University of Mobile professor Randy Craig died on Dec. 10 after a short illness.
Announcing the tenured professor’s passing to the university family, UM President Lonnie Burnett said, “The university has lost a dedicated employee; his family has lost a loving husband, father, and son; our students have lost a caring teacher, and many of us have lost a dear friend. I am comforted by the fact that we serve a God who is most present at times of great loss.”
Randy W. Craig, who held a bachelor of science and a doctor of veterinary medicine, was a professor of biology. Craig was chair of the Department of Natural Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences and directed the university’s nationally accredited cadaver lab. He was a mentor to UM students, especially pre-health students aimed at careers as physicians, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians or researchers, University of Mobile said in a statement.
A veterinary surgeon 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 on a university “Be Known” video.
In a February 2022 profile on the university website, Craig said his favorite classes to teach were anatomy and physiology. He also taught genetics, microbiology, general physiology and human gross anatomy.
Wealth of experiences
He brought a wealth of life experiences to his role as a professor, with stints as a champion bull rider and steer roper, a rodeo clown and a thoroughbred jockey. He was also a certified private pilot.
“We all are gifted by God with special or particular talents. We are to use those talents or skills for God’s purposes,” Craig said in the profile.
He shared the story of his decision to pursue veterinary medicine, a journey that ultimately led him to the Christ-centered University of Mobile.
I grew up in rural farm and ranch areas of Texas and have been involved extensively with animals my entire life. I was on the rodeo circuit awhile after high school. I won the All-Around award several times for bull riding and steer roping. Later I got into riding thoroughbreds, starting out as a warm-up rider, then became a jockey. I could wear a helmet and hold my saddle and weigh less than 120 pounds back then. I traveled around riding for various owners and earned my pilot’s license to make traveling quicker. After I won the Raton Thoroughbred Derby in New Mexico. … After getting banged up a lot — I went to the hospital to see my daughter being born 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 in microbiology at Texas Tech University; and a Bachelor of Science in General Studies of Veterinary Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, both at Mississippi State University. His particular area of interest and special training was in veterinary orthopedic surgery and equine nutrition.
He spent more than 25 years as owner/clinician of the Animal Medical Center Inc. He maintained two full-time veterinary hospitals in Mississippi and Alabama as a mixed-animal veterinarian. Since his semiretirement from private clinical practice, Dr. Craig continued as a contract referral orthopedic surgeon for veterinary hospitals in Mississippi and Alabama.
He began his teaching career as an associate professor at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas, prior to joining the University of Mobile faculty in 2014.
He has served on the Board of Directors for the American Wind Power Museum, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Mounted Enforcement Unit and the Mississippi Cattleman’s Association. Craig was a United States Department of Agriculture Accredited veterinarian and a U.S. Drug Enforcement licensed practitioner.