A Melody of Generosity: Dorothy Diener’s Legacy Harmonizes with Des Moines University’s Future Healers

Des Moines University is not only a hub for medical education but also a testament to the indelible mark its alumni leave on the institution. Among the revered names in DMU’s history is Dorothy Diener, D.O.’47, a trailblazing osteopath whose generosity lives on through her gift that continues to give. 

Deiner was not your typical medical student. Before embarking on her journey to become a doctor, she earned a Bachelor of Science in music from Ithaca College. Her passion for healing and the arts merged seamlessly, creating a unique foundation for her future contributions to the field of osteopathic medicine. 

While at Des Moines Still College of Osteopathy and Surgery, she served as president of the Beta chapter of Delta Omega, a national osteopathic sorority. Her leadership and commitment to the osteopathic community created a legacy that inspired future generations. 

Diener’s life was cut short in 1970, but her commitment to healing endured. She left her entire estate to DMU, establishing the Dorothy Diener Memorial Fund. This fund, born out of her passion for osteopathic education, has helped numerous aspiring physicians, paving the way for their dreams to become a reality. 

Deiner’s generosity continues to make an impact 53 years later. In the past year alone, 16 students were awarded scholarships, totaling $38,800, with an average award of $2,425 per student. These scholarships enable students to pursue their medical education with a reduced financial burden, enabling them to focus on their studies and training. 

Since its inception in July 2010, the Dorothy Diener Memorial Fund has supported a total of 113 student recipients, awarding an impressive $444,930. The endowment balance as of June 30, 2023, stands at $920,511. 

The impact of the scholarship fund goes beyond numbers and statistics. It echoes in the heartfelt expressions of gratitude from the recipients themselves. Brandy Bradell, D.O.’24, says the scholarship’s support enabled her to participate in away rotations and gain invaluable experience in anesthesiology across different regions. Brandy notes, “Without this support, such extensive travel and learning experiences would have been financially unfeasible, and I am truly thankful for the doors it has opened for me.” 

Hannah Phillips, D.O.’26, shared her childhood dream of becoming a physician and expressed her gratitude for the financial relief the scholarship provided. “Thank you for this opportunity to live out my dream,” she says, embodying the profound impact that philanthropy can have on shaping the future of medicine. 

The Dorothy Diener Memorial Fund not only preserves the memory of a remarkable alumna but also ensures that her legacy thrives in the form of countless healers whose dreams are nurtured and realized through the power of education. Her generosity continues to uplift the aspirations of future physicians at DMU. 

To learn more about estate gifts, contact Development and Alumni Relations at 515-271-1454.  

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