Raymond Allen Packer
Raymond Allen Packer was born July 27, 1914 in Clemons, Iowa. In 1933, he entered Iowa State College (University), where he majored in Veterinary Medicine and Animal Husbandry. While at Iowa State, he played varsity baseball in 1934, 1935 and 1936.
Packer received a B.S. in Animal Husbandry and a DVM (1940), a M.S. (1942), and a Ph.D. (1947) from Iowa State College (University).
Dr. Packer began his teaching career at Iowa State as a graduate student in 1940. He was appointed Head of the Department of Hygiene (Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine) in 1952; he served in this capacity until 1980. Although Dr. Packer officially retired in 1985, he continued to teach courses in veterinary history. As of 2000, Dr. Packer is said to have educated seventy-eight percent of all Iowa State's veterinary graduates.
His main areas of research included veterinary bacteriology and virology, including such diseases as bovine mastitis. Packer was also interested veterinary history, particularly the history of veterinary education and veterinary medicine at Iowa State University. Dr. Packer authored numerous papers and publications, including Veterinary Bacteriology and Virology, which he co-authored with I. A. Merchant and has become a textbook that is used around the world. His interest in the history of veterinary medicine and its beginnings at Iowa State prompted him to write the First 100 Years of the College of Veterinary Medicine, in addition to several articles on the history of teaching veterinary medicine at Iowa State.
Packer was also an active member of several professional organizations, including the World Association of Microbiologists, American Veterinary Medical Association, Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, and the Conference for Research Workers in Animal Diseases. He was also a charter member of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists and the American Veterinary History Society.
Due to his excellence in teaching and scholarship, Dr. Packer was the recipient of several awards and honors. In 1966, he received the Iowa State University Faculty Citation, and he was named the Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor in Veterinary Medicine in 1969. The Conference for Research Workers in Animal Diseases chose Packer as its 1990 Dedicatee.
Dr. Packer passed away April 9, 1999. He was interred in the Iowa State University Cemetery April 12, 1999.