100 Years of Excellence

KCU has a long, rich history of osteopathic medicine. Founded in 1916 by George J. Conley, DO, KCU is the oldest medical school in Kansas City, Mo., and the largest medical school in Missouri.

In the early 2000s, we expanded our academic offerings to include the College of Biosciences. Today, we look forward to the next 100 years with a second location in Joplin, Mo., and emerging programs.

KCU-Kansas City’s Administration Building was a gift from the Alumni Association in 1979. Prior to KCU-Kansas City calling it home, the Administration Building was the original Children’s Mercy Hospital. While renovated in 2015, the building kept the original skylights for the hospital’s surgery room.  

Prior Kansas City locations for KCU-Kansas City include:

  • 7th and Wyandotte (1916)
  • 15th and Troost (1917)
  • 2105 Independence Avenue (1921)

Evolving with the times and what best reflected our programs, our name has changed throughout the years.

  • 1916 - The Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery (KCCOS)
  • 1970 - The Kansas City College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCCOM)
  • 1980 - University of Health Sciences (UHS)
  • 2004 - Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU)

Mamie E. Johnston, DO, became the first graduate from the Kansas City College of Osteopathy and Surgery, now KCU, in 1917. Dr. Johnston continued her education when the University instituted our new four-year curriculum, and graduated again with the class of 1918. 

Dr. Johnston became a fixture at the University. In 1919, she joined our faculty, teaching gynecology and pediatrics for 47 years. In 1940, the Johnston Hall science building opened, named in her honor. Retiring in 1981 at the age of 92, Dr. Johnston practiced osteopathic medicine for 64 years. She passed away on November 6, 1986.