In his presentation, Palmer Chancellor Dennis Marchiori, D.C.,
Ph.D., noted that asking people on three campuses, “What
would you do if you were chancellor?” gave him a “deeper
appreciation for our community.”
In his Aug. 14 closing session message to alumni and other
Palmer Homecoming attendees, Chancellor Dennis Marchiori,
D.C., Ph.D., Davenport ’90, outlined the need to leverage the
full Palmer community in support of the College’s mission.
During the past nine months, Dr. Marchiori held listening sessions
with small groups of students, faculty and staff on all
three of Palmer’s campuses. He met with the Board of Trustees
and talked to as many alumni, civic leaders and members of the
community as he could find. Although he has spent more than
20 years with the College, Dr. Marchiori found these sessions to
be enlightening and of significant value.
“I’ve gained an even deeper appreciation for those who make
up our Palmer community and their diversity of thought,” he
said. “I also experienced a common bond, a love for Palmer,
and shared hopes and dreams that the College can advance its
past trajectory of success toward even a brighter future.”
Dr. Marchiori also recognizes the many differences in thoughts,
talents, genders, ethnicity, geography and roles that exist at
“When it comes to building the Palmer community, I believe we
win through addition, not subtraction; by being inclusive, not
exclusive,” he said. “It’s clear that Palmer is many things to
many people. But here is the tough part; I believe that Palmer
cannot be everything to everyone. Our diversity is a strength,
but only to the degree that we, as a diverse community, can
focus on common goals.”
The Chancellor pointed out that everyone must be focused and
engaged in order to leverage the power of the full Palmer community.
That engagement, he clarified, is needed from everyone
with the focus being the College’s mission of student learning
and patient care, while advancing our work through research.
“We don’t need a series of brainstorming sessions to uncover
Palmer’s mission and focus,” he said. “Our focus was established
in 1897 when D.D. Palmer placed the word ‘school’ behind his
name; thereby committing this organization to the primary
focus of student learning.”
To illustrate the student-centered theme of his presentation, Dr.
Marchiori showed multiple video clips of individuals along the
milestones of their journey to, through and after Palmer College.
The compelling video messages shared with the audience illustrated
how Palmer impacted the lives of students and practitioners at
various stages of their educational and professional careers. Their
comments ranged from new students talking about Palmer providing
a “life-changing opportunity” to late-career practitioners, like
Don Casteel, D.C., Davenport ’51, talking about “renewal of the
cycle” through the generations of his family who have decided
to become chiropractors. The video segments concluded with
Lorene Price Davenport, D.C., ’36, emphasizing the “feeling of
family” that alumni have when they come back to Palmer.
Dr. Marchiori encouraged everyone in the Palmer community to
join him in advancing the College mission and helping students
through the milestones he illustrated. He invited everyone to
“get in the boat, grab an oar, start rowing and help us out.”
He advanced his metaphor by saying, “if you don’t like the
person you are sitting next to, move to another seat. It is a big
boat. You must know you’re better off in our boat than in the
water or in another boat.”
In the end, it comes down to creating solid connections
between Palmer and its graduates, and from alumni back
to their alma mater.
“Unfortunately, there is a big barrier between our current students
and alumni in practice,” he noted. “We can’t have that. We must
strengthen those connections. We can provide research and
continuing education opportunities. In return, we need alumni
engagement, information about the realities of practice, gifts
and student referrals. Palmer is better with involved alumni.”
Dr. Marchiori then recognized Palmer’s dominant market share
within chiropractic education.
“This is already a successful organization and I want to take it
to the next level,” he said. “Even though Palmer has nearly 25
percent of the market, I’d like to see every prospective chiropractic
student apply to Palmer first, before any other college. Keep
in mind that we do not intend to accommodate all of these
applicants, only the best. We’re only interested in selecting the
high-impact students who develop into high-impact practitioners.
The profession needs practitioners who have the philosophy,
science and art that Palmer uniquely provides.”