Update 3:51 p.m.
Friends and family gathered to remember Dr. James L. Voss during a memorial service held Tuesday. John Harris, student and long-time friend of Voss, was among the attendees of the service.
“He was a forward thinking guy, as far as equine reproduction goes,” Harris said. “He was a strong leader, good administrator and helped develop the vet school.” Voss’ influence in the equine reproduction field was known nationwide, according to Harris.
Harris, who grew up in the same town as Voss, said Voss always treated him and his wife like family.
“(Voss) was the ramrod; he made the university what it is today,” said Bonnie Harris, wife to John.
Another student of Voss’ came to pay his respects Tuesday. John Young was Voss’ student in 1965.
“He was a real credit to equine medicine at CSU and in the nation. He was a real mentor for me,” Young said. “I wound up in equine medicine cause of men like him.”
James L. Voss, namesake of CSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, died Friday at a Fort Collins nursing facility following a long illness, according to a news release from CSU. He was 79.
Voss, a three-time CSU alumnus from Grand Junction, Colo., built his career at CSU from 1958 until his retirement in 2001, first as an equine ambulatory clinician, then as a leading veterinarian in equine reproduction, and finally as a university administrator. He was dean of the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences for 15 years.
In his administrative roles, Voss realized his goal of building a leading-edge Veterinary Teaching Hospital as the centerpiece of CSU’s South Campus, and he mentored an astonishing number of prominent CSU alumni, faculty and staff, including University Distinguished Professors and President Tony Frank.
“CSU’s world is a little dimmer today for the passing of Dr. Jim Voss,” Frank said Friday, according to the release. Voss had hired him as an assistant professor, a department chair and an associate dean. “It is no exaggeration to state that CSU’s veterinary medical program is a world leader in no small part because of Jim Voss. CSU lost a great leader and a great alum, and I lost a great friend.”
“He really positioned us to move into the 21st century with the very best care and the very best teaching. That’s his legacy,” said Dr. Timothy Hackett, interim director of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, according to the release. He added that he is reminded each day of this legacy as he passes under Voss’ name above the hospital entrance, passes by his likeness on a bronze plaque in the hospital lobby, and sends emails with a signature that includes the “James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital.”
“I’m reminded daily of what I’m working on and what we’re looking to accomplish,” Hackett said. “It was certainly his leadership that positioned us to be one of the top veterinary schools in the country.”
Voss also established research focus areas that are trademarks for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences: The Professional Veterinary Medical Program, animal reproduction and biotechnology, cancer biology, environmental health sciences, infectious diseases, and neurobiology.
“As someone who is trying to follow in his large footsteps, I truly appreciate all he did for our college, our university and our profession,” said Dr. Mark Stetter, current college dean, in the same release.
Voss is survived by his wife, Kay, of Fort Collins; sons, Ed and Bill; and daughter, Laura.
A memorial service for Dr. Jim Voss is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday, July 16, at the Hilton Fort Collins, 425 W. Prospect Road. In lieu of flowers, the Voss family requests donations to the Colorado State University Equine Reproduction Laboratory. To donate, visit https://advancing.colostate.