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Bastyr University set to celebrate its founder with yearlong series of events

Dr. John Bartholomew Bastyr - Mark Frey/ Courtesy photo
Dr. John Bartholomew Bastyr
— image credit: Mark Frey/ Courtesy photo

Kenmore's Bastyr University is throwing a party — a century in the making. Dr. John Bartholomew Bastyr, the visionary, pioneer and leader of science-based naturopathic medicine for whom the university is named, would have turned 100 years old in 2012. To celebrate his birthday and honor his legacy, the university will host a centennial celebration with events planned each month in 2012.

He passed away at age 83 in 1995.

Dr. Bastyr — a physician and researcher for many decades — is also commonly referred to as the father of the modern naturopathic medicine movement. He was an ardent lobbyist for widespread recognition of the field and an inspiration to generations of practitioners through his successful medical practice and profound teachings, according to a press release. Dr. Bastyr’s achievements span multiple generations and have impacted tens of thousands of people, well beyond Seattle’s borders. Since its founding in 1978, Bastyr University has awarded nearly 2,000 doctor of naturopathic medicine degrees to physicians who now practice around the globe.

“Our founders unanimously named our institution after a man who dedicated his life to helping patients help themselves, a man who saw and demonstrated the value of his practice at a time when skeptics dismissed the validity of natural medicine,” said Bastyr University President Daniel K. Church. “We celebrate the 100th anniversary of Dr. Bastyr’s birth not just as a reminder of how far we have come, but as a guidepost for how much further we can go.”

The yearlong celebration will feature major events for students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends of the university and of Dr. Bastyr. Events include a kickoff reception Jan. 25, the annual Spring Luncheon in May (set for Dr. Bastyr’s actual birthday May 16) and the grand opening of the university’s new campus in San Diego on Sept. 14. A full schedule of events for the public will be forthcoming.

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