Reaching Out

Former College of Veterinary Medicine students who gather at an alumni function at meetings across the country invariably ask if a favorite professor will be in attendance.

And one of the first names to cross the alumni’s lips is Dr. Jim Noxon. Noxon’s face opens with a hint of a smile whenever this is mentioned to him.

“Our former students are still part of our family here,” he says. “We’ve had countless amazing and awesome people that come through here and it’s always a pleasure to see them again.”

Noxon’s own experience with his alma mater – Colorado State University – is reflected in how he interacts with his former students.

“I remember I had several great mentors who were outstanding veterinarians and teachers at CSU and I wanted to follow in their footsteps,” he said. “My heart still belongs to Colorado State, but after 36 years on the faculty here, I've learned to share it with Iowa State.”

While alumni seek him out at professional meetings and alumni gatherings, Noxon treats these meetings as a two-way street.

“We’ve had a lot of wonderful, wonderful people who have come through this school and I love to hear about their lives,” he said. “I want to know about their family, their kids and their careers.

“Sometimes, it’s like meeting a long-lost family member. I’m so proud of so many of them and it’s great to hear about what they have been doing.”

Alumni will notice Noxon hasn’t changed much since the days they had him as a professor. He says the same about his former students.

“I love going back to class reunions and see how they interact with their classmates,” he said. “For the most part, people don’t change that much – they have pretty much the same personality they had when they were in college.

“They interact with their classmates the same as they did 25 or 30 years earlier.”

After 36 years, Noxon continues to be active on the College of Veterinary Medicine faculty. Recently named a Morrill Professor at Iowa State, he still enjoys coming to work, especially in the dermatology wing of the Hixson-Lied Small Animal Hospital.

Noxon describes the space as the very best of facilities of its kind.

“There is no better facility anywhere in the world to practice dermatology than right here at Iowa State,” he said. “The combination of the large space, the layout and the natural lighting that makes this a very special place to work.

“I do believe we have a space here that is the envy of all other dermatology programs in the world.”