Campaign exceeds goal with gift from a great osteopathic pioneer

Murray Goldstein

In the 1950s, an era when osteopathic physicians were viewed by some as inferior to allopathic physicians, Murray Goldstein, D.O.’50, M.P.H., blazed trails. He was the first osteopathic physician to be appointed as a commissioned medical officer in the uniformed services (the U.S. Public Health Service, in 1953); the first D.O. to achieve star rank (two-star admiral); the first admitted to a U.S. school of public health and to a fellowship at the Mayo Clinic; and the first to receive a U.S. Presidential Letter of commendation, among several other “firsts.”

“Wherever I went, I always identified myself as an osteopathic physician,” he says. “That was very important to me.”

A World War II veteran and recipient of the U.S. Army’s Silver Star and Purple Heart, Dr. Goldstein also was the first D.O. appointed to an institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He helped change lives and mindsets in roles including as director of the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and of the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Educational Foundation.

“The whole world of truly enabling people with dysfunctions to become active members of society all grew out of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation,” he says.

Opening doors is a theme of Goldstein’s support of DMU, too. His gifts are unrestricted, which allows University leaders to direct his dollars to where they can have the most powerful impact. His most recent gift was the one that pushed the University’s Purple & Proud Campaign over its $25 million goal one year before the official conclusion of the fundraising effort in December 2020.

“I support, physically, emotionally and economically, Des Moines University because I think it is doing an excellent job and has the potential for doing an extraordinary job,” he says. “I wouldn’t be doing what I did without it, and so I’m grateful.”

He’s also enthusiastic about Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D., DMU’s 15th president. “I think Angela as president is a superb person. She has the technical skills of running and building and enlarging the scope of a university, and she has the social skills of being a friend,” he says. “I applaud what she’s doing.”

Students, of course, are another big reason Dr. Goldstein supports the University.

“The pleasure I get out of it is I know that some students who would have difficulty and be troubled with the ability to raise the money to pay for tuition and books, that I am helping them and they can complete their education without that tremendous burden every year,” he says. “I get a degree of pleasure out of knowing I’m helping them make it.”

In addition to his honors and achievements above, Dr. Goldstein is the founder of the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, which created an annual lecture that bears his name. He is the recipient of two honorary doctoral degrees in medicine and seven in science from universities in the U.S. and abroad. He also is the recipient of three national public service awards from the USPHS and achievement awards from four osteopathic organizations and eight citizen organizations.  

Dr. Goldstein has served on the editorial board of seven scientific journals, on the scientific advisory committee of five national health organizations and on the board of trustees of three osteopathic medical colleges, including DMU, and four national health organizations. For eight years, he was chair of the WHO Task Force on Stroke and Other Vascular Disorders of the Brain. He is a founding member and past president of the American Osteopathic College of Occupational and Preventive Medicine and served for 12 years on the American Osteopathic Board of Preventive Medicine. He was designated a “Great Pioneer in Osteopathic Medicine” by the American Osteopathic Association, by DMU and by the New York State Osteopathic Medical Society. Dr. Goldstein has more than 50 publications in scientific journals, books and government publications.

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