New entrepreneurial professorship established in Veterinary Medicine

Ames, Iowa - - An entrepreneurial veterinarian and a college looking to instill entrepreneurial skills in its students have connected to establish one of the nation's first professorships in veterinary entrepreneurial studies at Iowa State University.

A commitment from ISU alumnus Dr. David R. Trask has created a new professorship in entrepreneurial studies and funding for programs associated with the college's entrepreneurial studies program. The professorship is part of a planned five-part program that will also include developing an entrepreneurial curriculum, speaker series, off-campus internships and an endowed chair in veterinary entrepreneurship.

Dr. Donald D. Draper, University Professor in biomedical sciences, has been named the first holder of the Dr. David R. Trask Professorship in Entrepreneurial Studies. He received his veterinary degree from Iowa State in 1966 and has master's and doctorate degrees. He has been a faculty member of the college for 37 years, teaching a number of courses including entrepreneurship and practice management. He has served as associate dean for academic and student affairs.

"Iowa State has been unique in veterinary medical education. We are one of very few veterinary schools to offer formal business training as part of the veterinary curriculum," said Draper. "This professorship is unique to Iowa State and it is an honor to be given the opportunity to expand and move our entrepreneurial program forward."

The college established an entrepreneurial studies program in veterinary medicine eight years ago.

"Dr. Draper has been instrumental in bringing this perspective to our students," said Dr. John U. Thomson, veterinary medicine dean. "This professorship is a key step toward providing our students with expanded opportunities to develop the business and entrepreneurial skills they will need to succeed in the profession of veterinary medicine. Providing experiences in creative, analytical and innovative entrepreneurial thinking processes will give our students opportunities to thrive in whatever phase of the profession they enter."

A native Iowan, Trask received his veterinary degree from Iowa State in 1975. He has practiced veterinary medicine in Illinois and California and has successfully turned around seven underperforming practices. Trask has served 38 years in the U.S. military and holds the rank of commander of the 352nd Combat Support Hospital in Oakland, Calif.

"My goal is to help students develop skills needed to become entrepreneurs and successful business people as well as outstanding practitioners of veterinary medicine," said Trask. "The college has established a sound base for a strong entrepreneurial program, and I am confident this professorship, held by Dr. Draper, will take that program to a new level of excellence. Having this professorship allows the college to have an individual champion the cause of inserting new and invigorating ideas, knowledge, and practices into the veterinary medicine curriculum."

The College of Veterinary Medicine was established in 1879 as the nation's first public veterinary college. It is currently the sixth-largest college of veterinary medicine in the country, serving as a major teaching, research and service center through five educational departments and its hospital and laboratory units.

The Trask commitment was made to benefit Iowa State University through the Iowa State University Foundation -- a private, non-profit organization dedicated to securing and managing private gift support for Iowa's land-grant university. Trask's philanthropic support complements the college's $41 million goal that is part of the university's $800 million Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose.