When it comes to applying for scholarships, Lainie Kringen, a fourth-year veterinary student is almost an expert.
“Since I’m an out-of-state student, I work hard to try to get as much financial support as I can,” the Madison, S.D. native says.
Over the years, Kringen has become pretty successful in these efforts as she was the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Coyote Rock Ranch Scholarship, a $75,000 award that is awarded annually through the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and the American Quarter Horse Foundation.
As excited as Kringen was to get this scholarship, she was just as excited to receive the Dr. Paul J. and Sara J. Meginnis Scholarship from the ISU Foundation. The gift was established in 2014 by Des Moines resident Paul Meginnis in memory of his parents.
What the Meginnis and Coyote Rock Ranch scholarships have in common is an interest in equine medicine. That’s also right up Kringen’s alley.
“I have a passion about horses and want to bring top notch medicine to places like my South Dakota home that are not served,” she said.
Which was just what Paul Meginnis had in mind when he established the scholarship. His father was a 1931 DVM graduate of Iowa State, who after graduation, returned to Chicago and worked as a Federal Meat Inspector during the Depression to have money to acquire a practice which he accomplished in 1936 in Champaign, Ill. Dr. Meginnis worked as a race horse track veterinarian after returning to the Chicago area a decade later. Starting in 1954, he worked for 15 years in a similar position for the Illinois Thoroughbred Association before retiring.
Like Kringen, horses were in Dr. Meginnis’ blood, something that began when he was in grade school when he would help his father drive the horse team in their farm operation since this older brother was in France during World War I.
“Dad would usually be at the track at 6 a.m. and put in 12 hour days,” his son said. “Early in the mornings he would check on any physical problems the horses had and serve in the afternoons as a race steward.
“He really loved working with horses and that’s why I wanted to establish a scholarship in his and my mom’s name that would go to a student that was focused on equine medicine.”
Unlike his father, Meginnis did not attend Iowa State. Yet he didn’t hesitate to establish a scholarship in his parents’ names. The now-retired partner for the CPA firm of KPMG said creating the scholarship “seemed like the thing to do.”
“Helping younger people is important to me,” he continued. “When I was in school I had no debt, in large part due to the career my father had thanks to his Iowa State education.”
The elder Dr. Meginnis was active in any number of organizations in his lifetime including serving as past president of the Eastern Illinois and Chicago Veterinary Medical Associations and was a member of the Illinois Veterinary Examining Committee.
Dr. Meginnis was fond of his time as a student at Iowa State as reflected in a thank you note Sara Meginnis sent to then-college dean Phillip Pearson.
“Paul was appreciative of his Iowa State years,” she wrote, “and somewhat sentimental in his recollections of his years at Ames, and his associations with the students and faculty of his day.
“The college gave the farm boy he was a wider view of the world and an opportunity to expand his natural abilities, while at the same time preparing him to make a place for himself in his chosen profession.”
It seems natural that the son would honor his father at the place where he learned veterinary medicine.