Three-Star General Gives Inspirational Keynote at KCU Commencement Ceremony

May 7, 2021
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(Kansas City, Mo. – May 8, 2021) Kansas City University (KCU), the 8th largest medical school in the nation hosted a history-making Lt. General and the president of the American Osteopathic Association as they delivered messages of pride and gratitude to the graduating class of 2021.

Lt. Gen. General Laura Richardson, a recent nominee by President Joseph Biden to lead the United States Southern Military Command, delivered a keynote address focused on the bravery of today’s health-care providers.

“For generations service members have been called heroes for all they’ve done,” Richardson said. “I’m here today to extend that same honor to you. It is you who have become the heroes.”

Health care runs deep within Richardson’s family. She is the daughter of KCU alumnus Darwin Strickland, DO. Her sister also is a physician who graduated from KCU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. knows first-hand the burden that has been shouldered by medical professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am honored to serve beside you during this battle against the coronavirus, and during future battles, whatever they may be.” Richardson noted. “You make our nation proud, you make our nation safe and you make our nation strong.”

Thomas Ely, DO, president of the American Osteopathic Association and a KCU alumnus congratulated the students who earned a Master of Science degree along with the graduates from the College of Osteopathic Medicine, thanking them for “rolling with the punches” during the pandemic, and urging them to enter the world of osteopathic medicine with humility. “You are now joining a proud profession, one that values the relationship between physician and patient, and that recognizes that a person’s state of health depends on the body, mind and spirit.”

KCU conferred the doctoral degree from the College of Osteopathic Medicine on 234 graduates. Additionally, 23 graduates earned a dual degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and a Master of Arts degree in Bioethics and 30 graduates earned a dual degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and Master of Business Administration in Health Care Leadership from Rockhurst University.

The College of Biosciences presented 120 students for a Master of Science in Biomedical Science.

Marc B. Hahn, DO, KCU president and CEO addressed the graduates with pride and noted the achievements they have made under extraordinary circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic have prepared them all for the journey ahead. “I commend your perseverance in the battle against COVID-19 and in completing your degrees in the midst of great challenges and tragedy,” Hahn said. “And for helping to redefine the future of health care as physicians, scientists, ethicists and leaders.”

The entire commencement ceremony can be viewed here.


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