DMU names “Franklin Way” in honor of its president and CEO

Growing up in McCormick, SC, Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D., was surrounded by loving parents and grandparents who instilled in her core values of hard work, discipline and the golden rule. From them, she learned that education is the way – to serve others, to achieve worthy goals and make a positive difference in the world, no matter the obstacles.

Dr. Franklin brought her belief in the importance of education and service to her role as president and CEO of Des Moines University, a position she’s held since 2011. During her tenure at DMU, the University launched the biggest fundraising effort in its history, the $50 million Purple & Proud Campaign. She also has led the University community in planning and building the medical and health sciences university for the future on an 88-acre site in West Des Moines. DMU is on schedule to expand to its new campus in 2023.

With these and many other accomplishments, Dr. Franklin has found a way to accomplish what she urged in her inaugural address: to “reach far, dream colossal dreams and set audacious goals.” In honor of her leadership, vision and service, the DMU Board of Trustees announced the naming of a street on the new campus as Franklin Way.

Standing with the street sign that will be placed on DMU’s new campus are President Franklin and (from left) son Wesley, his wife, Karen, and their daughter, Harper; son Grant; and her husband, Thaddeus.

“President Franklin, may this sign forever inspire others to follow your example by finding ways to serve, lead and make health care and public health better for all people,” said Dave Kapaska, D.O.’86, M.B.A., chair of the DMU Board of Trustees, at a Purple & Proud Campaign event on Sept. 16. “And may your leadership and vision inspire all of us – DMU alumni, friends, employees and community partners – to join in our University’s efforts to improve the lives in our global community by preparing highly competent, compassionate health leaders. We all have exciting roles to play in this mission.”

Franklin Way will intersect on the new campus with another street the board has named, McKinney Farm Road, to honor the McKinney family whose farm once stood where the new campus is taking shape. In 2018, Dr. Franklin shared her vision for the new campus with Wayne McKinney, now a past member of the DMU Board.

“We are deeply grateful that Wayne was excited and honored about having a medical school on the McKinney farmland,” Dr. Kapaska said at the Sept. 16 event. “I think it’s fair to say that Wayne and his family have had a great impact on the history and future of Des Moines University by supporting President Franklin’s idea – an idea that is now literally rising from the ground in what’s been dubbed West Des Moines’ ‘innovation corridor.’”

At the Purple & Proud Campaign event, Dr. Franklin expressed her gratitude to everyone involved in the University’s advancement and development of the new campus.

“In just under 260 days from now we will welcome students to the new campus and continue seeing patients at the current DMU Clinic,” she said. “We truly stand at the edge of advancement, less than a year before we expand DMU’s physical presence to West Des Moines and as we enter the home stretch of the Purple & Proud Campaign.”

For more information, photos, videos and news about DMU’s new campus, visit You also can view photos from the Sept. 16 Purple & Proud Campaign event here.

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