DMU graduated 453 at 110th commencement May 29

May 31, 2010 —

Des Moines University (DMU) awarded 466 degrees at its 2010 Commencement service May 29 at 10 a.m. at the Polk County Convention Complex, 501 Grand Ave.  The dean from each of the three DMU colleges presented their classes and DMU interim president, Stephen S. Dengle, M.B.A., conferred degrees.

Continuing a tradition started in 1899, the College of Osteopathic Medicine awarded the doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degree to 211 graduates, the master of science in biomedical science to three and the master of science in anatomy to nine graduates. The College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery awarded the doctor of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.) degree to 52 graduates and the College of Health Sciences awarded degrees from five programs — doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) to 50, postprofessional doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T) to 63, master of science in physician assistant studies (M.S.) to 45, master of public health (M.P.H) to 12 and master of health care administration (M.H.A.) to 21 graduates. Some students earned dual degrees.

The commencement speaker, Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack, J.D., the 30th secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), received an honorary doctor of laws degree, based on his distinctive career in public service and his many contributions to the welfare of Iowans and the nation.In the tough economy of 2009, the USDA supported struggling farmers and ranchers, provided food aid to one in five Americans and implemented the Recovery Act to create jobs and build a foundation for economic growth. Under Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, the USDA is working to improve the health of America’s children, targeting child hunger and obesity. Prior to his appointment, Secretary Vilsack served two terms as the governor of Iowa.

In addition to honoring Secretary Vilsack, the University conferred an honorary degree, posthumously, upon Peter Pintus, a Des Moines resident who survived the horrors of the Holocaust and used his amazing life experiences to teach lessons of tolerance, understanding and forgiveness. A resident of Des Moines and assistant to the rabbi at Temple B’nai Jeshurun, Pintus addressed students and faculty at DMU for several years at the annual Holocaust remembrance. He was also a member of DMU’s Institutional Review Board and served on the board of the Des Moines Area Religious Council. Pintus passed away suddenly May 24, 2010.

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Des Moines University has three colleges (listed below). An explanation of degrees awarded follows:

College of Osteopathic Medicine:

Osteopathic Medicine Program - Graduates of this program earn doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O) degree. They complete a comprehensive four-year medical education program, including 18 months of clinical training.

Anatomy Program – Graduates of this program earn a master of science (M.S.) degree in anatomy. This is a 40.5 credit hour program. Graduates will be listed as having earned M.S (A). This is just to differentiate the program completed. The degree earned is an M.S.

Biomedical Sciences Program – Graduates of this program earn a master of science (M.S.) degree in biomedical sciences. This is a 40 credit hour program. Graduates will be listed as having earned M.S.(BS). This is just to differentiate the program completed. The degree earned is an M.S.

College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery: Graduates of this college earn a doctor of podiatric medicine (D.P.M.) degree. They complete a comprehensive four-year medical education program, including 18 months of clinical training.

College of Health Sciences:

Physical Therapy Program – Graduates of this program earn a doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) degree. They complete a 34-month educational program, including clinical internships.

Postprofessional Physical Therapy Program – Graduates of this postprofessional program earn a doctor of physical therapy (D.P.T.) degree. They complete a 17-23 credit educational program. Graduates of this program will be listed as having earned a (pp)D.P.T. This is just to indicate which program they completed. The degree earned is a D.P.T.

Health Care Administration Program – Graduates of this program complete at least a two-year educational program, attending full- or part-time, and earn a master of science degree in health care administration (M.H.A.). The degree provides and educational foundation for careers and leadership in management, planning policy analysis and similar roles in long-term care or other healthcare settings.

Public Health Program – Graduates of this program complete at least a two-year educational program, attending full- or part-time, and earn a master of science degree in public health (M.P.H.). The program provides students with the skills to lead community efforts in improving health.

Physician Assistant Program – Graduates of this program earn a master’s of science degree in physician assistant studies (M.S.). The program provides students the skills necessary to become a certified physician assistant. Graduates will be listed as having earned a M.S.(PA) degree. This is just to differentiate the program completed. The degree earned is an M.S.

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Des Moines University is the only private medical school in Iowa, offering graduate-level, professional degree programs in osteopathic medicine, podiatric medicine, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, anatomy, biomedical sciences, health care administration and public health. Founded in 1898, the institution offers superior academics in a collaborative environment. DMU students’ pass rate on national examinations and board certifications is consistently higher than the national average and the rates at similar institutions. For more info, visit www.dmu.edu.


Courtney Tompkins has been part of the DMU marketing team since Nov. 2005 and loves promoting a school she believes in so thoroughly. Proud daughter and patient of DMU alumni, Courtney knows, first-hand, that Des Moines University is doing a world of good. A fan of all outdoor festivals, fruity drinks and nearly all edibles, she has a hard time narrowing down her list of favorite places to go and things to do but lists the Iowa State Fair as an all-time fave. She loves her 8-minute commute to DMU from Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. She and husband Tyler are owned by three large dogs, Tonka, Tucker and Tank.