DMU memorial service recognizes generous gifts of body donors

Des Moines University will honor 63 individuals from across the state who left generous gifts to further medical education by donating their bodies. The family of each donor, the DMU community and the public are invited to celebrate the lives and contributions of this year’s donors.

The May 16 service begins at 1 p.m. in the Olsen Center, 3200 Grand Avenue. 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 educate students from local schools about how to take care of their bodies,” said Donald Matz, Ph.D., chair of the DMU anatomy department.

Des Moines University’s Body Donor Program has contributed to medical investigation and student education for as long as the University has. Since detailed recordkeeping began in 1955, more than 2,700 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 DMU’s Body Donor Program, call 515-271-1481 or visit


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