A gift to the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will help improve facilities used in the Professional Veterinary Teaching Program and enable second-year PVM students to assimilate into the veterinary student population at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital earlier in their academic career.
Gene Jensen, a 1949 graduate of Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) made the $1 million gift in honor of his wife of 55 years, E. Myrl Halstead Jensen, who died in 1999. Mr. Jensen’s gift will help build a new wing on the northwest corner of the existing Veterinary Teaching Hospital to accommodate second-year students (currently, these students are on the CSU Main Campus). On its second floor, this two-story wing will house second-year student cubicles and study areas, a large classroom, and provide an enhanced environment for didactic teaching. The first floor will allow for expansion of clinical space.
“Gene has long been a supporter of the College, and we deeply appreciate this generous gift made in honor of his first wife Myrl,” said Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “One of the College’s goals has been to bring second-year students to the Veterinary Medical Center on the South Campus to enhance their educational experience and offer them improved facilities for classroom work and individual study. This gift takes us one step closer to making that goal a reality.”
Mr. Jensen refers to Myrl as his wife, partner and political/social consultant throughout their years together. Myrl’s zest for life was reflected in her myriad of experiences, starting as a lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II. She served as a reserve nurse officer in the U.S. Public Health Service during the Cold War and was the first public health nurse director of the Larimer County Health Department, taking on that role in 1946.
Mr. Jensen was a second lieutenant and bomber pilot in the Army/Air Corps during World War II. Following graduation from Colorado A&M, he started his career as a sanitary engineer with the U.S. Public Health Service. He later became a regional director and then commissioner of the Federal Water Pollution Control Agency. After many years of dedicated public service, both Gene and Mryl retired to Phoenix.
Mr. Jensen continues to live in Phoenix with his new partner in life and wife, Betty R. Shults. He counts himself very lucky to have had not one, but two amazing women in his life. He and Betty enjoy traveling the country visiting friends and family, and exploring America.
“The College is fortunate to have Gene and Betty as supporters. They are very interested in seeing us meet our goals to improve the lives of humans and animals through education, research and service,” said Dr. Perryman. “Without people like them, much of what we do here simply would not be possible. We thank them for their friendship and their investment in the College.”