A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) hosted its 184th graduating class Saturday, May 16.
The ceremony was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ATSU-KCOM class of 2020 included 162 graduates from 22 states, with 52 from Missouri. One student received a master of public health degree, and 11 will be joining the U.S. military.
Additionally, nine students received their master of biomedical sciences degree. Those graduates are from four states, with six from Missouri.
Gary M. Wiltz, MD, served as commencement speaker for the ceremony. Dr. Wiltz is chair of ATSU’s Board of Trustees, and CEO of Teche Action Clinic, a network of 13 federally qualified community health centers in southwest Louisiana. Dr. Wiltz received his medical education at Tulane University School of Medicine and became a board-certified internist. Dr. Wiltz joined ATSU’s Board of Trustees in 2013 and was appointed board chair in 2018. Among his many honors, Dr. Wiltz received the National Association of Community Health Center’s 2018 John Gilbert Award, which recognizes people who have demonstrated a high level of excellence in the community healthcare field.
Graduates were congratulated by ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, Norman Gevitz, PhD, ATSU senior vice president of academic affairs, and Margaret Wilson, DO, ’82, dean of ATSU-KCOM.
“We want to honor and recognize you for all of the hard work and sacrifices that you have made to get to this landmark occasion,” Dr. Wilson said. “You are an extraordinary class that has faced an unprecedented time in history. No other generation of graduates has encountered a crisis of this proportion in our lifetime.
“But today, remember the hopes and aspirations that brought you to this place in time. Know that your training has well-prepared you to give your patients the best possible care. The skills and knowledge you have acquired made you into a competent osteopathic physician, who will be sought out for the expertise you have to offer. The compassion and empathy that you have cultivated will make you a trusted healer. You are our future, and that future is bright.”