2015 Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award Recipient
Brigadier General John L. Poppe
Brigadier General John L. Poppe (’81 BS; ’86 DVM), Chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps, will receive the 2015 Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, Washington State University’s highest alumni honor.
“As Chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps with oversight of Veterinary Services throughout the Department of Defense, you have provided animal health, food protection, and support of research and development activities worldwide. Your leadership and many contributions have enhanced the lives of millions of people and the readiness of those who bravely defend our country,’’ said the late WSU President Elson S. Floyd in a letter congratulating Poppe on the Award
Poppe graduated cum laude from WSU with a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science in 1981. He continued his education at WSU at the College of Veterinary Medicine, graduating cum laude in 1986. Following graduation, he practiced in Seattle as an associate in a small animal practice prior to entering the US Army as a First Lieutenant in 1987. Since then, he has served in positions of increasing responsibilities, culminating with his promotion to Brigadier General as one of only 15 Brigadier Generals since the inception of the Veterinary Corps in 1916.
The Veterinary Service has more than 3,000 employees worldwide, and currently employs 25 veterinarians who graduated from the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine (WSU CVM). The Corps is the single largest employer of WSU CVM graduates, as well as the largest provider of scholarships to WSU vet students.
General Poppe leads an organization that provides care for more than 4,000 military working dogs, as well as Navy marine animals, military mascots, ceremonial and working horses, installation wildlife, and the privately owned pets of service members.
General Poppe continues a long WSU history of military vets, including the most decorated Army Veterinary Corps officer, Captain Clayton Mickelson (’39) and the first female Veterinary Corps officer, Lt. Thais deTienne (’38).
Since 1962, the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award has been given to alumus/a who has made significant contributions to society and, through his or her accomplishments, has brought attention to the quality of a Washington State University education.
Previous winners include broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, author Sherman Alexie, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, cartoonist Gary Larson, astronaut John Fabian, sports broadcaster Keith Jackson and wheat researcher Orville Vogel. Poppe is the award’s 46th recipient.
The award was presented on Friday, October 16 in the Animal Disease Biotech Facility, room 1002 on the Pullman campus. Following the award presentation, General Poppe presented a lecture entitled "From the Dairy Farm to the Pentagon.”
The archived video stream is available at mms://220.127.116.11/MMR/EducationalPublicMedia/101615rdaa.wmv