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Barry Stupine was the former leader of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Ryan Veterinary Hospital. (Photo from the Stupine Family)

Barry Stupine, a former leader of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine and director of the University's Ryan Veterinary Hospital, died on May 6 at age 78.

Stupine died from amyloidosis, a disease that causes abnormal protein build-up in the body, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. He was diagnosed with the disease in 2018.

Stupine worked as an Associate Dean and then Vice Dean for Administration and Finance from 1978 to 2009 at Penn Vet. He also held interim positions at the School of Dental Medicine and Office of Budget and Resources at Penn.

Former Penn Vet Dean Alan Kelly, who worked with Stupine, said he helped expand and develop the school.

"The School of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania owe Barry an enormous debt of gratitude for the innumerable ways he made Penn a better place. We all miss him and treasure his memory," Kelly said.

Stupine was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University in 1964. With close ties to the city, he was actively involved in the community, taking on various leadership positions in local groups and organizations. 

“Barry took risks that helped kids. He stuck his neck out in agreeing to chair the brand new Freire Foundation board," Freire Schools CEO and Network Founder Kelly Davenport said. "Barry — we thank you for building the Freire community with us, and for showing up to meeting after meeting, encouraging us to do our best, and supporting us every step of the way," 

Stupine served as treasurer of the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society, founding President of the Abington school board, and President of the Freire Charter School Foundation. He was also known for his recorded messages on Philadelphia's KYW Radio during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. 

Both of Stupine’s children attended Penn. His son, Jeffrey Stupine, graduated from Penn Vet in 2010 and his daughter, Erika Stupine Yablonovitz, graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1995 and the Graduate School of Education the following year.

“My father was everything to me. He was my best friend, my biggest champion, and my role model,” Stupine Yablonovitz said.