|Eleanor Ritchey of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, loved dogs
and took in every stray that came along. She knew about Auburn's
research on canine cardiovascular disease, although no one at Auburn was
aware she existed. When she died in 1968, Miss Ritchey, an oil heiress,
left $4.2 million to take care of her 150 dogs for as long as they should
live and to support research on canine diseases at the AU School of Veterinary
Medicine. Her will stated that the University would receive earnings
from the estate until the last dog died, then get the principal.
Musketeer, the final survivor, died in 1984 and Auburn University realized
a total of almost $12 million from Mrs. Ritchey's will.
The Scott-Ritchey Center at the College of Veterinary Medicine, an outgrowth
of the generosity of Kenneth A. Scott and Miss Ritchey, is the world's
only partly endowed research and research training center for inherited
diseases of companion animals. Scott, a shipping magnate, entered
his pointers in field trials in Alabama, and the dogs received shots and
treatment at the AU Small Animal Clinic. At the suggestion of Dr.
B.F. Hoerlein, Scott started matching privately endowed funds for canine
research at Auburn. -- Photo: AU University Relations