May 16, 2012 - The members of the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) Class of 2012 celebrated their graduation on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Dr. Norman Gevitz, professor of the history and sociology of medicine at New York Institute of Technology/New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, delivered the commencement address.

During the ceremony LMU Chairman of the Board of Trustees Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk received the inaugural Honorary Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine. The Honorary Doctorate is presented to an individual who has not completed the traditional requirements of osteopathic medical school but who has nonetheless made substantial contributions to the profession of osteopathic medicine. Honorary doctorates date back to the 15th century and have long been used by academic institutions to recognize outstanding achievement. DeBusk was honored for the impact he has had on the health care of the region and the world through his company, DeRoyal Industries.

LMU-DCOM also honored Sam A. Mars, Jr., first vice chairman of the LMU Board of Trustees and chairman of the executive committee, with the Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an individual who holds service to humanity close to his or her heart and who has had a significant impact on the health and wellness of those within both the Appalachian region and beyond. Mars holds the longest term of service of any trustee in LMU’s history and has been responsible for multiple improvements at the University over the years.

“As the chairman of the executive committee, he led the University’s charge in getting the medical school off of the ground,” said Ray E. Stowers, vice president of health sciences and dean of LMU-DCOM. “He shepherded all of the administrative decisions that needed to be made by the University, and he never wavered in his confidence in the project.”

LMU-DCOM opened its doors in 2007. With a full complement of classes and a current student body of more than 600 students, LMU-DCOM has one of the largest medical student enrollments in the state of Tennessee. A full 80% of the LMU-DCOM Class of 2012 will be entering a primary care residency, including the fields of family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN and emergency medicine.

The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide health care in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1-800-325-0900, ext. 7082, email, or visit us online at

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Caption: The LMU-DCOM Class of 2012 celebrates their graduation with a traditional hat toss.

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