Des Moines University's 119th

Commencement Ceremony

May 24, 2019 at 10 a.m.

Watch the 2019 Commencement Ceremony

Skip to 8:45 for the start of the ceremony

Ceremony Venue

Hy-Vee Hall

730 3rd Street
Des Moines, IA 50309

Tickets are not issued for this event. Graduates may invite as many guests as they please.



Karen J. Nichols, DO, MA, MACOI, CS, most recently was dean of Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, serving since 2002. She took a leave in 2010-2011 to serve as president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). She was assistant dean of post-doctoral education and division director (chair) of internal medicine at Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine from 1997 to 2002. She was in the private practice of internal medicine and geriatrics in Mesa, Arizona, from 1985 to 2002. A graduate of the Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) with a D.O. degree, she holds a master’s degree in management with a specialty in health care administration from Central Michigan University.

Dr. Nichols has received numerous awards. In 2015, she was selected for the highest honor given by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the Distinguished Service Award. Also in 2015, she received the Robert A. Kistner, D.O., Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Nichols received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association. Other awards include receiving the first Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association Physician of the Year Award, the Physician of the Year title from the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society (twice) and the J.O. Watson Lectureship from the Ohio Osteopathic Association. She was the KCU-COM Alumna of the Year in 2012. She has received Distinguished Service Awards from the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine Alumni Association and the KCU-COM Alumni Association. She holds honorary degrees from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and from the osteopathic medical colleges of KCU, University of Pikeville, Lincoln Memorial University, Western University of Health Sciences and A. T. Still University-Kirksville.

In addition to the AOA, Dr. Nichols has served as president of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association and the American College of Osteopathic Internists. She was the first woman to hold all those positions. She is immediate past president of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago Board of Governors. Dr. Nichols is one of the two first D.O.s nominated by the AOA and elected to the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education Board. She serves on its executive and policy committees and chairs the governance committee.

Dr. Nichols has served on the boards of the Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine and the American Osteopathic Foundation. She just completed her term on the board of the Osteopathic International Alliance. By invitation she frequently speaks nationally on leadership, end-of-life care and outreach issues for osteopathic medicine.

Karen J. Nichols, D.O., MA, MACOI, CS
Karen J. Nichols, D.O., MA, MACOI, CS

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
8:00 - 12:00 p.m. BLS Training (Optional)
Olsen Center
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Student Loan Repayment Calculators Workshop with Paul Garrard (Optional)
SEC 115
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Remaining Whole: Maintaining your wellness in an unwell system (Optional)

Tammy Rogers from The Meyvn Group in collaboration with Dr. Haas have designed a 2 part session.

First part: defining burn out, no blame no shame, exploring stages of burn out, and understanding it's not a personal failure.

Part two: providing tools to help you remain whole during your training. Prevention, think of self-care as deliberate, systematic and consistent.  This is more than mindfulness, you will create an individualized plan.

(Optional for DO and DPM Graduates)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m. D.P.T. Program Awards Ceremony
Program Award Ceremonies are for students and faculty within the program
Ruza Lecture Hall
 3:00 - 4:30 p.m. So, now what?  Managing your Student Loans during the Transition from DMU to your Career
Student Education Center, Auditorium
Mandatory for DPT, MSPA Graduates who have borrowed financial aid
MHA, MPH, MSA, MSBS, PPDPT welcome to attend
 Evening Class Events (Optional)
Scheduled and planned by Class Officers
Thursday, May 23, 2019
7:30 - 8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast
SEC Commons

Registration for Commencement Activities
SEC Commons
Graduates will receive name cards, ITS packet and BLS certificates (if applicable)

8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Computer-Transfer of Ownership Procedures
SEC Auditorium
Mandatory for DO, DPM, DPT, and MSPA Graduates
8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Ceremonial Overview
SEC Auditorium
Coordinated by Student Life
Mandatory for DO, DPM, DPT, and MSPA Graduates
(Graduates in other programs are welcome to attend.)
9:00 - 9:15 a.m. Benefits of the Alumni Association
SEC Auditorium
9:15 - 10:45 a.m. So, now what? Managing your Student Loans during the Transition from DMU to your Internship/Residency
SEC Auditorium
Mandatory for DO and DPM Graduates who have borrowed financial aid
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Program Awards Ceremonies
Program Awards Ceremonies are for students and faculty within the program
DO – SEC Auditorium
DPM – Lecture Hall 1
12:00 - 1:30 p.m. Picnic Luncheon

Honors all graduates in the Class of 2019

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Military Promotion Ceremony
Ruza Lecture Hall 2
Program and reception
Ceremony honors graduates attending DMU on military scholarships
1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Protecting Your Income: What You Need to Know Before You Graduate (optional)
Lecture Hall 1
2:30 - 4:30 p.m. CPMS Clinical Affairs Survey and Conference
Friday, May 24, 2019
8:30 a.m. Doors Open
9:15 a.m. Graduates, Faculty and Platform Party arrive at Venue
10:00 a.m. 119th Commencement Ceremony
Iowa Events Center/Hy-Vee Hall

Information for Graduates