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Best of luck from Arizona

A standing ovation greeted ATSU President Jack Magruder with his wife Sue by his side as they entered their retirement reception on June 22 on the Mesa, Ariz. campus.  Faculty and staff gathered to celebrate Dr. Magruder’s epic career in higher education.

Craig Phelps, DO, FAOASM, ATSU executive vice-president for strategic initiatives and president-designate, welcomed the Magruders by saying, “Today, we celebrate a couple who made contributions to the community and ATSU.  We celebrate Dr. Magruder’s commitment to education and community service.”

Dr. Phelps introduced leadership for ASDOH, ASHS and SOMA, who shared their thoughts about President Magruder.

ASHS Dean Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA: “It is always difficult to say goodbye to great people. What I always noticed most about you is your integrity and your genuine love for what you do.”

ASDOH Vice Dean James Bell, DDS: “Thank you for being a part of ATSU, thanks for your time, energy and passion. It’s been an amazing, exciting, and bittersweet time.”

SOMA Dean Thomas McWilliams, DO, FACOFP: “Under your leadership, you have guided ATSU through transition to universitization.”

Especially touching was a poem read by Mindy Hansen, SOMA I, on behalf of the Student Government Association (SGA).  The poem was created by SGA for Dr. Magruder.

Sue Magruder shared her comments about the time when Dr. Magruder accepted the presidency of ATSU.  “I already knew that Jack could do this job, and he was the perfect man for the time,” said Magruder. “I know what kind of man I married 58 years ago, and I agree that he is stupendous!”

As a thank you for his leadership and service, President Magruder was presented with a sculpture of the state of Arizona engraved in copper and resting on an Arizona red rock base. Inscribed at the bottom of the sculpture is one of Dr. Magruder’s favorite quotes by Charles W. Eliot: Enter to grow in wisdom. Depart, better to serve your country and thy kind.

Watch the Arizona campus farewell reception here.


Kirksville says thank you and farewell

A long line of approximately 700 people greeted ATSU President Jack Magruder and his wife, Sue, at his retirement reception on June 29 on the Kirksville, Mo., campus. Faculty, staff, community members, and friends thanked Dr. Magruder and Sue for their work and dedication to the University and wished them farewell.

ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84, FAOASM, emceed the event, shared background information on Dr. Magruder, and introduced the event’s speakers.

“He will be greatly missed, but his touch on the University will remain,” says Dr. Phelps.

Multiple dignitaries presented Dr. Magruder and Sue with proclamations and other honors, along with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who appeared via video with a special message for the longtime educator, leader, and friend, thanking him for his many years of service.

“We live in a better state because of you,” said Gov. Nixon.

Dr. Magruder and Sue were also given president emeritus and first lady emerita statuses during the ceremony marking their contributions to the University.

Dr. Magruder recognized and thanked all those who have supported and worked alongside him during his career. He expressed his gratitude for the president emeritus status, saying it forges a unique link between ATSU and Truman State University, where he holds the same recognition.

He closed his final public remarks as president recalling the heart of that mission in the words of A.T. Still himself.

“He said, ‘All I wanted to do was extend the touch of the soft hand of human kindness to those in need.’ Folks, that’s what everybody associated with this University is doing, by doing their job,” said Dr. Magruder. “I’ve been blessed; Sue has been blessed as a result of this relationship.”

Watch the Kirksville campus farewell reception here.



James Farris, PT, PhD

James W. Farris, PT, PhD, is the new chair of the ASHS department of physical therapy. He will officially begin the duties as chair on July 1. Dr. Farris has been on the faculty at ASHS since 2008. Prior to that time, he had 13 years of previous teaching experience in physical therapy with five of those as program director and department chair at Arkansas State University. “He brings a wealth of clinical and educational experience to this job, and we look forward to his leadership in an already stellar PT program,” said ASHS Dean Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA.

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Ninety-two new doctors of osteopathic medicine crossed the stage at the Comerica Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., on June 8, marking their completion of four years of study in a unique medical school curriculum model. ATSU-SOMA is one of a handful of medical schools across the country utilizing the clinical presentation-based medical education model where students are immersed in clinical care beginning in their second year of medical school.

“When this class first arrived at ATSU-SOMA, I challenged you to personally take charge of your education in order to continue your growth as life-long, self-motivated learners,” said Thomas McWilliams, DO, FACOFP, interim dean, ATSU-SOMA, in his address to students. “As an entire class you have successfully addressed this charge. You now have at your disposal more scientific knowledge than any prior generation of physicians and are ready to move into the next phase of your professional development, your postgraduate training.”

Dr. McWilliams added that his parting request was for students to keep alive the spirit of altruism during residency training. “Your healing touch is exactly what the nation needs at this place and time,” he said.

Also at the ceremony, Donald L. Weaver, MD, chief medical officer for the National Association of Community Health Centers, was the keynote speaker.  In his comments, Dr. Weaver said,  “I believe that Dr. A.T. Still is looking down on this class and faculty, as are many others, and beaming with pride because you are carrying on his tradition: Always looking for the most effective ways to care for those whom you are privileged to serve, committed to a lifetime of learning, and committed to caring for the whole person.”

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The 1st Annual Clinical Presentation Curriculum (CPC) Proceedings was held June 9 on the ATSU Mesa campus. The event was sponsored by the newly formed Clinical Presentation Curriculum – Learning, Education & Research Community (CLEAR).  CLEAR is a group of medical educators interested in facilitating and implementing the clinical presentation-based medical education model.

“Given that many medical schools throughout the world have implemented or are considering implementing the CPC, we hosted what was (to our knowledge) the first Proceedings on the CP model,” said Gene Winfield, DO, assistant professor, ATSU-SOMA and chair, CLEAR committee.

The goals of the Proceeding were to facilitate a connected community of interested faculty in the CPC, to discuss important elements of the CPC and share individual challenges and solutions to these widespread issues, and to develop a shared repository of information on the CPC.

Keynote speaker at the event was Dr. Douglas Wood, ATSU senior vice president-academic affairs.  He encouraged participants to read Educating Physicians, by Cooke, Irby and O’Brien, in celebration of the Beyond Flexner report. “One of the four major areas of U.S. medical education which the authors found deficient was in the area of integration,” said Dr. Wood. “Their definition of integration was bringing together the basic sciences, the clinical sciences, and the social sciences across the model. I think that is what the CPC does.”

Approximately 50 medical national and international educators attended the Proceedings. For more information on CPC and the event, visit www.cpc-clear.org.

Lori Haxton

Lori Haxton, Vice President for Student Affairs

Lori Haxton was recently appointed as Vice President for Student Affairs. She has been with ATSU since 1988, in the positions of Director of Admissions & Enrollment Services, Assistant Dean for Student Services, Associate Vice President for Student & Alumni Services, and Associate Vice President for Admissions & Student Affairs, as well as Interim Vice President.

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