Back to School

Back to School

Des Moines surgeon returns to Creighton to earn his undergraduate degree

By Micah Mertes

As a Creighton undergrad, Dan McGuire, MD’82, stands out; 62-year-old orthopedic spinal surgeons going back to school after a near-40-year hiatus just don’t make up a huge part of the student body these days.

McGuire lives in Des Moines, Iowa, works in northwest Iowa and is pursuing a degree online in Healthy Lifestyle Management through the College of Professional Studies.

When he walks the stage at commencement next spring, he’ll finally have something he’s sought for more than four decades — an undergraduate degree from Creighton.

“I never received a degree,” he said. “I did three years at Creighton before I got into medical school. I was just a few hours short of an undergraduate degree, but I didn’t want to delay medical school.”

After med school, McGuire and his wife, Andrea “Andy” Holden McGuire, BS’78, MD’82, moved to St. Louis, and later Des Moines. Of their seven children, three are Creighton grads. (McGuire estimates that about 25 members of his extended family have graduated from Creighton since 1960.)

The McGuire-Holden Family Scholarship Fund also bears the family names. Established in honor of their respective parents, the fund assists students in the College of Arts and Sciences, with a preference given to rural Iowa natives pursuing a career in medicine.

“Every year we get letters from some of the scholarship recipients, and many of them have really cool stories,” McGuire said. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’re helping someone.”

They’ve also given to the Magis Clinic, the School of Medicine and the Athletics Department.

“Creighton has done great things for our family. Now we want to help make sure it continues to do great things for others. It’s just a wonderful place.”

Getting a Creighton education again after all these years is, he said, a daily reminder of that.