Executive Director | 1969 to 1980
Dr. Sippel was born on March 1, 1915 in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended Duke University and the University of Maryland, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree. He was awarded a Doctor degree in Veterinary Medicine in 1940 from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science degree in Pathology from Cornell University, where he studied under Professor Peter Olafson. At the New York Medical College, he studied viral disease research techniques. In 1955 he heard the first PhD degree awarded by the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. The degree was in Veterinary Pathology, where he was a student of Dr. Hilton Smith.
Dr. Sippel was a Junior Veterinarian with the US Department of Agriculture during 1941, an Instructor and Ambulatory Clinician at Kansas State University from 1942-1944 and in 1945 established the Veterinary Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Georgia Experiment Station at Tifton, Georgia. In 1956 he joined the Florida Department of Agriculture and founded the diagnostic laboratory system in that state.
Dr. Sippel joined TVMDL in 1968 as the agency’s Executive Director and the first TVMDL employee. He oversaw the construction of TVMDL while working as a Professor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at Texas A&M University.
During his tenure as Executive Director at TVMDL, a second full service veterinary diagnostic laboratory was built in Amarillo, Texas in 1975, and the case load in both laboratories, as well as funding, increased tenfold.
Dr. Sippel received a Citation of Merit from the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association in 1958, was Florida Veterinarian of the Year in 1966, and received the Florida Thoroughbred Farm Managers Distinguished Service Award in 1967.
In 1977 he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, of which he became a distinguished member upon his retirement. He was presented in 1975 with the EP Pope Memorial Award by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. He was the first recipient of this distinguished award, in recognition by his peers for his leadership and contributions to diagnostic veterinary medicine. He was nationally known as a cofounder of AAVLD, having served as its Secretary and President.
The street in front of the original College Station facility was named after Dr. Sippel in the 1980’s and still bears his name today. Dr. Sippel and his wife, Catie, left an endowment to TVMDL and the William and Catie Sippel Lecture Series, instituted in 2017, is a direct result of that gift.
The cornerstone of Dr. Sippel’s leadership – dedication, service, hard work, and excellence – are the foundation on which TVMDL continues to provide the best possible veterinary diagnostic services to the animal industries of this state and nation.