University of Mobile professor Randy Craig died December 10 after a short illness.
Announcing the passing of the staff professor to the university family, UM President Lonnie Burnett said: “The university has lost a dedicated staff member; his family lost a loving husband, father and son; Our students have lost a caring teacher and many of us have lost a dear friend. I take comfort in the fact that we serve a God who is most present in times of great loss.”
Randy W. Craig, who had a Bachelor of Science and a PhD in veterinary medicine, was a professor of biology. Craig was chairman of the science department at the College of Arts and Sciences and head of the university’s chartered cadaver laboratory. He has been a mentor to UM students, particularly pre-health students pursuing careers as doctors, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians or researchers, the University of Mobile said in a statement.
A veterinarian with over three decades in private practice and 25 years as an orthopedic surgeon, he continued to perform complex surgeries that students were invited to observe. He spoke about the importance of mentoring the next generation at a university “Be Known” video.
In a February 2022 profile on the university’s website, Craig said his favorite subjects were anatomy and physiology. He also taught genetics, microbiology, general physiology and gross human anatomy.
abundance of experiences
He brought a wealth of life experience to his role as professor, with stints as champion bullrider and steer roper, rodeo clown and thoroughbred jockey. He was also a certified private pilot.
“We are all endowed by God with special or special talents. We are to use those talents or abilities for God’s purposes,” Craig said in profile.
He shared the story of his decision to study veterinary medicine, a journey that eventually led him to the Christ-centered University of Mobile.
I grew up in rural Texas farms and ranches and have been passionate about animals my entire life. After high school, I rodeoed for a while. I’ve won the all-around bull riding and steer-roping award several times. Later I got into thoroughbred riding, started as a warm-up rider and then became a jockey. I could wear a helmet and hold my saddle and weighed less than 120 pounds at the time. I drove around for different owners and got my pilot’s license to be able to travel faster. After I won the Raton Thoroughbred Derby in New Mexico. … After a lot of beating up — I went to the hospital to watch my daughter’s birth and had both arms taped to my body because of two broken shoulder blades — I decided it was time to do something different.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from Texas Tech University; and a Bachelor of Science in General Studies of Veterinary Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, both from Mississippi State University. His particular area of interest and special training were veterinary orthopedic surgery and equine nutrition.
He spent more than 25 years as the owner/clinician of Animal Medical Center Inc. He maintained two full-time animal hospitals in Mississippi and Alabama as a mixed animal veterinarian. Since his early retirement from private clinical practice, Dr. Craig continues as a contract surgeon for veterinary clinics in Mississippi and Alabama.
He began his teaching career as an adjunct professor at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas before joining the faculty at the University of Mobile in 2014.
He has served on the boards of the American Wind Power Museum, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Mounted Enforcement Unit, and the Mississippi Cattleman’s Association. Craig was a US Department of Agriculture-licensed veterinarian and a US Drug Enforcement-licensed practitioner.
EDITOR’S NOTE – This story was written by Kathy Dean and originally published by the University of Mobile.