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spinal column

Thoughts from a longtime supporter— past and present

Eugene Hirsch, D.C., Davenport ’66, Mt. Kisco, N.Y.
Dr. Eugene Hirsch

Let me get right to the point. I graduated from Palmer College in the fall of 1966 and began practicing in the spring of 1967.

The newspaper notice of my office opening was written to emphasize my education at the oldest, largest and finest chiropractic college in the world. Even though my hometown was a thousand miles from Davenport, I immediately began treating people who recognized the Palmer name.

As my early years in practice progressed I quickly developed a strong sense of affiliation with the College and began attending annual Homecomings. From 1970 to 2004 I missed only two times—once for my 10th wedding anniversary and once when my mother-in-law passed away the morning I was to leave for Iowa.

I joined the Palmer College of Chiropractic International Alumni Association (PCCIAA) first as a regular dues paying member, then as a state officer and finally as Northeast Regional Director.

I thoroughly enjoyed the “Mid-year meetings” in March followed by the Homecoming meetings in August. The comradery experienced both from my Alumni Association membership and interactions with students, faculty and administration made me feel that each visit to the Palmer campus was like coming home!

A serious rift between the Palmer Board of Trustees and the PCCIAA came to a head in 2004. By the spring of 2005, the organization was no longer welcomed on campus. The anger between the two groups made me wonder who was right and who was wrong. Strong voices from within both the Board of Trustees of the College and the association board seemed to widen the gulf to the point of no return. I decided to side with the association and stopped attending Homecoming and supporting the College.

That was two and a half years ago. In the spring of 2007 I felt a desire to rekindle my relationship with the College. My very good friend and chiropractic mentor, Dr. Charles Keller, spoke with me many times about what was occurring on campus. His position as a member of the Board of Trustees and the fact that I’ve known him for the 40 years I’ve been in practice lent great credibility to his comments.

I listened to Dr. Keller and began reading this magazine. By late spring I received the 2007 Homecoming registration packet. After a great deal of introspection I decided I’d like to experience firsthand the changes that had taken place since I was last on the Davenport Campus.

Once on campus I was blown away by the warmth and sincerity of the College’s employees. I purposely interacted with students the entire weekend and sensed their commitment to becoming Palmer graduates. I toured the brand new Academic Health Center and it was then that I felt I had done the right thing by returning.

There is a large number of alumni who were members of the PCCIAA. Except for a few, I think the overwhelming number of alumni who stopped supporting the College still harbor a genuine sense of closeness to Palmer College. I want this letter to serve as a wakeup call to those men and women doctors who have stayed away since 2005. It is definitely time to return home. Our College needs us and wants us back.

Let’s put the recent past behind. Join with Dr. Mickey Burt, our new alumni association director, and get involved again with our alma mater. The Alumni and Development staff at the College, in particular Lois Kundel and Lisa Walden, are some of the nicest and most ardent supporters of the oldest, largest and finest chiropractic college in the world.

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