History of Midwestern University

Midwestern University has a proud and impressive history. Founded in 1900 as the American College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery by J. Martin Littlejohn, Ph.D., D.O., M.D. (1865-1947), the organization was incorporated in Chicago, Illinois, to train physicians in a not-for-profit environment. Dr. Littlejohn hired talented faculty that enabled the College to establish a reputation as a leader in medical education, research, and clinical practice. The early faculty mentored their students in the art and science of osteopathic medicine while teaching surgery, and the principles and practices of osteopathic medicine, anatomy, and basic science. The growth of the osteopathic college is intertwined with that of the osteopathic medical profession itself. Ever since 1874 when a country doctor, Andrew Taylor Still, announced his new theory of osteopathy and began the first college in 1892, the profession has grown in reputation and acceptance around the country and many international settings.

The Downers Grove Campus was purchased in 1986, and the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine moved from its prior home in Hyde Park, Illinois, to this western suburb of Illinois. Following the relocation of the College, the Board of Trustees voted to begin the development of new academic programs within the health sciences. The Chicago College of Pharmacy began in 1991 and the College of Health Sciences began in 1992. In 1993, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved a single educational mission for the institution, and Midwestern University emerged. The Downers Grove Campus, located on 105 acres, has buildings that include academic classrooms, laboratories, a state-of-the-art library and auditorium building, and student housing. The Midwestern University Multispecialty Clinic was established in 2013 and includes the Dental Institute, a Family Medicine Practice, a Speech-Language Clinic, and other health services designed to meet a wide-range of healthcare needs.

The Glendale Campus was founded in 1995 when the Board of Trustees approved the purchase of land and the building of a new campus in Arizona. The Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine began in 1995, the College of Health Sciences in 1996, the College of Pharmacy Glendale in 1998, the College of Dental Medicine Arizona in 2006, the Arizona College of Optometry in 2008, and the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2012. The campus has seen rapid growth in the number of buildings, academic programs, faculty, staff, and students. The Glendale Campus, located on 156 acres, has buildings that provide for academic classrooms, state-of-the-art laboratories, and student housing. Three Midwestern University Clinics provide quality family care for the community: the Multispecialty Clinic, which opened in 2007, and the Dental Institute and Eye Institute, which opened in 2010.

Midwestern University is still governed by the strong principles of the founding administration and faculty. An independent, not-for-profit corporation organized primarily to provide undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate education in the health sciences, the University is dedicated to the highest standards of academic excellence in an environment that encourages learning and professional development.


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