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As they put on their blue gowns and gloves, the guest instructor said, “This is surgical prep.” 
Yes, veterinary surgical prep came to the Saint Ignatius College Prep Science Department.
“They’re getting something a lot of kids don’t get,” said department chair Matt Dowling, “It’s a leg up on what it means to be a veterinary student.”
Five faculty members from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine made the introduction possible.  Their guest teaching sessions were, in part, the outgrowth of one Saint Ignatius alum’s love for his school.
Robert Foley ’52, observed the students as they listened to the special veterinary lectures.
“I can tell from the faces of these kids - the attention and the questions - that they’re fully engaged with what’s going on here today,” said Foley.
He would expect no less, and he was happy to help make the experience possible because of what it could mean for students down the road.
Christine Dietrich, from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine explained.
“Mr. Foley has such a passion for Saint Ignatius.  After his wife passed away, he created a substantial scholarship fund at our College of Veterinary Medicine because she loved animals, and he loves animals,”  she said, "And he wanted that scholarship to help Saint Ignatius grads."
That means a Saint Ignatius graduate who eventually enrolls in the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine could emerge from that program debt free, and have a life-long profession.
It’s a huge opportunity, but you have to know about it to take advantage of it.  And that brings us back to the special classroom instruction.
Dietrich said, “Considering the generosity of Mr. Foley’s gift, we said, ‘Let’s do something to honor you now.  Let’s see if we can get the students to think about going into veterinary science.’”
Perhaps shining a light on the path will encourage one of the students to take the path later.
Even if he chooses a different road, Jack Culliton ’23, says he learned from the U of I instructors.  He also sees how the experience could be formative.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to learn about all the different options out there,”  said the Saint Ignatius senior, “And everyone knows education is expensive.  Being able to go into something you love, and have it covered is really important.”
That is Mr. Foley’s goal and hope for young Saint Ignatius alums. 
He said, “I was happy we could light a fire under them so they could be interested in potentially becoming veterinarians."

Saint Ignatius College Prep

Saint Ignatius College Prep, a Jesuit Catholic school in the heart of Chicago, is a diverse community dedicated to educating young men and women for lives of faith, love, service and leadership.