Student Spotlight

Uday Patel, OMS II

Class of 2022

  • Hometown: Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Graduate studies: Master of Science in Medical Physiology from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Clubs and Activities: I am a Peer Mentor and member of the RVU Rotary Club.

Why did you choose RVUCOM? I primarily chose RVU because of how close it is to my family and the friends that I grew...
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Faculty Spotlight

Brooks Beal, DO

Assistant Professor of Primary Care

  • Hometown: Dublin, CA
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Biology.
  • Graduate Studies: Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Touro University Nevada.

What class/classes do you teach? I teach both years of Primary Care Medicine. Why did you choose to teach...
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The long-awaited day of acknowledgment has arrived.  Your perseverance, professionalism, and commitment to lifelong learning will be celebrated with family, friends, mentors, and faculty. This Commencement exercise is like none other you’ve celebrated.

Your preparation by trials of academic rigor, being forced out of your comfort zone, and the outstanding role-modeling of the faculty (both in the field and at RVU) have prepared you to succeed in the next step toward the independent practice of medicine. Residency training will continue to test your preparation, commitment, and passion. The residency experience will provide the opportunity for you to use your team-building skills, communication expertise, and collection of knowledge to ensure the challenges of your generation of healthcare providers will meet the uncharted course of the changes you will face in the next millennium.

Your future is secure but your responsibility is unending. Please reflect on the passion you brought to your commitment to study medicine, your desire to make a difference and to care for those in physical and/or emotional distress. The belief in the osteopathic philosophy, the DO Touch, makes you very special and unique in the healthcare provider spectrum.

RVU remains your home of record.  Please carry our mission, values, and belief in your success to the all those you touch. Be a proud alum and keep us informed of your success, struggles, and needs. We will always be here for you.

Godspeed and blessings,


You’ve worked for this…now enjoy yourself!

Join your classmates, friends, and loved ones at a private event at


Punch Bowl Social Denver


To celebrate your graduation from medical school!

The Class of 2020 Graduation Celebration will take place on

Thursday, May 14th 

from 7:00pm to 11:00pm.

Ticket prices are $20 each for you and your first guest.

Tickets for additional guests are $40 each.


Included in the ticket prices are:

– Unlimited appetizers, dinner, and dessert

– Unlimited open bar until 10:00pm

(after that time, it will become a cash bar only)

– Unlimited games and activities:

Bowling, billiards, darts, karaoke, ping pong, corn hole,

Giant Scrabble, Bocce Ball, Bonzini, and more

– Photo booth

– Dancing

Parking is limited and overflow parking will be on the street.

Please consider using carpool, Uber, Lyft, or a taxi for the sake of both convenience and safety if you partake in alcohol.


Thomas Ely, DO

Thomas L. Ely, DO, FACOFP, FAAFP, is an AOA board-certified osteopathic family physician and Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Ely will serve as 2020-2021 president of the American Osteopathic Association.

Currently, Dr. Ely is a health care consultant. A member of the AOA since 1980, Dr. Ely was elected to the AOA’s Board of Trustees in 2006 and has been a delegate representing Tennessee in the AOA’s House of Delegates since 1998.

Dr. Ely is past president of the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association and a member of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. He was appointed to the Tennessee Board of Osteopathic Examination (licensure board) for 9 years.

Prior to attending what is now the Kansas City (Missouri) University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Ely served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, which included two combat tours in Vietnam, serving as a “Dustoff” medical evacuation pilot. Following osteopathic medical school, he re-entered the military as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and completed a family medicine internship and residency at DeWitt Army Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He retired from the Army in 1988 with the rank of lieutenant colonel and went into private practice as a family physician in Clarksville, Tennessee, and subsequently served as the chief medical officer for the Gateway Medical Center in Clarksville from 2002 to 2015.​

During the commencement ceremony, graduates receiving a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree will be hooded on stage. A guest hooder of your choosing may hood you with your doctoral colors. You may select ONE immediate family member (parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, or child [12 years or older]) or an important mentor.

Please keep in mind:

1. Your guest hooder will sit with the other hooders in a different section of the theater. They will not be able to sit with the rest of your party.

2. They will not be able to have children with them.

3. Your guest hooder must be able to walk, stand for a long period of time, and climb stairs.

4. We will not order regalia for your hooder. They can wear business professional attire or order regalia on their own.

To ensure the hooding process goes smoothly, here is an instructional video on how to properly hood a graduate.

Be sure to send the link to your guest hooder no later than May 14, 2020.

To ensure the hooding process goes smoothly, here is an instructional video on how to properly hood a graduate.

Be sure to send the link to your guest hooder no later than May 14, 2020.

Video: How to Properly Hood an RVU Graduate

Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Denver Center for the Performing Arts
950 13th Street
Denver, CO 80204
 (800) 641-1222

Local Hotels

Below is a Google map which displays various hotels located near the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. RVUCOM does not guarantee room rates or availability at any of these hotels.

You’ve just spent four years with your classmates. Wouldn’t you like to stay in touch with them?

The RVU Alumni Association was established to provide the alumni of RVU with an active and united group, dedicated to the advancement of osteopathic medical education and related health sciences. Also, the RVU Alumni Association facilitates networking and mentoring among alumni, as well as throughout the community and industry contacts.

The RVU Alumni Association is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization which is separate from the university. The Association is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of RVU Graduates. The Association raises funds to provide scholarships, Fellowship networking, and conference perks.

For your 3 years of residency, you will receive a special discounted rate of only $25 per year. Everyone is encouraged to pay for all 3 years prior to graduation. After the 3 years, dues will increase to $50 per year. You can also become a Lifetime Member for $1000 and receive special recognition, a certificate, a pin, and recognition in the Vista View and the RVU and RVU Alumni Facebook pages.

So, what are the next steps?


1.   Pay your alumni dues by clicking the link below:

Alumni Association Dues

2. Like the RVU Alumni Association page on Facebook:
RVU Alumni Association

To order merchandise for yourself or for your graduate, contact


Q: What is the guest hooder policy?
A: DO students may select ONE immediate family member (parent, grandparent, spouse, sibling, or child) or an important mentor. The person you choose does not need to have a terminal degree. MSBS students will be hooded by their program director and will not need to select a guest hooder.

Q: What if I do not have a guest hooder?
A: If you do not have a guest hooder, you will be hooded by the faculty member chosen by the class.

Q: When is the last date that I can register my guest hooder?
A: You will have until March 2nd to select your hooder. If you selected a guest hooder and need to change at the last minute, you can, but you will not be allowed to add a hooder after this date – NO EXCEPTIONS!

Q: Does my hooder need to wear regalia?
A: If your guest hooder owns regalia, they may wear it. If they do not, graduation appropriate attire is fine. Please no jeans, shorts, or flip flops.

Q: Will my guest hooder be able to sit with the rest of my family?
A: No. The person you choose will sit with the other hooders in a different section of the theater.

Q: Will military students be hooded in military uniforms?
A: No. Military uniforms will be worn underneath regalia. After you are hooded, you will the remove your regalia backstage before the military commissioning ceremony.

Q: How can my family get up-to-date Commencement information?
A: Please refer them to the RVU website.

Q: How long is the ceremony expected to last?
A: The ceremony will last approximately 2 hours.

Q: Can we invite our families to the awards ceremony on campus on Friday, May 15th?
A: Yes.

Q: Is the Commencement ceremony mandatory?
A: Yes. The Commencement ceremony is mandatory and is required in order to receive your diploma.

Q: Is graduation week mandatory?
A: Yes. Graduation week is mandatory.

Q: What is the difference between Commencement and graduation?
A: Commencement is the ceremony we celebrate your accomplishments as you end your student life and begin your life as a member of the Rocky Vista University’s Alumni Association. Graduation is the act of completing all graduation requirements (e.g., ordering your cap and gown, ordering your graduation announcements).

Q: Is there a rehearsal for the Commencement Ceremony?
A: Yes, the military rehearsal will take place on Friday, May 15th from 11:30pm-12:00pm. Directly following, a rehearsal for all students (MSBS, DO, Military) will take place directly following the military rehearsal.

Q: Will my family be able to take pictures of me as I cross the stage?
A:  No. Family members will not be allowed close enough to the stage to take photos of you. However, a professional photographer will take a picture of each candidate as he or she receives the degree. You will receive information by email on how to download these photos after Commencement.

Note: If you would like a copy of your individual graduation headshot, you will receive information regarding the option of purchasing photos at that time.

Q: I’m graduating with honors. How do I get my honors cords?
A:  Students who qualify for recognition at the ceremony will be given their honors cords when they pick up their regalia.

Q: When and where is the Regalia Pick-Up?
A: Regalia pick-up is from 9:00-10:00am on Thursday, May 14th in the hallway on the first floor.

Q: How do I order announcements?
A: On the graduation portal, you will find information about ordering announcements through CB Graduation. You are also welcome to order from any company you choose.

Q: Does my family need tickets to attend graduation? Does it cost anything?
A: No. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis and it is free. There is no limit as to how many guests students may invite.

Q: What if someone in my family requires disability accommodations?
A: Please contact Erica Whatley at if one of your guests requires accommodation for the 2020 Commencement Ceremony. Please also state the nature of the accommodation (e.g. accessible seating).

Q: When should I arrive at the venue with my family? I want them to have a good seat.
A: The ceremony will begin right on time. Students should arrive 90 minutes before the ceremony. The theater doors will open promptly at 3:30pm and we recommend guests arrive no later than an hour before the start of the ceremony. All seating is first come, first served.

Q: Where do I park? Does it cost anything?
A: The Denver Performing Arts Center parking garage is located on Arapahoe and 13th Street and will cost $15.00.

Q: When will I receive my diploma?
A: Diplomas will be mailed out approximately a month after the ceremony.

Q: I want to order a diploma frame. What are the dimensions of the diploma?
A: For students in the DO Program, the correct size of diploma frames is 14” x 11” and for students in the MSBS Program, the correct size is 11” x 8.5”.

Q: Will the ceremony be recorded or streamed?
A: Yes, the ceremony will be streamed and also recorded. A copy of the recording will be emailed out to the students about a week or two after the ceremony. A link for streaming will be added to the website in May.

For Questions Regarding:


  • Graduation Information
    Erica Whatley, Assistant Director of Special Events and External Relations
    (720) 874-2407
  • Alumni Services or Information
    Julie Rosenthal, Vice President of Enrollment Management and External Relations
    (720) 875-2804
  • Graduation Announcements
    CB Grad
    (800) 433-0296
  • Merchandise and Orders
    Gina Marzulla, Marketing Coordinator
    (720) 874-2467