Skip Navigation
Oklahoma State University
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

Healthy Animals - Healthy People

Ekstrom to be Honored

Tuesday, September 15 2015

Ekstrom Named Distinguished Alumnus

Merlin Ekstrom, DVM, MS, DACVP, of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, has been named a 2015 Distinguished Alumnus by Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. His veterinary medicine career will be celebrated at a luncheon on November 20, 2015, in Wes Watkins Center on the OSU Stillwater campus. The public is invited and tickets can be purchased for $35 here.

Ekstrom earned his DVM degree from OSU in 1967. He served more than 24 years in the Air Force and Michigan Air National Guard retiring as a Lt. Colonel. He was awarded the Joint Services Commendation Medal and the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal.

He spent the last 40 years at Detroit's Wayne State University serving as the attending veterinarian and director of the Division of Laboratory Animal Resources (DLAR). DLAR supports the university’s AAALAC International accredited laboratory animal care and use program, the affiliated John D. Dingell VA Medical Center and the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit. DLAR also provides resources and staffing for an American Veterinary Medical Association accredited veterinary technology program, which graduated approximately 700 veterinary technicians during Ekstrom’s tenure.

As a board certified veterinary pathologist, Ekstrom taught pathology in Wayne State University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to approximately 7,500 pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and radiation therapy technology students.  His faculty appointments were in the School of Medicine and in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

He has served on many state and national committees, won several peer reviewed NIH grants, been a volunteer member of the Michigan Veterinary Corps and much more throughout his career.

“I am forever grateful for the opportunity Oklahoma State University gave this North Dakota native to obtain a DVM degree,” said Ekstrom. “My wife, Ireta, and I are life members of the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association and continue to support activities in the College of Veterinary Medicine, especially the Dr. Roger Panciera Pathology fund.”

Also being honored in November are alumnae Drs. Sybil Heise of Guymon, Oklahoma, and Demarious Keller Frey of Corpus Christi, Texas.


Contact: Derinda Blakeney, APR | OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences | 405-744-6740 | derinda@okstate.edu