Marking two centuries of veterinary expertise

Published: 1 March 2023

The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, one of the oldest veterinary schools in the world, celebrates its bicentenary in 2023. This year marks the bicentenary of the Dick Vet, with a series of celebratory events at the School and beyond.


The School will be holding a range of activities throughout the year to mark 200 years since it was established by William Dick in 1823 - these will include an alumni event, a gala dinner, lectures and a conference.

William Dick gained a diploma from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 1818, aged 25. Within five years of completing his studies, he founded the first veterinary school in Scotland, at Clyde Street in Edinburgh’s New Town.

By the time of his death, aged 73, the Clyde Street Veterinary College had four tutors and more than 800 students.

Graduates from the vet college included the founders of veterinary schools in Glasgow, Liverpool, Ireland, Canada, the USA and Australia.

Read more about the history of the Dick Vet

Bicentenary Events

Celebratory events to be held this year will include a William Dick Memorial and Bicentenary Lecture, delivered by Professor David Argyle, Vice Principal and Head of College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

A lecture on 13th September,  ‘Glancing back but looking forward: 200 years of veterinary science building a future for global impact’, will be held in the Roslin Institute Auditorium.

An alumni event will take place on the anniversary of William Dick’s first lecture, 24th November.

Students past and present will gather at Summerhall – the home of the vet school from 1906 -2011 - for an afternoon of reminiscing and sharing.

The bicentenary year of celebrations will culminate in a dinner at the National Museum of Scotland on 25th November (invitation only) when friends and family of the School will enjoy a drinks reception followed by dinner.


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