Former OVC Prof Gets 'Historic' Title

August 10, 2009 - Campus Bulletin

A former Ontario Veterinary College professor who became a national hero in Korea has been named a person of national historic significance by the Canadian government.

Frank W. Schofield, who died nearly 40 years ago, received the designation this summer in an announcement by environment minister Jim Prentice, who is also minister responsible for Parks Canada, on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

“Dr. Schofield is remembered by the veterinary profession as possibly the greatest scientist to have ever worked at the Ontario Veterinary College,” said Harold Reed, who graduated from the OVC in 1955 and was taught by Schofield.

“His most famous discovery was the identification of mouldy sweet clover as the cause of a bleeding disease of sheep and cattle, which pointed the way to the discovery of the vitamin K inhibitors that are now used throughout the world to control unwanted clotting of blood.”

Reed initiated the nomination procedure three years ago, following a discussion with OVC dean Elizabeth Stone at the college’s annual Schofield Lecture.

Schofield graduated from the OVC in 1910 when it was still located in Toronto. He would go on to become a renowned veterinary pathologist and taught at OVC from 1921 to 1955.

But it was as a humanitarian that Schofield left perhaps his most important legacy. In 1916, he went to Korea and took up a lectureship in bacteriology at Seoul National University. There he became embroiled in the fight for Korean independence from Imperial Japan. Appalled by the brutality of the occupation, he became closely involved with the independence movement by documenting the mass jailing, torture and deaths associated with the struggle for Korean sovereignty.

He returned to Canada in 1921 and taught bacteriology and pathology at the OVC until 1955. Following retirement he returned to Korea and continued his work as a teacher, Christian missionary, and advocate for social justice. Schofield's death in 1970 at age 81 sparked nationwide mourning in Korea. He was laid to rest in the National Cemetery, and is the only foreigner buried in the patriot's section.

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