Cultivating Tomorrow’s Leaders: Colton

An integral part of the mission of the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF) is supporting students at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (TAMU-CVM) and the Texas Tech University School of Veterinary Medicine (TTU-SVM). TVMF recognizes the importance of cultivating leaders who embrace diverse perspectives and strive to improve the local communities where they will live and work after graduating from school. This is why TVMF reserves seats on the Board of Trustees solely for TAMU-CVM and TTU-SVM student representatives who bring a unique yet important viewpoint to the table.

This year’s TVMF student representative from TTU-SVM is Colton Buttgen (TTU-SVM Class of 2025). TVMF is intentional about creating an environment in which student representatives are provided with a unique combination of challenges and support in an effort to help them develop leadership capabilities that they will continue to use in the future.

Colton is part of the inaugural class of TTU-SVM. As an eight-year-old, he watched his family’s veterinarian pull a calf at midnight and bring her back to life. From that moment on, Colton knew he wanted to become a veterinarian. He spent his undergraduate years at Texas Tech University in Lubbock and during his time there, his connection and love for the panhandle rapidly grew. 

With Texas Tech being approved for the School of Veterinary Medicine in 2018, Colton saw his dream as a kid becoming a reality.

“Upon being accepted into TTU-SVM, I was ecstatic to say the least. My first week of classes included orientation, during which the students were gifted stethoscopes through the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (TVMF). This gesture of generosity and welcoming from veterinarians statewide opened Colton’s eyes to the sense of community the profession provides veterinarian students. As I looked further into TVMF, my interest continually grew and found a place I felt he could best serve TTU-SVM and the veterinary profession,” Colton said.

Colton is now serving as the TVMF Board of Trustees student representative for TTU-SVM.

“TVMF had their board meeting this past April, which I was fortunate enough to attend. Seeing all the needs they’re filling, patients being treated and clients being served through TVMF has inspired me to begin the same trend at TTU-SVM,” Colton shared.

Last fall, Meals on Wheels of Amarillo (MOWA) established the aniMeals program which provides food for the animals owned by clients of MOWA. TVMF has been working with MOWA to provide veterinary care through TVMF’s LEAP program.

“Our future goals consist of working with the Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital here in Amarillo and forming OneHealth clinics through partnerships with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center here in Amarillo. We are setting out to provide care to animals owned by the underserved communities located here in Amarillo. The already established LEAP program through TVMF does a phenomenal job of doing so, and we are excited to join the cause,” says Colton.

The students at TTU-SVM are eager to contribute to the veterinary profession and community through TVMF.

“TVMF has excellent programs, scholarships and resources available for students and veterinarians statewide, and the student body at TTU-SVM hopes to bring more to the table. I am honored to represent TTU-SVM as the TVMF student representative and hope to encourage active participation in TVMF throughout the Texas veterinarian community,” shared Colton.

Cultivating these leaders of tomorrow and instilling a passion to serve where they live are what student engagement on the TVMF Board of Trustees is truly all about.

Should you have any questions about the engagement of the students at the TTU-SVM or need additional information about TVMF, please contact us.