ATSU faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends,
As many of you know, 125 years ago this October something phenomenal happened that changed national and global healthcare. ATSU’s founder Andrew Taylor Still, DO, started our University in rural Kirksville, Missouri, with an inaugural class of 21 students. This inaugural DO class matriculated five women, a medical school rarity in the 1800s. Since 1892, ATSU has grown into a comprehensive graduate health sciences university with six colleges/schools, two campuses (Kirksville and Mesa, Arizona), a dental and oral health center in St. Louis, Missouri, and more than 18,000 graduates.
When Dr. Still founded ATSU, known then as the American School of Osteopathy, it may have been inconceivable to comprehend the effect osteopathic medicine would have nationally and globally. In the United States, there are now 33 colleges of osteopathic medicine educating students on 48 campuses in 31 states. One in five U.S. medical students attends an osteopathic medical college. Many U.S. osteopathic medical colleges are influential components of larger institutions offering a wide range of health-related degree programs. Globally, another 100+ colleges and schools of osteopathic medicine seek to further the philosophies of Dr. Still.
Dr. Still practiced and taught what has now become essential to attaining health–an understanding and respect of the relationship of body, mind, and spirit to whole person health with an emphasis on preventing disease and injury while using medications and surgery only when necessary. This sounds intuitive today; however, in the late 1800s and early 1900s. this was a novel approach to health and wellness, Dr. Still’s philosophies positively impact each of our degree and certificate programs by providing all ATSU students this unique perspective along with a set of core professional attributes that set apart our graduates.
During 2017, I hope you are able to share in celebrating ATSU’s 125th anniversary. Events and activities include:
- Community service projects led by each school and college
- Submitting your idea(s) to “125 Great Ideas to LeadÂ ATSUÂ Into the Future”
- Participating in special Founder’s Day activities and professional continuing education events
- Volunteering to work withÂ ATSU’sÂ Department of Communication & Marketing and Department of Alumni Relations toÂ discuss Dr. Still’s accomplishments and ATSU with media, legislators, and others
- Thanking our internal and external stakeholders and local communities for their unwavering support throughout the years
- Welcoming back alumni to both campuses, and virtually, to share their experiences, celebrate, and help plan our collective future
- And much more
Thank you for taking a few moments to learn about some of the exciting opportunities to celebrate in 2017 and continuing to make ATSU a great place to learn while positively impacting healthcare around the world.
Yours in service,
Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84