Vice President of Institutional Advancement Sr. Kathleen Coughlin, CCVI, signals city leaders, physicians and faculty to cut the ribbon signaling the opening of the School of Osteopathic Medicine.

The land that the School of Osteopathic Medicine inhabits has a long and storied history. While it’s changed over its 100 years, it’s had a significant impact on the military, education and health fields. These are a few of the moments that make it so important.


Brooks’ first incarnation was as Brooks Field, one of the first military flight training bases in the country. It would soon also house the School of Aviation Medicine.


Brooks Field becomes Brooks Air Force Base, which would go on to serve the military community for more than 50 years. It would also usher in an era of important medical and aviation research at Brooks.


President John F. Kennedy dedicated the School of Aerospace Medicine on Nov. 21, on what would become the steps of the School of Osteopathic Medicine. This would prove to be his last official act as president before his assassination.


The air force base becomes Brooks City Base, a new military-civilian partnership that would serve both communities and further the development of the area.


The UIW School of Osteopathic Medicine opens. City leaders, physicians, religious and members of the community gathered to celebrate the “gem of the South Side,” during its grand opening. The first class of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine students began study in July.

The Future

In its short existence, UIWSOM has already established itself as a center for community focused health innovations. The school was awarded a $407,000 grant to develop a health program that addresses mental health and chronic disease to improve overall wellbeing.

UIWSOM also collaborated with the School of Nursing and Health Professions, School of Pharmacy, other academic organizations and the Southside Independent School District to provide hundreds of doses of vaccines to school children.