Fund to benefit forensics program honors late college administrator

Asbury fund plaque

This plaque hangs outside the offices of the forensic veterinary sciences program and acknowledges the late Dr. Woody Asbury and his love for creatures great and small. (Photo by Sarah Carey)

By Sarah Carey

The widow of one of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine’s most beloved former administrators, Dr. Woody Asbury, has created a fund in his honor to benefit UF’s veterinary forensic medicine program.

“I wanted to do something in Woody’s name, and I had read this article about forensic medicine and how money was needed to get that program going,” said Clare Asbury, who now lives in Versailles, Ky.

“At the time, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals wanted to start a forensic laboratory that would help both small and large animals,” she added. “I thought that was important, because with a program that benefited all animals, you could have more of an impact.”

Dr. Asbury died in 2011 at the age of 80 after a long illness. His career included private equine practice and consulting, as well as academia, through which he helped many veterinary students and theriogenology residents.

 Asbury with horses in 1981/

Dr. Woody Asbury with horses in 1981. (File photo)

A specialist in equine reproduction, Dr. Asbury served the UF veterinary college for nearly 20 years as a teacher, a clinician and an administrative leader. He chaired the college’s original department of reproduction, served as chief of staff of what was then known as the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and chaired the department of large animal clinical sciences, the job he held when he retired in 1996. He also served as interim dean of the college from 1988-89.

The Dr. Atwood C. Asbury Endowed Veterinary Forensic Fund created with Clare Asbury’s $30,000 gift will be used to support a resident or graduate student studying forensics in the college.

A plaque that is on display in the small animal clinical sciences department notes the fund was created in recognition of Dr. Asbury’s dedication to veterinary medicine and “all creatures great and small.”

The ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Program is a part of the Colleges of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine and associated with the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine.

The educational mission of the program is to foster the application of the forensic sciences to veterinary medicine through workshops, short courses, graduate research, case analysis and distance education.

Among the professionals who have participated in various aspects of the program are veterinarians, veterinary technicians, crime scene investigators, forensic laboratory analysts and individuals associated with law enforcement.

“Funds such as this are critical to the success of the veterinary forensic sciences program because not only does it provide research support, it provides the flexibility to send a student into the field as direct support for law enforcement requesting specialized assistance,” said Dr. Jason Byrd, the program’s associate director.

Anyone wishing to contribute to this fund may contact Karen Legato at 352-294-4213.


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