Spring Commencements Honor Midwestern University Healthcare Students

689 students graduated from six colleges on the Downers Grove Campus

  • IL - Downers Grove
Graduates pose together before the ceremony.

Graduates of the Class of 2024 bid farewell to their student days as their career paths take them on a new journey.

Midwestern University recognized the vast accomplishments of its students through commencement ceremonies held on the Downers Grove Campus in late May. Each of the six ceremonies featured graduates from the University colleges.


Graduates gather at Spring 2023 commencement in a half circle.
Midwestern University graduates gather for a celebratory photo before commencement.


The Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) celebrated 197 graduates. The College of Dental Medicine-Illinois (CDMI) had 139 graduates. The College of Health Sciences (CHS) congratulated 134 graduates: 48 from the Physical Therapy program, 46 from the Occupational Therapy program, and 40 from the Speech-Language Pathology program. The College of Graduate Studies commended the accomplishments of 85 graduates: 13 with a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences, 51 with Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences, seven with a Master of Science in Precision Medicine, three post-graduate certificates in Precision Medicine, 11 with a Master of Public Health. From the College of Pharmacy, Downers Grove (CPDG), 68 students marked the end of their academic journey at the University. And, from the Chicago College of Optometry (CCO), 66 students bid adieu to their days at Midwestern University. 

Students participate in the processional at graduation.
The graduates participate in the processional on the way to Cardinal Hall. 

Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwestern University, expressed her congratulatory remarks to the Class of 2024 and thanked the students for their hard work and dedication to their future healthcare professions. Dr. Goeppinger highlighted the accomplishments of the graduating classes and praised their volunteer work and fortitude against challenges along the way, such as starting their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. She shared her gratitude toward the students’ families for their support. Dr. Goeppinger also emphasized the importance of kindness, and for the students to keep it in mind in their encounters with their families, friends, colleagues, and patients. 

Graduates currently serving or going on to serve were presented with a Midwestern University coin featuring the University seal and an expression of appreciation for their service from the University faculty, staff, and administration on the other side.

Commencement speakers shared touching remarks, congratulated their fellow classmates, and expressed their appreciation for the faculty members who worked hard to ensure the completion of their educational requirements and prepare them for their future healthcare roles. 

Eryka Uehling, O.D., a graduate of the Doctor of Optometry program (CCO ’24) was one of the student speakers. “As we step out into the world of optometry, let us remember to keep both eyes open literally and figuratively. Let us never lose sight of the difference we can make in the world and in someone’s life. We now have the power to change lives one eye at a time.”

Amy Hensel, D.M.D., a graduate of the Doctor of Dental Medicine program (CDMI ’24) said, “Wherever your lives may take you from here, I hope you go with passion and purpose. We are the next generation of dentists and Midwestern has prepared us to be unstoppable.” Dr. Hensel also expressed her appreciation for the faculty. “We have some of the best faculty who come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but they all share the same passion for educating us. Where would we be without these wonderful people on our educational journey?”

Nour Khankan, Pharm.D., a graduate of the pharmacy program (CPDG ’24) shared while they will all face challenges in the future she “sees the many opportunities to make a positive impact in the field of pharmacy to contribute to the betterment of healthcare and to be agents of change.” Dr. Khankan reflected, “We all come from different backgrounds, and our unique stories set us apart and make us who we are today. No matter where life takes us, we will always be connected through the memories that we shared during our time here at Midwestern University.”


Students walk in the processional to graduation.
The College of Health Sciences (CHS) graduates from the Class of 2024 line up for the commencement ceremony.


As the Class of 2024 says goodbye to this chapter of their lives, they turn a new page and embark on the next phase of their journey. They take with them the lessons of the classroom, the experiences in clubs and organizations, the wisdom of the faculty, volunteer activities, and the collaboration and friendships among their cohorts. Students will go on to a variety of careers or supplemental education, and wherever life takes them they will represent Midwestern University.


Graduating dental students pose for a photo in caps and gowns.
Graduates from the College of Dental Medicine-Illinois (CDMI) Class of 2024 pose for a picture before the ceremony.


The Class of 2024 also had several residency and internship matches:

CCOM Matches by the Numbers:

  • Total matched students: 192 (97.4% placement)
  • Number of Illinois matches: 83
  • Highest specialty matches: Family Medicine (31), Internal Medicine (48), Emergency Medicine (24)
  • Number of military matches: 11
  • Highest system matches: Advocate Health Care (29), Franciscan Health Olympia Fields (7), Rush University Medical Center (7)
  • Top state matches (out of 34 states): Illinois (83), Michigan (10), Indiana (8), New York (9)

CPDG 2024 Matches by the Numbers:

  • 41 students matched from the Accelerated Graduation Option (AGO) Class of 2023, Standard Graduation Option (SGO) Class of 2024, and the 3-Year Curriculum (3YC) Class of 2024 (26% of the combined classes)
  • Majority matched in Illinois, but others will complete residencies in Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, and Wisconsin
  • Five will finish their residencies in community pharmacies
  • 36 will finish their residencies in the hospital setting
  • One student’s residency match is a two-year commitment to finish the residency and a master’s degree in Health System Leadership and Administration (UC Davis Medical Center, Sacramento, CA).

CHS-DG Clinical Psychology Internship Matches:

  • 95 % placement to APA-accredited internship sites
  • VA hospitals in Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Texas
  • Medical Centers in Pennsylvania and Indiana
  • State Hospitals in California and Mississippi
  • Community Mental Health Centers in Arizona, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and North Dakota
  • College Counseling Centers in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin

CCO Matches:
While residency matches are optional for optometry students, usually about 25 to 30 percent of students choose to participate in the residency match process. Of the participating CCO students, about 93 percent were matched successfully to residency programs. Students earning a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree have a range of career options, including practicing optometry in private or group practices, pursuing research or academia, working in hospitals or clinics, contact lenses, low vision rehabilitation, or specializing in areas such as pediatric optometry.

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