Dr. C. Richard Beckett, who retired as The University of Findlay’s board of trustees chair in 2014 and this year will complete 30 years of service as a board member, will receive the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges’ Earl F. Morris Trustee Award at a dinner to be held Thursday, April 16 in Columbus, Ohio.
The Findlay veterinarian has been invaluable to the University, guiding its physical campus and academic programs through decades of unprecedented and important growth.
During his board chairmanship, the main campus grew from 60 to 88 acres. Building acquisitions, such as that which formerly housed the Winebrenner Village Retirement Community, were made during his tenure. He also provided oversight for expansions at Henderson Dining, the Mazza Museum of Children’s Picture Book Art and the Davis Street Building.
The University added six masters and three doctoral programs while he served as chair. In 2007, he provided support for the creation of the annual Symposium for Scholarship and Creativity that celebrates student achievement in all disciplines; this year’s symposium will be held on April 17.
Dr. Beckett was directly involved in the launching of The University of Findlay’s animal science/pre-veterinary program, which is now the largest undergraduate major. The program is noted for its hands-on approach, bringing students out of the classroom and into the barns beginning freshman year. The veterinary school admission rate for UF graduates is twice the national average. Named in his honor, the Dr. C. Richard Beckett Animal Science Building opened in 2009 and set a new standard for facilities of this type of program.
Dr. Beckett also was instrumental in helping to launch the University’s western and English equestrian programs and the opening of University Equine Veterinary Services. At his 2014 Arch Award ceremony, it was noted that 22 percent of current undergraduates are enrolled in programs mentored by Dr. Beckett.
With the financial wellbeing of the University always a priority, he has been and continues to be a convincing proponent of funding student scholarships. In 2014 it was announced that sisters Marjorie and Mildred McGranahan, former clients of his veterinary practice, bequeathed $1.56 million to the University, thanks in large part to his cultivation of this relationship over the course of several years.
Dr. Beckett, an ambassador to all students, is particularly interested in making students from other countries feel at home in Findlay. The University announced in September 2014 that its reenrollment of international students had increased 46 percent to 535. He has traveled to Japan five times for UF. In May 2014 he visited Rakuno University where The University of Findlay has an exchange program for pre-veterinary students. He also personally contributes to a scholarship for these students. In 2011 the Kake Educational Institutions named Dr. Beckett an honorary director.
In 1994 the University named Dr. Beckett a Distinguished Associate, and awarded him an honorary doctorate of Entrepreneurial Business Development in 1996. At the 2014 homecoming celebration, he received the prestigious Arch Award for more than 25 years of service. In 2002, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Beckett also serves on several other regional boards, such as that of the Blanchard Valley Health System and Findlay-Hancock County Chamber of Commerce. He was the founding director of the Hancock County Humane Society 44 years ago.
Dr. Beckett’s veterinary practice eventually grew to six locations in Findlay, Fostoria and Columbus, and employed approximately 20 veterinarians and 120 employees.
In addition, from 1975 to 1977, he was the director of youth for the Ohio Quarter Horse Association.
The foundation’s Earl F. Morris Trustee Award recognizes outstanding trustees for their years of service, innovation, enthusiastic leadership, and continued involvement and support.