(Des Moines, IA) – Des Moines University (DMU) students, staff and faculty have been honored multiple times with presentations by Des Moines’ Peter Pintus, a Holocaust survivor. Pintus survived the horrors of the Holocaust and used his amazing life experiences to teach lessons of tolerance, understanding and forgiveness. A popular speaker, Pintus addressed students and faculty at DMU for several years at the annual Holocaust remembrance.
In honor of Pintus’ message, Des Moines University’s Interim President Stephen S. Dengle, M.B.A., was to confer an honorary doctor of humane letters degree upon him at DMU’s commencement exercises on Saturday, May 29, at 10 a.m. at the Polk County Convention Complex, 501 Grand Ave. Pintus died unexpectedly May 24. The honorary degree will be awarded posthumously Saturday and delivered to his family.
“We are all saddened by Peter’s sudden passing. His humanity and wisdom will endure for years to come,” said Dengle. “Many who met him were enlightened and humbled by his spirit.”
A resident of Des Moines and assistant to the rabbi at Temple B’nai Jeshurun, Pintus was well-known and respected. The public is invited to a memorial service Friday, May 28, at 2 p.m. at the Temple B’Nai Jeshurun, 5101 Grand Ave. in Des Moines.
Pintus’ narrative of his Holocaust experiences is part of the “Testimony to Tolerance” collection at the Des Moines Public Library. He was also a member of DMU’s Institutional Review Board and served on the board of the Des Moines Area Religious Council. He was honored by Governor Chet Culver in August 2009 as an “Outstanding Iowan.”
466 degrees will be conferred at DMU’s commencement service and the commencement speaker, Thomas J. Vilsack, J.D., the 30th secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.