A life dedicated to excellence in veterinary care, a legacy committed to veterinary education

By Mallory Moye


With a planned gift to the University of Georgia Foundation, Dr. Clarence and Mrs. Janet Rawlings make a lasting impact on the faculty at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine for generations to come. With this commitment, the Rawlings join UGA’s Heritage Society, an exclusive group of alumni and friends who leave planned gifts, commonly donated through a will or trust, to the University Foundation.


A farm boy from southern Illinois, Dr. Rawlings and his wife, Jan, arrived at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in 1974 for what was expected to be a short five-year stint before returning home to the Midwest. Today, over 45 years later, Dr. Rawlings and and his wife are proud to still call Athens, GA, home.

Dr. Clarence Rawlings

In 2004, Dr. Rawlings “retired” from a 30-year career at the veterinary college, but his work in the field is far from over. He currently serves as a Professor Emeritus and teaches veterinarians and veterinary specialists on how to expand the possibilities of veterinary care. No doubt, he has left his mark on veterinary medicine. And thanks to a planned gift to the UGA Foundation, Dr. Rawlings and Jan will continue to support veterinary education for generations to come.


Dr. Rawlings attributes much of the success throughout his career to the many enthusiastic mentors who guided him along the way. In honor of these important relationships, The Rawlingses have revised their will to establish an endowed professorship at the College they so passionately believe in.  “Soon after joining the faculty, Jan and I began giving annually to the College,” explains Dr. Rawlings. “Today, we support a student award to help offset the burden of debt students face. In the future, we’ll be able to support and nurture leadership in the College.”

The Rawlings Professorship will assist a CVM faculty member engaged in developing and establishing new clinical technology in small animal general surgery. “It is challenging to introduce a new technology into clinical practice. If something has been done 50 years one way, there’s probably a lot of good things about it,” says Dr. Rawlings. “But it could be done better.”

As a former faculty member, Dr. Rawlings understands the importance of endowed faculty support. “This long-lasting support helps retain and attract outstanding people—financial incentive helps,” he remarks. “Our residents can make significantly more in the corporate world than the faculty who train them.”


“I remember vividly the young, dynamic people at the College who were interested in problem-solving,” Dr. Rawlings reflects. “UGA offered me an opportunity to perform clinical work in addition to research.” From early on in his career, Dr. Rawlings was devoted to research and writing papers. At that time, however, most clinicians coming out of residencies lacked research training, so UGA’s program was a no-brainer.

Dr. Rawlings and his wife, Jan

Dr. Rawlings believes that clinical research offers clients the opportunity to try a new technology or diagnostic device. During his career at UGA, Dr. Rawlings was one of the first to utilize endoscopy in patients, a technique that is less stressful, less painful, and helps the patient return to normal faster. Thanks to clinical research, Dr. Rawlings helped develop a soft palate technique to help bulldogs breathe better—a relief for bulldog lovers everywhere!

Dr. Spencer Johnston, small animal medicine and surgery department head, is the James J. and Marjorie Waggoner Professor in Small Animal Studies. “The professorship lets me support many areas of the department, purchasing equipment and supporting research projects,” shares Dr. Johnston. Resident research projects are necessary for completion of residency training programs and often have direct applications for patients, but they aren’t often funded by larger organizations.

To anyone considering making a gift to support veterinary educators, Dr. Rawlings says, “There is good work being done at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine by good people who care. They need our support also.”

If you would like to learn more about supporting veterinary education, please contact Elizabeth Guest, Major Gifts Officer, at (706)247-9866 or [email protected].

We’re UGA Vet Med, and our

passion powers our commitment.