Herman and Connie Soong Commit $10.1 Million to LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, Including Largest Gift in School’s History
BATON ROUGE – Herman C. Soong, MD, has made a historic $8.1 million estate commitment to benefit the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. Coupled with his wife Connie’s $2 million estate commitment, the Soongs’ total support of the school tops $10 million, and Herman’s $8.1 million gift is the largest in the LSU SVM’s history, the fourth largest endowed gift to the LSU Foundation in LSU’s history, and LSU’s eighth largest gift to the LSU Foundation overall.
The Soongs’ transformational gift exemplifies how donors invest in LSU to solve the challenges that are most important to them and their families. The endowment funding that will be given through the Soongs’ estates will provide resources in perpetuity to the Connie Soong Good Samaritan Fund, through which LSU cares for injured, homeless animals; to sustain what will now be known as the Dr. Herman C. Soong Shelter Medicine Program, which is entirely supported by philanthropy; to establish the Dr. Herman C. Soong Minority Scholarship to fund scholarships for underrepresented students in the LSU SVM; to establish the Dr. Herman C. Soong Oncology Professorship to support oncology research; and to establish the Dr. Herman C. Soong Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program to fund forensic training that will help veterinarians and law enforcement identify animal abuse, then leverage those insights in ways that could prevent violent crimes against people, too.
“Our gift to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine was inspired by our desire to help innocent animals who are abused, injured and/or homeless to reciprocate their faithful and unconditional love. Our hope and prayer is that our gift will inspire others to give generously to this worthy cause,” the Soongs said.
Dr. Soong is an assistant professor of adult psychiatry and forensic neuropsychiatry at the Tulane University School of Medicine. His research interests include forensic and correctional psychiatry, which has led to his partnership with the LSU SVM to educate future veterinarians on recognizing signs of animal abuse; research suggests that abuse of animals correlates to a person’s likelihood of committing violent crimes against other animals or people. Dr. Soong works closely with the LSU Shelter Medicine Program, led by LSU SVM Assistant Professor of Shelter Medicine and Surgery Wendy Wolfson, DVM, with whom he helps educate students, veterinarians, current and future attorneys, law enforcement and other professionals who are positioned to recognize and address animal abuse as a crime and, in turn, protect the well-being of both animals and people.
Dr. Wolfson said, “This amazing gift will help shelters and law enforcement across the state prosecute those accused of animal neglect and cruelty. Herman and Connie’s generosity will also ensure a strong shelter medicine program that will continue to help local shelters in the quest for humane care of animals, increased adoption rates and promoting humane education in our communities. It will help continue the education of veterinary students about shelter medicine and the importance that veterinarians play in the humane treatment of millions of shelter animals each year.”
Connie, an alumna of the LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business, shares Herman’s commitment to protecting and providing care for animals and, as a former pharmaceutical sales professional, deeply understands the importance of accessible medical care. She has also personally experienced the impact of the LSU SVM through the treatment of Herman’s and her animals. Together, the Soongs’ gifts will continue Herman’s life’s work, celebrate their shared love of animals and contribute to the safety and security of both animals and people.
Joel Baines, VMD, Ph.D., dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, said, “Herman and Connie’s shared investment in the LSU SVM will transform our ability to address urgent needs in shelter medicine and prevent abuse against animals. The outcomes we are achieving are meaningful for Louisiana, but also for our peers around the country, because they are scalable wherever these concerns exist. Likewise, as one of just 30 veterinary schools in the country, being able to offer scholarship funds to specifically recruit and support underrepresented students is important for the future of veterinary care nationwide. In committing these gifts as endowment funds, Herman and Connie are ensuring that their support will continue year after year, generation after generation.”
Gifts like the Soongs’ improve health and well-being for all, helping LSU lead Louisiana and impact the world.
Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations
LSU School of Veterinary Medicine