KCU Brand Story

We began in 1916 as a college that could fit inside a single stone and brick building with four floors and no elevator.

Our first graduating class was just one student – our second just three.

More than 100 years have passed since our founding, and in that time KCU has transformed. We’ve evolved from one of the nation’s first colleges of osteopathic medicine to one of the world’s premiere health sciences universities with 1,892 students currently enrolled. Our academic programs now push the boundaries of not only osteopathic medicine but also biomedical sciences, psychology, bioethics, bioinformatics, and soon dental medicine.
More than 100 years have passed since our founding, and in that time KCU has transformed. We’ve evolved from one of the nation’s first colleges of osteopathic medicine to one of the world’s premiere health sciences universities with 1,892 students currently enrolled. Our academic programs now push the boundaries of not only osteopathic medicine but also biomedical sciences, psychology, bioethics, bioinformatics, and soon dental medicine.

Throughout our history, we’ve witnessed generations of students become leaders in health sciences under the guidance of exceptional faculty and staff who have continually redefined what it means for a university to be truly student-centered – even in the face of a global pandemic.

As we work to anticipate the needs of a now ever-changing future – and prepare our students to best meet those needs – we can’t allow the constructs of the past to limit our potential. So, while the words themselves remain integral pieces of our identity, calling ourselves a university “of medicine and biosciences” no longer fully encapsulates the depth of who we are or may one day become. As we look to the future, rather than defining what we were, our name now celebrates who we will always be.

As we work to anticipate the needs of a now ever-changing future – and prepare our students to best meet those needs – we can’t allow the constructs of the past to limit our potential. So, while the words themselves remain integral pieces of our identity, calling ourselves a university “of medicine and biosciences” no longer fully encapsulates the depth of who we are or may one day become. As we look to the future, rather than defining what we were, our name now celebrates who we will always be.

We are Kansas City University.

The core of our university is found in community. Our dedication to serving those around us is a priority in our strategic planning, and it spans all of KCU’s areas of study – continually reinforcing our mission of improving the well-being of the communities we serve for every member of the KCU family. This mindset ­– rooted in the holistic beliefs of osteopathic medicine – has always been part of who we are. However, in the century since our founding, our idea of what defines our communities has radically changed. Kansas City was our original home, and at one point the main community we served. Moving forward under the shorter moniker of Kansas City University allows us to honor that heritage. But, we are not only Kansas City’s university nor a university solely for Kansas City.

Through the amazing work of our students and alumni who have used their KCU education to care for patients, advance scientific research and provide outreach efforts around the globe, we’ve been able to serve communities worldwide, often forming lasting, meaningful partnerships with their local organizations and clinics. 
Through the amazing work of our students and alumni who have used their KCU education to care for patients, advance scientific research and provide outreach efforts around the globe, we’ve been able to serve communities worldwide, often forming lasting, meaningful partnerships with their local organizations and clinics. 

The opening of our Farber-McIntire Campus in Joplin in 2017 – which will soon graduate its first class of osteopathic physicians – became not only our second campus location but also our first permanent, physical location outside of the Kansas City metro.

Established to meet workforce needs and improve access to care for an under-served region, the opening of our Joplin campus ushered in a new century for KCU that definitively expands our borders beyond one city and – when it becomes the official home of our first new college in nearly 20 years, the KCU College of Dental Medicine – our academic programs beyond what was previously possible.

Rendering of College of Dental Medicine, Joplin, MissouriThrough these efforts and many others, KCU is now a more diverse and far-reaching than ever before. We are no longer one campus, one college, one graduate or one community. We are one university, Kansas City University, dedicated to improving the well-being of all people.

We began in 1916 as a college that could fit inside a single stone and brick building in Kansas City, but our future is a university without limitations.