DMU to honor former governor

Des Moines University, the osteopathic medical school, is holding its commencement this weekend and they’ll be honoring a former Iowa governor.  No, not that former Iowa Governor, Terry Branstad, who until October served as DMU’s president.  They’ll be honoring former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.  Full details below.  (When you see the phrase “mace bearer” in the last line of the news release, it’s a reference to a ceremonial weapon — sometime maces look like a staff.  It’s not a reference to a guy carrying a spray can of mace.)

Des Moines University to give 466 degrees Saturday at 110th commencement ceremony

Sec. Vilsack to speak at commencement, receive honorary doctor of laws degree

DES MOINES, IA (05/25/2010)– Des Moines University (DMU) will award 466 degrees at its 2010 Commencement service May 29 at 10 a.m. at the Polk County Convention Complex, 501 Grand Ave. The dean from each of the three DMU colleges will present their classes and DMU interim president, Stephen S. Dengle, M.B.A., will confer degrees. Visit for a full schedule.

Continuing a tradition started in 1899, the College of Osteopathic Medicine will award the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree to 211 graduates, the Master of Science in Biomedical Science to three and the Master of Science in Anatomy to nine graduates. The College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery will award the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) degree to 52 graduates and the College of Health Sciences will award degrees from five programs – Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) to 50, Postprofessional Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T) to 63, Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.) to 45, Master of Public Health (M.P.H) to 12 and Master of Health Care Administration (M.H.A.) to 21 graduates. Some students earned dual degrees.

The commencement speaker, Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack, J.D., the 30th secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree, based on his distinctive career in public service and his many contributions to the welfare of Iowans and the nation.

In the tough economy of 2009, the USDA supported struggling farmers and ranchers, provided food aid to one in five Americans and implemented the Recovery Act to create jobs and build a foundation for economic growth. Under Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, the USDA is working to improve the health of America’s children, targeting child hunger and obesity. The USDA also is promoting American agriculture production, food safety and biotechnology exports by conducting cutting-edge agricultural research and maintaining an appropriate safety net for America’s farmers and ranchers. Prior to his appointment, Secretary Vilsack served two terms as the governor of Iowa.

During commencement, the University will also recognize Priti Lacy, Ph.D., with the title professor emerita. Harry Elmets, D.O., will be honored posthumously with the Pioneer in Osteopathic Medicine Award. Serving as grand marshal will be Brian Larsen, Ph.D., dean for University research and biomedical graduate studies, while Traci Bush, P.T., D.H.S., director of the doctor of physical therapy program and president of the University faculty, will be mace bearer.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.