Dear KCU Community,
I want to welcome new and returning students to our campuses as we begin this new academic year! With orientation activities in full swing this week for our College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2026, it’s been great to see students back in Joplin and Kansas City.
We are welcoming 432 new medical students, 115 master’s level graduate students and 26 clinical psychology doctoral students this year.
Our annual WE CARE Community Service Days are coming up on July 15 (Kansas City) and July 20 (Joplin), and our students and faculty/staff site captains will be at work at various locations, serving those in need and further demonstrating KCU’s commitment to the underserved and advancing our mission of “ improving the well-being of the communities we serve.”
For more information about orientation or how you can get involved in WE CARE Days, visit our website. I also encourage you to check out a photo gallery of this past week’s activities—and be sure to follow KCU on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
On a cautionary note, the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Missouri’s cases are increasing as the result of the BA.5 subvariant, and many are seeing reinfection as the disease becomes endemic. We strongly encourage those not vaccinated to consider doing so and to follow recommended health protocols such as frequent hand washing and physical distancing. Those wishing to wear masks indoors are welcomed to do so. We are continuing to monitor the situation and will take any necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of our KCU community.
In other news, the University has welcomed two new members to its leadership team. Dr. Kenneth Heiles begins his tenure as Campus Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine-Joplin and Bill Patterson has joined KCU as Executive Director for University Relations.
A year from now, Kansas City University will welcome our first class of dental students as construction continues for the College of Dental Medicine and also for the creation of new outdoor study and gathering spaces on the Joplin campus. In Kansas City, the City is funding construction that will reroute The Paseo and Cliff Drive at Independence Avenue, adding significant green space and two small ponds on the west edge of campus.
A special thanks to our faculty and staff for all you are doing to make this a meaningful and positive time for our students and their families. It is my honor to be a part of this team, as we begin educating another class representing the next generation of osteopathic physicians, scientists and clinical psychologists.