Preparing the next generation

April 30, 2019

Growing up on a small dairy farm in Hayfield, Minn., James B Moe, ’62 BS, ’64 DVM, met his fair share of large animal veterinarians. “I developed a great deal of respect for what the vets did, what they could do, how sincere and hardworking they seemed to be. My personal interest was always working with animals, particularly cattle and horses,” he says.

While Moe always knew his passion was in veterinary medicine, the path to get there was not simple. After graduating high school, his plans hinged on the possibility of being drafted into military service. Despite this, one of Moe’s teachers recognized his potential, and encouraged him to apply for a scholarship as an education major. Moe utilized the scholarship for his first year of college at the University of Minnesota, but ultimately opted to give it up in order to pursue his veterinary dreams. However, Moe still credits the scholarship with getting him started on the path to his academic career. “I was encouraged by the fact that the scholarship got me started,” he says. ”Once I got on campus, I liked college life and the sciences, and recognized that the College of Veterinary Medicine was my goal.”  

After completing his undergraduate degree, Moe pursued his DVM at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), despite his parents’ encouragement  to consider medical school. Moe’s experience at the CVM was shaped largely by the influential professors he had in his day to day life, including Harvey Hoyt, DVM, Dean WTS Thorp, DVM, Ben Pomeroy, DVM, PhD, and Ralph Kitchel, DVM. In addition to outstanding faculty, the students in Moe’s class motivated each other to achieve high levels of success, creating a positive environment that Moe attributes to the small class size and overall respect for veterinary medicine.

Following vet school, Moe worked in private practice for two years before getting drafted into the Army. After a tour of duty in Vietnam, he finished his residency and achieved board certification in veterinary pathology. He then went on to receive a PhD in microbiology and pathology from the University of California, Davis and spent the remainder of his military career in biomedical research, retiring as the director of pathology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Moe then entered pharmaceutical research, where he held various managerial positions before retiring as Vice President of Global Drug Safety and Metabolism at Pharmacia Corporation. Moe and his wife, Janice, opened and operated JBM Consulting, Inc. from 2004 to 2013.

Now retired, Moe has continued his passion for supporting the education of the next generation of veterinarians and research scientists. He and his wife funded the establishment of the James B. and Janice N. Moe Scholarship and the James B. and Janice N. Moe Fellowship at the CVM, which support, respectively, a DVM student and a PhD graduate student in the field of comparative medicine, specifically related to infectious diseases or pathology. “I want to support education and research, and do what I can to continue encouraging and rewarding individuals for doing a good job and meeting their goals,” says Moe. “The best investment we can make is in preparing the next generation, and one way is through scholarships.”

Thanks to the values instilled in him by his parents and educators along the way, Moe is successfully making the world a better place through establishing these scholarships and funds.