Jerry Hodge, businessman and former mayor of Amarillo, gifted $10 million to Texas Tech's School of Veterinary Medicine on Monday.

This gift supports construction and development of the future School of Veterinary Medicine in Amarillo and will help revolutionize veterinary services throughout Texas' agricultural communities.

"Through his leadership as a businessman, mayor and philanthropist, Jerry Hodge’s impact on Amarillo and the Panhandle cannot be overstated," said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec in a press release. "His support of the School of Veterinary Medicine adds to the impressive history of his long-term commitment to the development of the region and helps ensure a critical need in Texas is filled. We are grateful for his generosity."

Texas Tech's Board of Regents advanced the university's plans to establish a veterinary school in August by approving the new school, its degree plan, and funding for designs.

"Margaret and I are thankful to be able to partner with Texas Tech University on such an important initiative for Amarillo, the Panhandle, West Texas and all of Texas," Hodge said. "A School of Veterinary Medicine is desperately needed to meet the increasing demand for veterinarians serving small and agricultural communities of Texas. Now is the time; Texas Tech is the university; and Amarillo is the place to address this issue."

Construction of the two new buildings is expected to cost a little more than $89 million. More than $90 million has been raised in non-state funds for the project, and Texas Tech is seeking around $17 million from the Texas Legislature to help support initial operations.

The school is designed to enroll 60 students per year, and would potentially serve 150 to 200 graduate students not seeking a doctorate in veterinary medicine.

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