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Scholarship at Cornell University is named for veterinary mentor


Alumni of the College of Veterinary Medicine created the program in honor of Stephen J. Ettinger, DVM, a 1964 graduate and specialty medicine pioneer.

Ettinger and Lopez

Photo courtesy of CVM Marketing and Communications

Stephen J. Ettinger, DVM, (right) and Julio López, DVM, are the namesake and facilitator, respectively, of a new scholarship for students at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York.

A scholarship at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in Ithaca, New York, was launched in recognition of a longtime mentor to many students. The Stephen J. Ettinger 1962, D.V.M. 1964 Scholarship was created by former students in honor of a veterinarian who had a positive impact on them and became a specialty medicine pioneer.1

The scholarship creation was led by Julio López, DVM, a Class of 2008 alumnus at CVM, who was guided by Ettinger through the process of opening a practice. ‘He’s been such a huge part of my life, as a mentor and like a second father as well,” said López, in a news release.1 “I don’t know where I’d be in my professional career without him.”

Ettinger is a 1962 graduate of Cornell University and earned his doctorate through CVM 2 years later. He is considered a founder of specialization in veterinary medicine, having helped establish the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) and serving as president of cardiology in that organization during the 1970s. In 2021, he received the association’s first ACVIM Specialty Lifetime Achievement Award.1,2

In a recent interview with ACVIM, Ettinger said members focused on lecturing and awareness for specialties in veterinary medicine during the organization’s early years. The growth of ACVIM came with an increase in veterinary specialists and specialty medicine, which created marked change in the industry.2

Ettinger’s impact at Cornell is also considerable, according to the release. He has served on the Cornell University Board of Trustees, the Dean’s Leadership Council and the Advisory Council. His efforts were recognized in 2010 as recipient of the Daniel Elmer Salmon Award for Distinguished Alumni Service.1

Additionally, Ettinger cofounded the Berkely Veterinary Medical Group in California, which brought together specialists in surgery, radiology, internal medicine, dermatology, ophthalmology and cardiology; and served on the faculty at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.2,3 He has also authored hundreds of journal papers and wrote foundational textbooks.1 Ettinger’s written work includes the first veterinary small animal specialty textbook, Canine Cardiology, which was published in 1970, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.3

Ettinger has been a mentor to many veterinary students including CVM alumni Fred Brewer, DVM, Class of 2009; and Etienne Côté, DVM, Class of 1993, who both assisted López in creating the scholarship program. “He’s played such a role in all our lives,” said López, in the release.1 “It’s the perfect opportunity to come together and make this gift that honors his background of giving back.”

The scholarship in Ettinger’s name has already helped students in need of financial assistance. With this goal in mind, he has helped direct former clients to make scholarship gifts to Cornell with funds also supporting the Barbara Benz Memorial Scholarship.1

“There are kids out there that are more than worthy of joining the profession, but need that financial help,” Ettinger said, in the release.1 “I really appreciate that Cornell works hard to seek out and support those students.”


  1. Cornell Veterinary Medicine scholarship honors veterinary legend Dr. Steve Ettinger. News release. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. February 16, 2024.
  2. Langer K. Leader spotlight: Stephen Ettinger, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM, Cardiology). August 7, 2023. Accessed February 19, 2024. https://www.acvim.org/news/current-news/2023/08/07/leader-spotlight-dr.-stephen-ettinger
  3. Larkin M. Legends: the trailblazer of veterinary specialty medicine. American Veterinary Medical Association. September 18, 2013. Accessed February 19, 2024. https://www.avma.org/javma-news/2013-10-01/legends-trailblazer-veterinary-specialty-medicine
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