The K-State College of Veterinary Medicine hosted a dedication event in honor of Dr. Steve and Colleen Hodes who have given a gift to name the deanship in Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Steve graduated from Kansas State’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979 and Colleen earned her physical education degree from K-State in 1978. Upon graduation from KSU, Steve was able to start his own private practice in New Jersey and it’s said that he made it look easy. Veterinary Medicine Dean, Dr. said the first time she met him was when he came back to talk to K-State students. During that time he shared his three valued principles to success in practice.
“Number one, serve your patients. Treat your patients with the same respect and compassion that you would expect your family members to be treated. Number two, serve your clients. You’re going to be seeing them on their very worst day, and if you can hang with them on their worst day, then they are going to be loyal to you forever. Number three is to treat your staff in extraordinary ways. They are the face of your practice, they are the glue that holds you together, and that is how you are going to be successful.”
Rush said the students were surprised because never were technical skills, proficiencies, or knowledge base mentioned. Hodes says it comes back to a phrase he learned from Dr. Rush- “total immersion”.
“It’s what we do. We are social workers, we are family counselors, we’re financial advisers, and totally involved with these people’s families. We are not just animal doctors.”
I guess “total immersion” is a good way to describe the Hodes’ involvement with Kansas State too. They have continued to support the Wildcats, serving on the board of trustees, creating a professorship in small animal medicine, investing in the equine performance testing center, members of the Athletics National Leadership Circle for many years, and now this deanship.
President Richard Linton spoke to the importance of the deanship.
“This is a big deal, and to the credit of Bonnie Rush, this changes the college. This changes who we can attract, who we can attain. It changes the caliber of our programs and it changes the caliber of our students.”
Linton added that this was only the third named deanship at KSU and the fourth named deanship named of all 33 colleges of Veterinary Medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
“Having a named deanship signals to all, that our alumni believes in K-State’s future. Your significant, transformational philanthropy will make a statement for generations of K-Staters to come.”
Hodes’ son added that K-State has given so much to their family.
One of the things my dad has always said is to look after those who have looked after you. My dad has said that K-State took a chance on him many years ago when they admitted him, and I think now that his career has gone full circle, he feels like it is sort of his obligation to give back to those that looked after him in his early days as a young prospective veterinarian.”
One key initiative of the deanship gifted by the Hodes’ is to provide veterinary students with business education, investing in their success as veterinary practice owners.

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