TCOM celebrates its 50th graduating class of osteopathic physicians

Commencenent MainOn Monday, June 3, 1974, the legendary pathologist and osteopathic physician Dr. Otterbein Dressler gave the keynote address at the William Edrington Scott Theatre to 18 newly minted osteopathic physicians from the burgeoning Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Worth.

Little did Dressler or those 18 physicians know they were laying the foundation for what is now the top osteopathic and all-around medical school in the country, TCOM, which celebrated its 50th graduating class on Tuesday at Dickies Arena.

TCOM’s Class of 2023 featured 214 graduates receiving their Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

“TCOM has an incredible tradition and legacy that I’m very proud of,” said Dr. Frank Filipetto, dean of TCOM. “To see how much TCOM has grown over the last 50 years from its humble beginnings to now being one of the top medical schools in the nation is simply amazing.”

TCOM, which opened on October 1, 1970, has grown into a nationally renowned medical school, ranked No. 11 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in primary care and No. 1 in the state of Texas. TCOM has been ranked as the top osteopathic medical school in the country for three of the last four years.

It all started in 1966 when three osteopathic physicians, Dr. D.D. Beyer, Dr. George Luibel, and Dr. Carl Everett procured a charter from the State of Texas to create the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.Commencement 3

Dr. David A. Ray, the class president of TCOM’s first graduating class in 1974, can remember vividly the first days of TCOM in October of 1970 and the effort it took to bring the school to fruition.

“There was an unbelievable amount of support and personal sacrifice in time and money from the local physicians who supported the opening of TCOM,” Ray said.

The sacrifices were plenty, but Ray recalls one memorable moment in the early days of class in the bowling alley.

“On the first morning in use as a classroom, the entry door that led from the lobby into lanes opened while Dr. Everett was presenting a slide show and lecture,” Ray said, referring to one of the founders of TCOM. “Everyone turned to look at the open door, and a rather pudgy silhouette of a man carrying a bowling bag said loudly, ‘Where are the lanes?’ Without further comment, he quickly left and closed the door. Dr. Everett continued the lecture without missing a word.”

Commencement 2Ray was elected TCOM’s first Class President, an honor bestowed upon him by his fellow trailblazing students as the soon-to-be first osteopathic medical gradu


ates in the State of Texas.

In 1975, TCOM came under the umbrella of North Texas State University, which later evolved into the UNT System.

With the establishment of the School of Biomedical Sciences in 1993, TCOM expanded into a graduate university with multiple colleges and changed its name to The University of North Texas Health Science Center. Through all the growth and changes in nearly 50 years in the university, city and world, TCOM and osteopathic medicine’s mission hasn’t changed, and it looks forward to another 50 years of graduates.

TCOM’s Inaugural Graduating Class of 1974.
Dr. W. Eugene Bond
Dr. Robert Breckenridge
Dr. Kenneth Brock
Dr. Jobey Claborn
Dr. Nelda Cunniff
Dr. Ronald Daniels
Dr. Gilbert Greene
Dr. Robert Holston
Dr. Shelley Howell
Dr. Sterling Lewis
Dr. R. Paul Livingston
Dr. Terry Parvin
Dr. Jesse Ramsey
Dr. David Ray
Dr. John Sessions
Dr. Ronald Sherbert
Dr. John Williams
Dr. T. David Wiman

Recent News

  • Our People
|May 23, 2024

Empathy-driven leadership: Rylee Miller embarks on her journey to transform rural health care

At the age of 25, Rylee Miller is not just a Master in Health Administration student. Miller embodies the essence of a natural-born leader, driven by empathy and a relentless commitment to making a difference. Standing on the brink of a new chapter in her life, Miller is excited to leave a mark on r...
  • Our People
|May 23, 2024

Keeping Black mamas alive: TaKasha Davis Ehiogu is on a mission

TaKasha Davis Ehiogu, a 36-year-old Master in Public Health student, is on a mission to make childbirth safer for Black mothers. Her commitment stems from a deep-seated belief that birth in America should not pose any major risks for women, specifically women within a particular ethnic or socioecono...
  • Our People
|May 23, 2024

SBS grad is ready for success at the next level

When Jordan Easterling decided she wanted to go to medical school, she knew she needed excellent health and science training to help her get there. She found the Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s School of Biomedical ...
Ashley Gentry Headshot
  • Our People
|May 22, 2024

Faculty highlight: Ashley Gentry, Physician Assistant Studies

Ashley Gentry is an associate professor in The University of Health Science Center at Fort Worth’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Dallas Baptist University and graduated from the HSC Physician Assistant Program in 2012 with a Master of P...