70th anniversary of IVSA
On August 6th 2023, IVSA celebrated its 70th Anniversary. But where did it all begin? And how did we get here? To learn more, IVSA has started the IVSA History Taskforce. This taskforce collects and archives historical files of IVSA from around the world to piece together our history. From these files, we already learned about our origins:
There are many stories about the start of the IVSA. For a long time, it was thought that the IVSA was founded in 1951, 1952, or even 1953. As for the where, many seem to affirm that this happened in Denmark, The Netherlands, or in Germany. But only one of those combinations is correct. In fact, we know from the archives of the Veterinary Faculty in Munich that from the 26th of July until the 8th of August, 38 students from ten different nations participated in the international holiday camp for veterinary students in Gießen, West Germany. The program included excursions to stud farms, dairy farms and the Celebration of the 175th anniversary of the Veterinary Faculty in Hannover. The highlight of the event was the foundation of the “International Veterinary Students Union (IVSU)” on the 6th of August 1953 on the “Gleiberg” (a small village near Gießen).
In the earlier days of the IVSU, membership was almost exclusively European; even if very early on, students worldwide managed to attend IVSA Congresses (Symposia were not held yet). This was probably due to the very small number of veterinary schools around the world at the time and the fact that most of the oldest ones, and the ones where student bodies would be the most established, were in Europe. But this also meant that many students from other countries studied in Europe. Some, it seems, were even actively involved in creating the IVSU and even had very successful careers in their own countries. As early as the 2nd IVSA Congress, held in Alfort, France in 1954, IVSA Events were attended by nearly 100 students from 20 countries, including Yugoslavia, Chile, the USA, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Syria!
In 1968, the IVSU became the International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA) and started actively including students from non-European countries as members and continued to grow until today.
As we commemorate 70 Years of the IVSA, rich with success and history, please keep an eye on IVSA Social Media for more content from the IVSA History Taskforce!