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alumni news

Dream Becomes Reality

The founding of Palmer’s Port Orange campus

Dr. Hether at the site of Palmer’s Port Orange campus in 2002.Dr. Hether in front of the Port Orange campus in 2014.

“Kathe, I’m going to open up a chiropractic college right here in Port Orange,” James Hether, D.C., Davenport ’75, said to his wife in 1998. Each time the Hethers would drive through City Center in Port Orange, Dr. Hether would dream his dream aloud to his wife.

“I can see students sitting on these park benches studying for classes. Everything for them to enjoy is right here! They can use the gym, the YMCA and the library. I can see them jogging around the lake and walking with their children. This place is perfect …. ”

Then on Feb. 2, 1999, one of Dr. Hether’s patients, a City Council member in Port Orange, mentioned to him that Port Orange Mayor Allen Green was interested in adding a college to the developing community of Port Orange. The time was now and what was needed was an accredited college like Palmer College of Chiropractic.

In a flash of phone calls, memos and newspaper reports, the seeds for what would grow to become Palmer’s Port Orange campus were planted. Over the next few years, contingents of interested parties from Davenport and Port Orange made several trips between Palmer’s Davenport campus and Palmer’s future home in Florida.

Four years of dreaming and hard work culminated in an agreement between Palmer College of Chiropractic and the City of Port Orange to build Palmer’s Port Orange campus on the very site that Dr. Hether envisioned.

On Feb. 8, 2002, Dr. Hether’s dream became a reality as he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with representatives from Palmer College, including then chairperson of Palmer’s Board of Trustees, Vickie Palmer, and members of the Port Orange City Council.

“Dreams and prayers do come true,” Dr. Hether says. “Dreams, followed by actions. That’s the formula for success!”

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