veterinary Alumni Association was reactivated in 1965, and its emphasis was to be on raising funds for special projects in the college. It established a liaison committee (the CVM Alumni Council) to help keep the College of Veterinary Medicine in touch with its alumni and the profession at large.
A commencement convocation for graduating veterinary seniors and their families was initiated in 1966. In 1967 the college received a $1 million grant from NIH over five years to support a Center for Laboratory Animal Resources.
During the 1966-67 academic year, the first Vetavisit was held—an open house of the College of Veterinary Medicine—and drew about 4,000 visitors.
The Veterinary Alumni Council awarded the first College of Veterinary Medicine Alumni Awards at the annual Postgraduate Veterinary Conference in 1968.
In the fall of 1968, 18 students enrolled in the first class of the veterinary technology program. The program's initial emphasis was on laboratory animal care, but in the early '70s, the orientation changed to clinical veterinary practice. From that point on, veterinary technology students received their clinical training in conjunction with veterinary medical students in the same clerkships.
In an administrative/organizational realignment, the Department of Veterinary Clinics and the Department of Veterinary Surgery and Medicine were combined into a Department of Large Animal Surgery and Medicine, and a Department of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine.
MSU'S first veterinary alumnus, Dr. L. A. Wileden, died on November 6, 1969.