Miranda Lilly, a 2011 graduate of Lees-McRae College from Lebanon, VA, has been accepted into the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech for the fall 2011 semester.
A biology major with a pre-veterinary studies concentration, Lilly graduated summa cum laude from Lees-McRae College on May 7. She is a member of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society and was enrolled in the College's Honors Program.
"I have felt the call to care for animals since I was four-years-old," said Lilly. "I have been encouraged throughout my life to fulfill my dream, and I finally made it happen." Lilly was also accepted to the veterinary medicine program at Colorado State University, but decided to attend school in her home state of Virginia.
To prepare for her career working with animals, Lilly volunteered at Linville Animal Hospital, Watauga Humane Society and the Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute during her time at Lees-McRae. She is currently employed at the Linville Animal Hospital.
When asked how her experience at Lees-McRae helped prepare her for veterinary school, Lilly named one special professor who had an impact on her education at LMC. "Dr. Claude Pyatte was my academic advisor and mentor at LMC, and I couldn't have done it without him. He was my source of strength and encouragement in hard times, and he provided an insight that no one else could because he attended veterinary school himself," Lilly said. "The knowledge I gained in his classes made me feel prepared to attend veterinary school."
Lilly remained active on campus and in the community while working on her degree at Lees-McRae. She was a Bonner Leader and Americoprs volunteer for two years, where she completed 900 hours of volunteer service. She was a member of CATCH (Campus After the Class Hours), an organization that planned various campus activities and was also an orientation peer leader for incoming freshmen for two years.
"People expressed doubts when I told them I was attending a small liberal arts school for undergrad. They said that it would be harder to get into veterinary school that way, but I totally disagree," Lilly explained. "Lees-McRae's personal environment made me feel like part of a family that I could gather strength from anytime I needed it. It also allowed me to fulfill all of my prerequisite classes for veterinary school while having a great college experience and making friends I will never forget."
When asked about her plans upon completion of veterinary school, Lilly responded, "I plan on working for the USDA or another government agency for several years and eventually owning my own small animal veterinary practice."
Lilly shared some advice with future Lees-McRae students, especially those hoping to attend veterinary or medical school. "The single most important thing you need to remember is to never give up. As hard as it seems, you can push through it and make your dream happen. It's hard work, but getting that acceptance letter is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have."
Lilly is a 2008 graduate of Lebanon High School. Her parents are Scot and Diana Lilly, and her grandparents are Jerry and Christine Wilson and Maggie Rasnake.
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