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Andre (Moul) Ross: One of the Few Women to Become a Veterinarian During World War II

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Posted May 24, 2012.
By Dr. Donald F. Smith, Cornell University
This historical blog is in recognition of the 150th anniversary 
of the American Veterinary Medical Association (1863-2013)

Seven women were admitted to Cornell’s veterinary college in 1935 and 1936. This represented about eight percent of those classes, an astonishingly high proportion for that period. However, by the end of the decade, fewer women were admitted to Cornell and only one in the class that arrived in 1939.
Andre (Moul) Ross, Cornell DVM 1943
Graduation Photo, Cornell University
Andre Moul was raised in Gloversville, NY. While helping deliver piglets from the sow of a family friend, she became hooked on the idea of becoming a veterinarian. Despite her mother’s encouragement to become a teacher, a nurse, or a secretary, 11-year-old Andre couldn’t be dissuaded from wanting to become a veterinarian. 
Back in the thirties, girls seldom went to college”, Dr. Ross said in a 1998 interview. “The belief was that educating a girl to become a veterinarian robbed a worthy boy of his education as the girl would most likely marry and never practice”.
With her mother’s support, Andre enrolled in Cornell’s agricultural college in 1938 for her requisite year of pre-veterinary education. A year later, she began her veterinary studies as the sole woman in the class of 40 students. 
The horse (not dog) was still the principal species used in first-year dissection classes. Clinical experiences during the final two years were divided equally between the small and large animal clinics. Though there were occasional class exercises in which she was not allowed to participate because of her gender, she shared most learning activities with her male colleagues. 

Andre (Moul) Ross, the only woman in Cornell's Veterinary Class of 1943
with four of her classmates and an equine patient.
Photo provided by Ms. Carol Shank, 2012

View original article: http://veterinarylegacy.blogspot.com/2012/05/andre-moul-ross-one-of-few-woman-to.html
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