The late Dr. Bob Curtis will be enshrined later this month in the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame.
The other inductees will be Anne Beaumont from New Brunswick, Gerard Cormier of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia's Jack Sibley. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance at the event is invitation only.
Dr. Curtis, who passed away on December 8, 2019, was a founding member of the faculty at the Atlantic Veterinary College. Born in Orangeville, Ontario, in 1931, Dr. Curtis came from an agricultural background. He worked on his home farm during his early schooling and went on to operate his own beef farm.
In 1956, he entered the doctor of veterinary medicine program at the Ontario Veterinary College, graduating first in his class in 1961. Subsequently, he was appointed to the College’s Department of Clinical Studies and Ambulatory Clinic. After receiving his master of science degree in 1968, he was promoted to associate professor and, in 1975, to full professor.
In 1985, Dr. Curtis joined the new Atlantic Veterinary College at UPEI as the inaugural chair of the Department of Health Management. He brought to the College high standards in teaching, applied research, and professional service, along with a prolific scholarly publishing record. He laid the ground work for a department that is highly regarded for its award-winning faculty and outstanding competence in animal care and veterinary medicine.
Dr. Curtis also played a critical role in the planning and development of AVC’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital. As co-director during the early years, he was invaluable in setting up the hospital and establishing a client base and teaching caseload.
He was renowned for his love of service to clients and for his dedication to the students he taught. He established two student awards—the Dr. R.A. Curtis Bovine Award for a graduating student finishing first in the class in bovine medicine, and the Dr. R.A. Curtis Bovine Externship Award for third-year students interested in bovine practice and willing to engage in an external elective outside of Atlantic Canada.
A leader in the veterinary profession in Canada, Dr. Curtis was recognized by his peers for his contributions with a Life Membership in the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the OVC Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988, and the CVMA Schering Award in 1986.
Dr. Curtis retired from AVC in September 1996. In 2009, the College presented him with its highest honour, the Honourable Eugene F. Whelan Green Hat Award, for his contributions to its establishment and success.