West Campus

West Campus reaches 30-year anniversary

New building signage was installed on the eve of the 30-year anniversary of the West Campus.
West Campus front entrance exterior

September 18, 2010, marked a milestone moment in the history of Palmer’s West Campus—the 30-year anniversary of becoming Palmer College of Chiropractic’s branch campus in California.

The anniversary was recognized in special ceremonies on campus, and at this year’s West Campus Homecoming. In addition, an updated history display was introduced, with new images and information of the past five years.

Founded in 1978 as Northern California College of Chiropractic (NCCC), on Sept. 18, 1980, it was located in a former junior high school campus in Sunnyvale and was renamed Palmer College of Chiropractic West. Its first commencement ceremony graduated 37 students on Sept. 19, 1981.

With enrollment climbing, in 1989 the West Campus expanded to a second former junior high school campus in Santa Clara. The timing of the move is memorable because it barely preceded the 7.1 Loma Prieta earthquake in the Bay Area and around the time the West Campus was host to the World Congress of Chiropractic Students.

In 1993, the West Campus consolidated its two-campus structure and moved to its current home, in San Jose, where the College has played an active role in the community with such civic organizations as the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the San Jose Chamber of Commerce.

“I was a student at Palmer’s West Campus 30 years ago, and I find it simply hard to believe that three decades have passed so quickly,” says West Campus President Bill Meeker, D.C., M.P.H., a 1982 West Campus alumnus. “From humble beginnings, Palmer’s West Campus graduates have made a major difference, and they will continue to make the difference as the profession moves into the future.”

Paul Peterson, D.C., Davenport ’67, was a founding member of the Palmer West Board of Trustees and continues to serve as a Palmer College Board member. “I’ve been associated with this campus since the beginning, so when you see the campus reach its 30-year anniversary, you feel much like a proud parent,” he says.

“Through the years, the students on the West Campus have built a strong reputation for the school through its involvement and leadership in various areas, such as its Sports Council, research, and political associations, and this spirit of leadership and involvement has carried over with many of its graduates.”

Says Judith Thurber, D.C., the president of the first Palmer West Alumni Association and a 1981 graduate, “When we planted the seed as NCCC, we did so with the hope that the seed would take root, and those who would follow would continue to cultivate this dream and vision of building the premier chiropractic college with the same degree of love, spirit and commitment.”

The result of this dedication can be witnessed throughout the world. Palmer’s West Campus has now graduated more than 4,000 doctors who practice in more than 30 countries.

West Campus Professor Arlene Luckock, D.C., whose association with the institution dates back to October of 1979, looks back wistfully at those early days. “When we became Palmer West in 1980, I remember crying at our first graduation; I was so amazed that we had actually come to that point,” she says.

“I thought I was getting ‘hi-tech’ when I went from writing on the chalkboard, to using an overhead projector. Now, I have even figured out PowerPoint. What will the next thirty years bring to the West Campus? One can only imagine.”

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