Palmer College of Chiropractic is rooted in history but focused on the future, Chancellor and CEO Dennis Marchiori said Thursday in an address to students and alumni as part of the school’s 125th anniversary this week.
“We should use the past as clues and inspiration, not as a blueprint,” he said. “As we look for a chance to create more authentic blueprints moving forward, we’ve got to make sure we stay in touch with our roots in the context of what we need.”
Marchiori shared a photograph of the Palmer family from 1890, five years before Daniel David “D.D.” Palmer discovered chiropractic.
“Did he have any sense that he would impact tens of millions of lives, if not more?” Marchiori asked. “Folks before us made tremendous sacrifices; there are almost 100 documented cases of chiropractors being jailed.”
Mabel Palmer, married to D.D.’s son Bartlett Joshua “B.J.” Palmer, is known as the “First Lady of Chiropractic,” and was a strong women’s rights advocate. Palmer’s student population is now 47% female.
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Marchiori thanked the continued efforts of the Palmer family toward the college’s development, saying that the college’s finances have “never been better.”
“Looking forward, we have some big challenges. We have a responsibility to be courageous and create the kind of workplaces and practices that we know is possible to our fullest potential,” Marchiori said. “At the same time, let’s center ourselves on what we’re about. We came into this profession to help others, and we’ll continue that through our science, art and philosophy. That’s how we do it … our hands are driven by our heads, hearts, passion and the culture we all share.”
He mentioned recent facility improvements, such as the new anatomy labs featuring upgraded technology. Marchiori also noted the continued progress of a new student housing complex under construction on the east side of campus near Perry Street and Palmer Drive.
“We’re thrilled to bring this new asset to campus, with high-grade amenities, allowing students to live and learn this close to campus,” Marchiori said.
Dr. Ron Varth is a 1971 Palmer graduate. Though now a retired chiropractor, he traveled from Witchita, Kan., to attend Palmer’s homecoming festivities.
“Palmer is different from other colleges I’ve graduated from,” he said. “Coming back, it’s just the attraction of being together with your fellow chiropractors.”
Marchiori touched on this point during his address.
“Palmer is connected; Palmer graduates understand that they have a life cycle with us,” he said. “They do not walk across the stage never to be heard or seen from again. They connect their energies and talents to make the next generation have a greater advantage.”
Varth said his biggest takeaway from the annual address was Marchiori’s “positive, forward-thinking outlook on the future of chiropractic.”
Palmer’s formal 125th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday evening at the RiverCenter will conclude the college’s homecoming events. The cost for the event is $75.
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