POMONA, Calif. – Western University of Health Sciences will be honored by the Pomona Chamber of Commerce for the "pride in ownership" the University takes in its campus downtown.

WesternU will receive the 2008 Image Award on June 25, during the Chamber’s 121st Annual Awards and Installation Dinner at the Avalon at Fairplex.

The Image Award annually goes to a business or organization that continually demonstrates pride in ownership by maintaining itself in a positive manner. The chamber’s Board of Directors votes for members who have made a lasting impact on the community; the award recipient is chosen from the top three or four nominees.

WesternU opened in 1977 as the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in a single building on Pomona’s former pedestrian shopping mall, and welcomed its first class of 36 students a year later. Thirty-two years on, the University’s nine colleges, 2,600 students and nearly 600 employees are on a 22-acre downtown campus, as well as at medical clinics in Pomona and Rancho Cucamonga. Ground also is being broken on a COMP satellite campus near Corvallis, Oregon, that will open in 2011.

WesternU has transformed the abandoned pedestrian shopping mall into an esplanade running the length of the campus, has remodeled several landmark Pomona buildings into educational centers, and is nearing completion of a $100-million expansion project that includes a Patient Care Center, Health Education Center, Veterinary Pathology Center, remodeled home for the Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions, and a 600-space parking garage.