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Dunning Honored for Forward-Thinking CVM Leadership

Dianne Dunning
Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services Steve Marks (left) and Associate Dean of Advancement Dianne Dunning (right) with during Dunning's Coat of Excellence ceremony. Photo by Sherry Buckles/NC State Veterinary Medicine

For Dianne Dunning, veterinary medicine is about people as much as it is about animals. 

As associate dean for advancement, which includes both the fundraising and communications teams at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, Dunning brings a wealth of knowledge about science, public health and the human-animal bond to her duties. 

Her unique blend of abilities and accomplishments has earned her the Randy and Susan Ward Coat of Excellence.

Susan Ward, a board member and past president of the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation (NCVMF), has known Dunning for 10 years. Ward surprised Dunning by presenting the honor at a recent NCVMF meeting.

“Dianne does everything well,” Ward says. “It seems like every job that comes up, someone goes ‘I know who could do that.’ She is an excellent example of the devotion of most of the people who work there. The Coat of Excellence is one small way to thank her for the value she brings to us, to the state and to the health of animals.”

Although the Coat of Excellence is typically given to a clinician or staff member by a pet owner for exceptional and compassionate service, the Wards are honoring Dunning’s exceptional leadership.

Prior to assuming her current position, Dunning was assistant dean of college relations and a clinical associate professor of veterinary ethics at the CVM. Since being promoted to her current position in 2015, she helped build a marketing and communications department that has established a robust digital media and storytelling presence and expanded the development team, increasing fundraising efforts for the college.

She led the CVM’s American Veterinary Medical Association reaccreditation process in 2014, and served as interim associate dean for advancement for a year prior to taking on the permanent leadership role. 

woman holding turtle
Dianne Dunning.

In addition to her DVM from Washington State University and a master’s degree from Colorado State University, Dunning holds a Ph.D. in health leadership from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

“Susan and Randy Ward have been amongst the most important supporters and advocates of the College of Veterinary Medicine and NC State University,” says Dunning.  “On a personal note, I am stunned and honored to receive a Coat of Excellence from these two very important people in my life.  

“I see them as my most trusted, treasured friends, as well as esteemed board members and colleagues.  They have taught me so much about the value of personal relationships, loyalty, kindness, and the impact of philanthropy.” 

CVM Dean Paul Lunn calls Dunning of one of the college’s “greatest leaders.” 

“Dianne Dunning is creative, ingenious, hard-working and, above all, dedicated to the college and its mission,” says Lunn. “It is so good to see her get this well-deserved recognition.”

~Steve Volstad/NC State Veterinary Medicine

Coat of Excellence program Anyone who wishes to recognize a special faculty clinician, intern, resident or support staff member whose life — or whose pet’s life — has been touched and enriched by that person can take advantage of the Coat of Excellence program through a tax-deductible gift. Your gift will also help the veterinary hospital provide the same level of care to other animals and their human companions. The coat will be embroidered with the recipient’s name and the name of your pet. For more information on the Coat of Excellence program, call the Development Office of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine at 919-513-6660 or go here.