A.T. Still University celebrates its 176th graduating class

A.T.Still University's Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine celebrates its 176th graduating class during Saturday morning's annual commencement ceremony.

155 students graduated and became Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine.

They were reminded by Commencement Speaker and A.T. Still University alum Martin Levine, D.O. that now their lifetime goal is to serve the patient.

"It's about the patient," said Levine. "You are there to make sure that the patient gets the best possible care they can. "

Levine also told the graduates that they are the best trained physicians in the world.

The Class of 2012 included students from 17 states, 12 countries, and three graduates who were born and raised in Kirksville.

After the ceremony, the emotions were running high.

"We're all emotional," said Steven Lyons, D.O., a graduate and lifelong resident of Kirksville. "It's been a long roller coaster ride. We made it. It's been wonderful. I'm so happy."

"It's such an honor, a huge accomplishment," said Laura Covert, D.O. and graduate originally from St. Louis. "I'm the first physician in my immediate family."

"It's the day you've been looking forward to ever since you were a kid and you know it's finally here and you feel overwhelmed," said Gloria Ayuba, D.O. "You feel very grateful."

Gloria Ayuba moved to the United States when she was 16 to study medicine. Her family came from Nigeria to Kirksville to celebrate her graduation.

"To see Gloria, one of the few to graduate in Osteopathic's quite exciting and I think it's a blessing that it rained today as well," said John Ayuba. "Because for us , in Nigeria, in Africa, anything that brings rain is a blessing. So, it's quite a good day."

Saturday's ceremony was also emotional for A.T. Still University President Dr. Jack Magruder. In fact, the end of it brought him to tears as he reflected on his upcoming retirement and his work at A.T. Still over the past four years.