Of coronets and clown suits

August 16, 2012 —

Even though its name and location have changed since it was founded in 1898, Des Moines University has a long and distinguished history of preparing future health care providers and leaders with a focus on patient-focused care and whole-body wellness. But did you know that the University once sported men’s and women’s basketball teams, a coronet band and a mandolin club?
DMU once sported men's and women's basketball teams.
We have proof: The Drake University Library’s Heritage Collections include a nifty set of historic images of DMU, including those from its early days as the Dr. S.S. Still College of Osteopathy. Check out the institution’s original location in downtown Des Moines. View the group of Still College students with their bicycles, apparently attracted by the college’s advertisements of the “many paved roads in the cosmopolitan city of Des Moines.” And ponder why its student band participated in a 1929 parade for the Des Moines Food Show wearing…clown suits.

Umm…could someone please explain?

While DMU’s mandolin club and the basketball teams are no more, rest assured our students’ organizations, clubs and activities reflect a wide range of interests and abilities. Today’s DMU Choir and String Orchestra please audiences at every performance. Intramural sports are a vibrant part of campus life. And DMU students compete on the field off campus, taking on Drake Law School students in the annual Malpractice Bowl games (men’s and women’s), which will hit the gridiron this year on Saturday, September 29 (more on that in a future post).

History is most fun when it involves colorful events and characters, including those clown-suited musicians.


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