Annual memorial service to honor body donors and their families May 17 at DMU

On Friday, May 17, Des Moines University will honor 62 people who donated their bodies to further medical education in the past year. This year’s service recognizes donors from across the state, as well as Illinois and Missouri.

The family of each donor, the DMU community and the public are invited to remember and recognize each generous gift.

The non-denominational service will begin at 1 p.m. in the Olsen Medical Education Center, 3200 Grand Avenue. The body donor memorial service has been held annually for more than 40 years. Military honors will be performed for the veteran donors. Family members at the service will be given a lapel pin that honors the gift their loved ones made.

“Thanks to the incredibly selfless gift made by these individuals, we are able to uniquely educate and train our DMU students in anatomy, as well as educating students from local schools about how to take care of their bodies,” said Donald Matz, Ph.D., chair of the DMU anatomy department.

The Body Donor Program at Des Moines University has been contributing to medical investigation and student education for as long as the University has. Since detailed recordkeeping began in 1955, more than 2,600 people have donated to DMU. Studying the body’s systems and organs contributes to a thorough understanding of human anatomy. When an individual donates to the program, the University pays a portion of the transportation costs and provides for the memorial service and entombment.

Making death preparations is not something most people like to talk about, but planning ahead ensures the option of donating your body to science. For more information about the Body Donor Program at DMU, call 515-271-1481 or visit


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