Susan M. Buzick: School of Veterinary Medicine
To say that Ms. Susan Marshall Buzick is a cat lover is truly an understatement. Everywhere you turn in her house is a statue, painting, or photograph of a cat, and, of course, there are her four feline housemates—Pooky who came from an abusive home, Nola came from a neighbor who was moving, Bunny came from a stranger who was rescuing the cat from a pack of dogs, and Jean Luc from her veterinarian, Dr. Charles Banta of Carrollton Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Banta has been her veterinarian since she moved to New Orleans in 1965, along with Dr. Chris Algero who now owns the practice.
"I used to always have 12 cats," said Ms. Buzick, "but I have to limit myself to four now." "Cats have done so much for my life, and the veterinarians that I've used over these years—I wish I could have a doctor like them," Ms. Buzick commented.
One Sunday in 2003, when Smitty, her 18-year-old cat, showed complications from diabetes, Ms. Buzick's niece, Jane Henslee, who works with the LSU Foundation, suggested she contact Dr. David Senior, head of the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences. "I was hoping to learn of a new medical treatment for Smitty that might be unavailable to my local veterinarian," said Ms. Buzick. Dr. Senior first consulted with Dr. Banta, then talked to Ms. Buzick to affirm that Smitty was receiving the best treatment possible.
With gratitude to Dr. Senior and the encouragement of her niece, Ms. Buzick decided to establish a $150,000 Charitable Gift Annuity for the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine. "This is nothing but a win, win, win," said Ms. Buzick. "I hope that this will be used for the benefit of animals, to find ways to cure diseases and take care of sick animals."
A native of Teague, Texas, Ms. Buzick spent most of her married life in San Francisco. She received a degree in English from the University of Texas and worked in various areas around the country, with animals constantly in her life. "I've devoted my life to cats," she said. "I've wanted all of them to have the best possible home." Ms. Buzick is active with Best Friends, an animal adoption organization in New Orleans.