Bequest to Name Wildlife Fund at New England’s Only Veterinary School

First distribution of expected $1.5 million estate gift to be presented Tuesday
June 28, 2010

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Tara Pettinato

NORTH GRAFTON, Mass. — A World War II veteran and career newspaper advertising man—who shared with his wife a love of animals and the outdoors—has established a fund to ensure care of wild animals through a bequest named for the couple.

According to the estate’s executor, Lee Lenick, at least $1.5 million will go toward establishing the Anne and Edward Lanciani Endowed Fund for Wildlife Medicine. The fund will support the school’s standalone Wildlife Clinic, which treats nearly 2,000 wild animals each year, and related programs in conservation, environmental research, and international veterinary medicine.

Born in 1921, Edward Lanciani grew up not far from Tufts University’s main campus in Medford, Mass.—long before the establishment of the veterinary school more than 50 years later. Had a veterinary school been closer, his longtime friend and sales manager Mr. Lenick says, he may well have become a veterinarian due to his love for the outdoors and gentle way with animals.

Instead, Lanciani volunteered with the United States Marines in China during World War II and subsequently earned a degree from Boston University before beginning a highly successful 40-year career in newspaper advertising. He joined the advertising department at the former Boston American, owned by the Hearst Corporation. Hearst promoted him in 1956 to Hearst Advertising Service, where he marketed advertising schedules in all Hearst newspapers nationwide.

Lanciani returned to the American in the early 1960s, soon after it had merged with another newspaper to become the Record American, and managed the advertising department there until 1971. He then joined The Providence (R.I.) Journal, where he was vice president of advertising for 13 years until he retired to Maine in 1984.

In addition to his successful career, Lanciani was an avid outdoorsman, traveling often to fish—including fly fishing with flies he crafted himself. His wife Anne, a fashion artist and book designer and a fellow Boston University graduate, shared his love of the outdoors. 

In 1998, Lanciani notified officials at Tufts’ veterinary school of his intent to include the school in his will. Previously, he made other charitable gifts to Boston University and Tufts, including $25,000 to an endowed scholarship fund at the veterinary school.  

Mr. Lanciani's will directs a portion of his estate to the Cummings School to establish the endowed fund, named for him and Anne, in support of the wildlife medicine program. Mr. Lenick, who is the executor of the will, will present the Cummings School with the first distribution from the estate on Tuesday, June 29th, at 11 a.m. at the Bernice Barbour Wildlife Medicine Building in Grafton, Mass. Press are invited to attend.

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, Mass., Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is internationally esteemed for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; three hospitals and two clinics that combined see more than 80,000 cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, public, and environmental health.

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