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Dermatologist Donates $50 Million for a Veterinary School

A dermatologist has contributed the largest individual donation in Oregon State University’s (OSU) history. Gary Carlson, MD, an alumnus of OSU and partner at Dermatology Associates in Westlake, California, recently made a gift of $50 million to the school’s college of veterinary medicine.

In light of the donation, the school has already changed its name to the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine. The funds will be distributed over 15 years, and the rest will be given after Carlson’s death. “I thought it would mean a lot to Oregon State," Carlson told The Oregonian. "I believe in supporting public schools, I went to public schools." Carlson grew up in Portland and graduated from OSU in 1974.

A profound dog lover, Carlson’s strategic investment strategy led him to immense financial success. He invested in Southern California real estate and got lucky with Apple stock. His goal was to save up enough money to make “one big donation.”

“High on the list was the joy that our pets so often give us,” he said “a special comfort and support that allows us to embrace life more fully. I wanted to do something that would enrich that experience and help us better understand and care for our ‘best friends.’”

The veterinary facility currently spans 6,000-square feet, and the school plans on more than doubling the space so that they can increase class size from 56 to 72 students. They will also add exam rooms, kennels, and a radiation department. 

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