Robert J. Kromer, D.O., FACOFP, '52
2008 Alumnus of the Year
Long before receiving the 2008 Kirksville Osteopathic Alumni Association (KOAA) Alumnus of the Year award, Robert J. Kromer, D.O., FACOFP, ’52, of Longboat Key, Fla., was just a college student hitching a ride to Sandusky, Ohio, with a stranger. That ride, recalls Dr. Kromer, was a journey that changed the course of his life, because that stranger was 1917 KCOM alumnus, Lester R. Mylander, D.O.
Dr. Mylander enthusiastically shared the osteopathic profession and principles with the young student, who had recently been discouraged by his pre-med advisor. “Son, you are never going to be a doctor,” said his advisor, who based his assessment on the fact that Kromer was not wealthy and had not come from a family of physicians.
Inspired by his new friend, the student rededicated himself to his dream of becoming a physician and graduated from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) in 1952. Dr. Kromer retired after 41 years in general practice and moved to Florida.
A phenomenal lifetime advocate of KCOM, Dr. Kromer is supportive not only with his financial gifts, but also his time and talents. From 1977-83 he served on the ATSU Board of Trustees and on several occasions assisted in the identification and cultivation of significant donors. Dr. Kromer was especially instrumental in the cultivation of Ohio philanthropist George Mylander, Ph.D. (Hon), Dr. Mylander’s son, for a major gift to the Connell Information Technologies Center. Dr. Kromer completed his own significant gift in 2005, naming the Connell Center’s Mylander-Kromer Courtyard Garden. Dr. Kromer’s gifts have supported the KOAA Education Program Fund, Alumnus of the Year, and the Museum Endowment. He has also supported the National Center for Osteopathic Research and the Mylander Student Loan Fund. In 2001, he was one of a small number of financial supporters to help in acquiring “Unloading the Banana Boat,” an impressionist oil painting, for the Still National Osteopathic Museum. The painting was part of the personal collection of George A. Still, M.D., D.O., who purchased it in 1918.
Purpose of Award
The KOAA Board of Directors established the Alumnus of the Year Award in 1982 to recognize and honor KCOM graduates who have made outstanding contributions to KCOM and the osteopathic profession.
The award provides the opportunity for fellow alumni, colleagues, patients, students, and friends of the recipient to honor the Alumnus of the Year and support KCOM's education program.
Please contact Alumni Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.