In his inaugural speech, Dr. Marchiori stated that Palmer
College’s mission is dedicated to student learning and
patient health, and supported by research.
March 11, 2010, marked the inauguration of Dennis Marchiori, D.C., Davenport
’90, Ph.D., as the fourth chancellor of Palmer College of Chiropractic.
Hundreds of faculty, staff, students, alumni and guests witnessed this historic
event in Lyceum Auditorium in Vickie Anne Palmer Hall.
The three Palmer campus presidents were present, as well as presidents
and representatives from fellow chiropractic and undergraduate colleges.
Distinguished delegates included Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba, Davenport
Third Ward Alderman William Boom, Pete De Kock (representing Iowa
United States Congressman Bruce Braley), and Executive Director of the
Iowa Chiropractic Society Daniel Garrett.
Chairman of the Palmer College of Chiropractic Board of Trustees Trevor
Ireland, D.C., Davenport ’70, spoke of how he has known Dr. Marchiori
since Dr. Marchiori was a student. “I’ve great respect and admiration for
our new chancellor. He listens, he learns, and he leads.”
Board Trustee, and great granddaughter of D.D. Palmer, Vickie Anne
Palmer said, “With his Doctorate of Higher Education, Dr. Marchiori
bridges both chiropractic and higher education. He knows Palmer’s
strengths and ways to make it better. I am so proud to see you advance
in the vision of the College.”
Speakers also included Davenport Campus President Donald Kern, D.C.,
Davenport, ’58; West Campus President William Meeker, D.C., West ’82;
Florida Campus President Peter Martin, D.C., Davenport ’68; Davenport
Mayor Bill Gluba; Association of Chiropractic Colleges President Frank
Nicchi, D.C.; Palmer Alumni Advisory Council representative Jeff Gehlsen,
D.C., Davenport, ’85, who spoke on behalf of the alumni; faculty clinician
and AHC Assistant Director Ron Boesch, D.C., Davenport, ’91, on behalf of
the Palmer faculty; and 2009 Outstanding Davenport Campus Staff of the
Year Laura Martin, on behalf of the Palmer staff.
Said Dr. Gehlsen, “We’ve all benefited from the vision that the Palmer family
advanced. Dr. Marchiori, I know that your vision for Palmer will be one
that unifies. I’m confident that under your leadership,
we will all advance the purpose of Palmer
After the speeches, Dr. Marchiori took the oath of
office for chancellor, administered by Dr. Ireland.
Then Dr. Marchiori shared his message.
He opened by noting how honored he was by the
tributes paid to him, but said that the day’s ceremony
was about more than him becoming chancellor.
“We are all here as a college community to celebrate
our past, live in our present, and prepare for the
future,” he said.
Dr. Marchiori also stated that Palmer’s mission is
essentially about students, patients and research. “It’s
essential to improve education and health care …
care that does not focus on the chiropracTOR but
on the benefits of chiropracTIC to society.” He added,
“we need to instill in our students a norm of commitment
to their alma mater and invite all of our alumni
to join our efforts at the College whenever possible.”
The “Sacred Trust”
Excerpts from Dr. Marchiori’s inauguration speech
In his inauguration speech, Palmer’s new chancellor,
Dr. Dennis Marchiori, reminded those gathered in Vickie
Anne Palmer Hall for the occasion that, “The words of B.J.
Palmer continue to remind us that our leadership … our
membership in this College, is a ‘sacred trust’ that we need
to guard well.”
Certainly Dr. Marchiori does not take the mantle of leadership
lightly. Having spent 20 years at Palmer College, from
his days as a student, to a faculty member, to a renowned
textbook author and trusted administrator, he knows the
institution inside and out, and he understands the opportunities
and challenges of leading it.
“Palmer College is comprised of individuals and groups, of
diverse perspectives, various needs and assorted contributions,”
Dr. Marchiori remarked. “At the intersection of our
individual strengths and commitment, we find our College
mission. Succinctly stated, Palmer’s mission combines student
learning and patient health, advancing both through research.
This is the Palmer mission that connects us all—a dedication
to students, patients and research.”
Focusing on high-quality, patient-centered care provided
through the Palmer Academic Health Center and all of our
clinics, is an important component of Palmer’s mission,
Dr. Marchiori continued. “As chiropractors, we have helped
create a world where comfort and quality of life are integral
within health care, where the chiropractic philosophies of
conservatism and vitalism are broadly endorsed.”
Education, patient care and research are complementary,
Dr. Marchiori added. “Research is essential for improving
our education and our healthcare mission. Let’s continue
to advance our research efforts to better inform our mission
of education and patient care.”
“As chancellor, I will facilitate and pace our advancement,”
Dr. Marchiori promised. “My vision for Palmer is still
evolving. And of course, any successful vision must come
from the entire College community, not just me. As our
collaborative vision for the College continues to develop,
I’d like to share a few of my dreams for Palmer.”
Four dreams for Palmer
The first of Dr. Marchiori’s dreams is that Palmer fully
embraces the traits of a successful college and advances
the legacies of the Palmers, specifically the work of Dr. David
Palmer in this direction. Palmer needs to provide its students
with life-long learning capabilities, critical thinking skills, as
well as communication and social skills, he said.
Recognizing that the lack of a clear identity for chiropractic
confuses the public, he noted that “we must define ourselves
internally and externally in terms that are clear and credible.”
His second dream is that Palmer remains a place of great
opportunity, where each individual—whether students or
employees—can realize his or her highest potential. “Our
collective work is transactional, but our result is transformational,”
Dr. Marchiori’s third dream is that everyone at Palmer
embraces the value of College service. “The vitalistic paradigm
that we chiropractors live by, ‘above, down, inside,
out,’ might well also be a mantra for us characterizing how
we participate in our College community—that is by giving,
The fourth dream is that Palmer commit, even more deeply,
to being a stable, predictable and accountable organization.
Palmer must be a good steward of its resources, both human
and capital, he said. “We will be accountable to outcomes,
use data to inform our decisions, adopt best practices and
assess the associated risks and benefits of our actions.”
But in the end, grand dreams and forward-looking visions
are inadequate to ensure success. Every successful institution
must be willing and able to translate its dreams into action.
“Dreams and visions are not enough,” Dr. Marchiori concluded.
“We must act.”
Florida Campus President Dr. Martin,
Davenport Campus President Dr. Kern and
West Campus President Dr. Meeker
DONALD KERN, D.C., Davenport ’58
Dr. Kern first met Dr. Marchiori when the new chancellor joined the Davenport Campus faculty. “My first impressions
of him were that he was intelligent, enthusiastic, professional and articulate,” he says.
“Then, when I was president of the Davenport Campus in 1992, he presented a poster at the World Federation of Chiropractic
Congress in London,” he recalls. “It was an excellent presentation and an indication of his interest in research.”
Dr. Kern adds, “Dr. Marchiori has a passion for excellence, is evidence based-driven and maintains a collaborative
management philosophy. I believe he will be very good for Palmer in his new position.”
BILL MEEKER, D.C., West ’82, M.P.H.
It was in July of 1995, when Dr. Marchiori became a faculty member at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic
Research (PCCR), where Dr. Meeker was its director. From his days as a colleague, Dr. Meeker has been impressed
with Dr. Marchiori’s work ethic.
“He not only says but also practices what he preaches,” he says. “He seeks expert opinion, listens very carefully and
attempts to arrive at consensus conclusions that the team can support. This makes him an outstanding leader.”
Dr. Meeker also recalls fondly the personal side of Dr. Marchiori that others may not be aware of. “I have had many
memorable moments with Denny, and laughing out of control has been a part of most of them,” he says. “He could
be a standup comic. Folks should know that he has a great sense of humor and a great wit.”
PETER MARTIN, D.C., Davenport ’68
Dr. Martin is particularly impressed with Dr. Marchiori’s background, not just in chiropractic but at Palmer. “Dr. Marchiori
first and foremost is a product of Palmer and he will bring that perspective to his leadership of the College,” he says.
Dr. Marchiori’s leadership qualities first became apparent to Dr. Martin during the early 1990s when Dr. Martin was
president of the West Campus and Dr. Marchiori was a faculty member in the Davenport Campus Radiology Department.
Recalls Dr. Martin, “I thought he was very intelligent and would go far, and he certainly didn’t disappoint me.”
For the Florida Campus president, his support of Dr Marchiori is very tangible. “In 2005 at a Board of Trustees meeting
he presented a copy of his book on radiology to all in attendance, which I still have on my desk to this day,” he says.
Speaking of Dr. Marchiori...
Randy McCall, D.C., Davenport ’77, Reynoldsville
Chiropractic Life Center, Reynoldsville, Pa.
While Dr. Marchiori was attending Penn State, Dr. McCall
was his chiropractor.
He is a thinker, progressive learner, and genuinely loves what
he does and the people he works with. I think he looks at
Palmer as home and treats it as such.
Dr. Marchiori answers follow-up questions after a presentation
on radiology during the 1998 Davenport Campus Homecoming.
Ian McLean, D.C., Davenport ’79, Diplomate of
the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology
He was Dr. Marchiori’s instructor during his radiology residency
His textbook “Clinical Imaging: With Skeletal, Chest, And
Abdomen Pattern Differentials,” is widely used in chiropractic
education. It is unique in that it is the only text of its kind
covering the entire range of radiology topics expected of a
graduate chiropractor, inclusive of musculoskeletal, chest
and abdominal imaging.
Cyndy Long, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Office of Data
Management and Biostatistics, Palmer Center for
Chiropractic Research, Davenport Campus
While interviewing Dr. Long for a research position, Dr. Marchiori
mentioned he was using some sophisticated statistical methods for
the first time to analyze data for a research article he was writing,
but was not clear on what the results were indicating.
I suggested we look at some graphics to give us insight and
we spent the rest of the interview inspecting all of the graphics
he hung on the viewboxes in his office. That positive first
interaction with Dr. Marchiori played largely on my decision
to join the research faculty.
Colleen Fier, Academic Affairs Administrative Assistant
Ms. Fier worked with Dr. Marchiori while he was Vice
President for Academic Affairs and Vice Chancellor for
When I would help Dr. Marchiori proctor an exam he would
mention to his students that although I may look mild mannered,
my son was a Blackhawk helicopter pilot and that I
would not be afraid to take them down if they were caught
looking around. It always made his students laugh and I would
just stand there and pray that no one would make a move.
Vashtie Ryan, Administrative Assistant to the Dean
of Academic Affairs
Ms. Ryan worked with Dr. Marchiori when he held the position
of Dean of Academic Affairs.
One thing is for sure, he definitely has a way of making you
feel “equal.” I remember when being offered the position to
assist him, he stressed that he wasn’t looking for someone to
work “for him” but with him…his colleague. Now how about
Robert Percuoco, D.C., Davenport ’83, Vice Chancellor
Drs. Marchiori and Percuoco have
worked together in various capacities
since the early 1990s.
Dr. Percuoco has been Dr. Marchiori’s professor, supervisor
and administrative colleague.
Dr. Marchiori has an
of the workings of our
institution from the
student, faculty, and
He is absolutely the
right person for this job.
On a side note:
Try as he might, using
the exact same recipe and
ingredients, Dr. Marchiori
cannot match the quality
of my pizza!