2019 COM Commencements
Congratulations to the Class of 2019!
College commencements and pictures are added as we receive submissions. Also visit AACOM's Instagram and Facebook accounts to see more graduation stories.
This year's graduation ceremonies spanned the nation. Read more about college graduations and speakers below.
ATSU-KCOM Celebrates 183rd Commencement Ceremony
A.T. Still University—Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) celebrated a new class of 170 graduates on May 18 at its 183rd commencement ceremony, held in Baldwin Hall Auditorium at Truman State University. Of the 170 graduates, 101 men and 69 women received their doctor of osteopathic medicine degree. Five students received their master of science in biomedical sciences degree, 11 graduates were commissioned into the military forces, and 12 were selected to complete a one-year fellowship. Forty-eight graduates are Missouri residents, with 30 other states represented overall.
Rear Adm. Joyce M. Johnson, DO, MA, U.S. Public Health Services (retired), served as commencement speaker. Dr. Johnson is an osteopathic physician who has a broad base of public health experience in civilian and military sectors. She is a clinical and adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine and healthcare administration graduate program. During the ceremony, Dr. Johnson received an honorary doctor of osteopathic medicine degree. She spoke to graduates about finding joy within the profession.
CCOM Graduates Ready to Begin Successful Careers
Midwestern University held commencement ceremonies on its Downers Grove Campus on May 22 and 23 to celebrate nearly 700 graduates who are beginning their professional careers in healthcare.
The Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) honored 198 graduates who earned a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree; the college achieved a 97.5 percent residency placement for the class of 2019. In particular, 64 percent of CCOM students matched to primary care residencies, which include internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, and ob-gyn while the rest of the class will pursue various specialties including emergency medicine, orthopedic surgery, neurological surgery, diagnostic radiology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry, general surgery, otolaryngology, urology, radiation oncology and more. In addition, 54 percent of the class will stay in Illinois for their postdoctoral programs with the remainder traveling to 27 other states.
DMUCOM Salutes Class of 2019, Honors Military Graduates
Des Moines University (DMU) saluted the class of 2019, which included 218 graduates of the doctor of osteopathic medicine program, with several events May 23 and 24. DMU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMUCOM) held its annual awards program and honored graduates who attended the university on military scholarships at a military commissioning ceremony.
A campus picnic brought together graduates, family members, faculty, and staff. The festivities culminated in DMU’s 119th commencement ceremony, during which reunion alumni of the classes of 1994, 1979, 1969, and earlier years led the procession of graduates. Karen Nichols, DO, MA, MACOI, CS, former Dean of Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) and past President of the American Osteopathic Association, provided the keynote address.
KYCOM Honors 120 DO Recipients
The University of Pikeville honored the academic achievements of more than 270 graduates at the associate, baccalaureate, and master’s degree levels, and 120 doctors of osteopathic medicine degree recipients from the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) during commencement exercises on May 4.
Ronald R. Blanck, DO, 39th Surgeon General of the U.S. Army (Ret.), delivered the keynote address for KYCOM. In his address, Blanck, who was presented an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, encouraged graduates to stay true to their osteopathic training. “Remember that medicine rests on values, which are not changing,” said Blanck. “They are fundamental: Respect for the patient and your colleagues, honesty and integrity in all your dealings, and as I’ve already mentioned, selfless service.”
LECOM Honors Graduates in its Largest Class to Date
The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) marked a significant milestone this spring when the nation’s largest medical school awarded 1,137 degrees—its largest class to date—during ceremonies May 26 in Erie, PA, and June 2 in Bradenton, FL.
LECOM’s 2019 graduating class included 551 doctors of osteopathic medicine, as well as 296 doctors of pharmacy and 100 doctors of dental medicine. An additional 190 scholars received master in health services administration, master of science in medical education, master of science in biomedical sciences and master of medical science degrees.
NSU-KPCOM Celebrates Class of 2019 in Fort Lauderdale
Senior Week at Nova Southeastern University’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM) provided numerous opportunities for class of 2019 students to celebrate their long-awaited graduation while attending an afternoon awards presentation, participating in a celebratory bash at the Rooftop on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, and attending the Senior Awards Dinner Dance and the military Commissioning Ceremony at The Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, FL.
The week culminated on May 17 when a multitude of NSU-KPCOM graduates received their degrees during the Health Professions Division Commencement Ceremony, held at the Rick Case Arena at the Don Taft University Center on NSU’s Fort Lauderdale/Davie Campus. During the 2018-2019 academic year, 230 DO, 20 master of public health, 24 master of science in biomedical informatics, nine master of science in nutrition, four master of science in medical education, and five master of disaster and emergency management degrees were conferred.
OU-HCOM's Class of 2019 Largest in the College's History
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) marked another milestone when it graduated its 2019 class on May 11 as it was the first to include students from all three Heritage College campuses. With the addition this year of the first 44 graduates from the college’s Cleveland campus, which opened in 2015 in affiliation with Cleveland Clinic, the class of 2019 was easily the biggest in the college’s history with 228 students eligible to receive doctorate of osteopathic medicine degrees. Last year saw the graduation of the first students from the Heritage College, Dublin, OH, which opened in 2014 in partnership with OhioHealth. Commencement speaker Tom Mihaljevic, MD, CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic, praised the college as “one of the most forward-thinking educational institutions that I have ever seen,” and cautioned the graduating physicians to never expect–or want–their challenges to lessen as they progress in their careers. “Comfort means stagnation; comfort means lack of development,” he advised, adding that being a physician “should be tough, and it should be challenging… We don’t do medicine; we live medicine.” Read more and watch a video of Dr. Mihaljevic’s speech.
PCOM Graduation Ceremony Highlights Collaboration and Patient Understanding
On Friday, May 24, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) graduated 260 osteopathic physicians in a ceremony that highlighted the importance of collaboration and patient understanding in the ever-changing world of healthcare. These graduates will go on to join the more than 100,000 doctors of osteopathic medicine that are currently in practice in the United States.
“The best physicians are those that strive to develop and retain compassion in the face of constant exposure to human pain and suffering,” said Jay S. Feldstein, DO, class of 1981, President and CEO of PCOM, in his address to the graduates. “Compassion is the embodiment of the wholeness of our osteopathic philosophy, the true recognition of the person’s mind, body, and spirit,” he continued.
PCOM Georgia Holds 11th DO Commencement in Duluth
Commencement ceremonies for the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Georgia campus (PCOM Georgia) honored doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of pharmacy, and masters of biomedical sciences graduates on May 22 at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth.
Family members and friends gathered to watch as the 270 students received their diplomas and hoods, then flipped their tassels from right to left. Trupti Patel, DO, a graduate of the inaugural class of 2009, addressed the DO graduates at the morning ceremony. Read more.
PNWU-COM Lucks Out with its 2019 Graduation Forecast
It was the day of graduation, and the forecast called for rain. In a community that boasts 300 annual days of sunshine as its unofficial slogan, the gray clouds that marked the May 18 forecast seemed an unfortunate turn of luck; throughout most of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences’ Commencement Ceremony history, graduation attendees had basked in the valley’s famously pleasant weather, with celebrations commonly spilling into the downtown streets surrounding the Capitol Theatre.
As the class of 2019 filed into the theatre, with organizers laying out the final decorative flowers and placing the final programs on plush red seats, the gloomy forecast gave way to blue skies, bright sunshine, and a renewed hope. Fittingly, the resplendent turn served as an appropriate analogy for the celebration that would soon spill out onto sun-soaked South 3rd Street, as it had in so many years past. As 131 osteopathic medical students prepared to cross the stage and receive their doctorate degrees, communities throughout the Pacific Northwest could—for the eighth year in a row—bask in a parallel sense of renewed warmth, hope and relief. Read more.
RVUCOM Heads to Caulkins Opera House to Honor Graduates
Rocky Vista University celebrated the graduation of 151 medical students from its college of osteopathic medicine (RVUCOM) and 23 students receiving their master of science in biomedical sciences at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, CO. Scott Ellner, DO, Group President for Physician Alignment at Centura Health, delivered the keynote address. “The healthcare delivery model fundamentally has to change, and you are the physicians of the future who will change it,” he said. “You have been trained to be innovative, and at RVU you have been trained to think differently.”
TouroCOM Celebrates Commencement with Live Music at Apollo Theater
At a festive gathering that included a brass band, a live tenor, and a presentation of colors from U.S. Army medical recruiters, 129 students from the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM) Harlem campus were hooded and recited the osteopathic oath at the school’s commencement ceremonies, held on June 5 at the nearby Apollo Theater.
Surrounded by hundreds of cheering family and friends, the class of 2019 received congratulations from Touro College and University System President Dr. Alan Kadish, Executive Vice President Rabbi Moshe Krupka, TouroCOM Executive Dean Dr. Kenneth Steier, TouroCOM Harlem Dean Dr. David Forstein, and keynote speaker Dr. Clint Adams, President and CEO of Rocky Vista University in Parker, CO, among others.
TUNCOM Presents Holocaust Survivors Honorary Doctorates During Commencement
20 Holocaust survivors received Honorary Doctorates from Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUNCOM) during Spring Commencement on May 13.
The idea for the special ceremony was proposed by Esther Finder, President of the Holocaust Survivors Group of Southern Nevada. The daughter of Polish Holocaust survivors, Finder always remembered her father putting on her cap after she graduated from college.
“My father was 16 when the war started and 22 when it ended,” she recalled. “Prime time for an education.” Finder’s father passed away two years ago, but her dream of honoring Holocaust survivors with a college degree was born.
UNE COM Celebrates Graduation
The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNE COM) graduated 178 students on May 18, 2019 at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, ME. Notably, over 99 percent of UNE COM graduates matched with a residency. Continuing our emphasis in primary care, more than 60 percent matched to related residencies including family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics.
At the ceremony, Kathryne Leonard, DO ‘86 and Robert Leonard, Jr., DO ‘86 were presented with the Pioneer of Osteopathic Medicine Medal for their extraordinary service to UNE COM and to the cause of osteopathic medical education. The award recognizes extraordinary service to UNE COM and to the osteopathic profession, and is the highest honor given by the college.
VCOM-Auburn Holds Graduation Ceremonies May 18The Auburn campus of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM-Auburn) held its first graduation ceremony on May 18, 2019. Members of the inaugural class of 2019 received their doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees to cheers from family and friends as they walked across the stage at the Auburn Arena. This ceremony was made even more special by the inclusion of commencement speaker Jay Gogue, PhD, Auburn University president emeritus. Gogue was instrumental in bringing an osteopathic medical school to the Auburn University campus in order to address healthcare shortfalls in the state of Alabama. Following the ceremony, graduates, their families and VCOM administrators, faculty and staff gathered at the VCOM-Auburn campus building for a reception to celebrate this outstanding milestone.
Western University Celebrates Graduation at Two Campuses
Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (WesternU/COMP-Northwest) conferred doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees on 224 graduates at its commencement ceremony May 24, 2019 in Pasadena, CA.
WesternU/COMP-Northwest alumnus Habib Sadeghi, DO, founder of Be Hive of Healing Integrative Medical Center in Agoura Hills, CA, gave the keynote address.
Two Oregon governors provided encouragement and inspiration to the 104 graduates of the WesternU/COMP Class of 2019. The WesternU/COMP Commencement ceremony in Lebanon, OR on May 31, 2019 brought together current Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and the first female governor in the state’s history, Gov. Barbara Roberts.“This morning represents a truly historic moment, as we are honored by having the only two female governors of the state of Oregon on our stage together today,” said WesternU/COMP Dean Paula Crone, DO. “In fact, this may be the first time this has occurred on any university commencement stage across the country. Both of these women have served as role models and as examples to many of us. Their influence and their impact are far-reaching.” Read more about the WesternU-Pomona Commencement and the WesternU-Oregon Commencement.
Alumnus Delivers Keynote Speech at WVSOM’s Largest Graduating Class in History
With the green and black regalia, the gold tassels hanging from caps, and the exuberance and pride of family members and friends, graduates in the class of 2019 waited in anticipation of the moment that they would walk across the stage and receive their doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM). This year’s graduating class was the largest in WVSOM’s history, with 199 medical students participating in the school’s 42nd annual commencement ceremony on May 25.Christopher “Dino” Beckett, DO, class of 2000, delivered the keynote speech to graduates, their families and friends, and WVSOM faculty and guests. “I’m here today not just to tell you about the things that I’ve done, but how my education at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine has been essential to the success that I’ve experienced,” he said. “The foundation of osteopathic principles and passion for community have been a part of the very fabric of my story. When you leave here you will have the skills and tools to be a successful physician. It is up to you how to use them.”