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Des Moines University receives $2 million gift


The family of a Des Moines University alumna has pledged to donate $2 million to the university in honor of Dr. Ellen Phenicie-Schulz, who in 1920 graduated from what was then known as Des Moines Still College of Osteopathy.  Phenicie-Schulz practiced family medicine and obstetrical/gynecological surgery in Des Moines for most of her career.

In recognition of the gift by her son, William “Bill” Schulz and his wife, Lelia Schulz, the university’s library will be known as the Dr. Ellen Phenicie-Schulz Library.

“’The stories I’ve heard about Dr. Schulz are wonderful and heart-warming and give me an appreciation for this woman who was ahead of her time,” said Sue Huppert, vice president of development and alumni relations at DMU. “She truly left an amazing legacy as the kind of doctor totally dedicated to her patients. I’ve been told she would sit in the hospital rooms and hold the hands of patients who were troubled or uneasy.”

The Schulz family has three grown daughters and lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. A naming ceremony for the library is planned for June when the family will be present for the dedication.

“Bill felt this gift was long overdue in recognition of the personal sacrifices his mother made for him and the life he was then able to provide his own family,” Huppert said. “They are very happy to see this long-lasting reminder of her love for the university and the community about which he has so many happy childhood memories.”

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