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VBS Professor Dr. Griel Honored for a Lifetime of Caring and Sharing

Posted: January 17, 2014

The Penn State Graduate School Alumni Society will be honoring Dr. Lester Griel, Professor and Program Coordinator of the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Undergraduate Program, with their 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award this spring.
From his first day on Penn State campus in 1957 to today, after almost fifty years as a faculty member, Dr. Lester Griel has dedicated his career to his calling, his students, and his alma mater.

From his first day on Penn State campus in 1957 to today, after almost fifty years as a faculty member, Dr. Lester Griel has dedicated his career to his calling, his students, and his alma mater.

On January 7th, Dr. Lester Griel was selected to receive the Penn State Graduate School Alumni Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

He was nominated by his colleagues because of his tireless work with students and animals, and chosen by the university because of his, “prolific career and lifelong contributions as a teacher and mentor to an unparalleled number of Penn State students who chose to pursue a career in veterinary medicine.”

He has been a professor in the pre-vet program in Penn State’s Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (VBS) department long before it was known as the VBS department.

He became an official member of the faculty in the summer of 1965, after earning his VMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  Prior to that, he was a Penn State undergraduate—B.S. in 1961—and a graduate student (after already attaining his VMD)—M.S. in 1969.

The ultimate impact of his dedication to Penn State can’t be measured in numbers of classes taught or students instructed, previous awards he’s received, or any of the other numerous concrete accomplishments he’s achieved. What makes Dr. Griel’s tenure here so important is how generously he shares his knowledge and inspires people.

One colleague, Dr. Robert Van Saun, VBS Professor and Extension Veterinarian, relates that during his travels, he invariably runs into veterinarians who have been influenced by Dr. Griel—each one remembers him well and explains excitedly how he helped them in their education. All across the United States are generations of veterinarians who began their training with Penn State’s Dr. Griel!

Interim Department Head Dr. Mary Kennett states, “I can say with confidence that he has helped more students gain acceptance to veterinary school than anyone else in the world… Students both love and revere him.”

Dr. Griel will receive his lifetime achievement award during the Graduate School Alumni Society’s Recognition Dinner in April.