On a crisp, sunny October morning in 2018, 11 Palmer alumni reunited. The group, spearheaded by Sam Pinkerton, D.C. (Main, ’80), met to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their monumental National Collegiate Rugby Championship. Members of Palmer’s 1978 rugby team came from as close as Washington, Iowa and as far away as South Africa and Australia to reminisce and reconnect.
"Palmer’s growth in facilities and the services they offer students and alumni was astounding. The R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center alone left us speechless," said Dr. Pinkerton.
David D. Palmer, D.C., brought rugby to Palmer College in 1960 to gain recognition for the College on a national level by capitalizing on growing interest in the sport.
Make plans to join us! Palmer will celebrate the 60th anniversary of rugby at the College during the spring Sports & Chiropractic Symposium in April of 2020.
Main-campus student and current women’s rugby team member, Chelsea Brunner (class of 2019) led the group on a campus tour, and students from the women’s and men’s rugby teams joined the alumni for lunch in the campus café. "It was fascinating hearing them share stories about what has changed while seeing them interact with the updated campus," said Chelsea. "One thing that hadn’t changed was their love for Palmer and their love for their rugby brothers."
Ms. Vickie Palmer joined the group for a private reception in the afternoon and relayed stories of her father’s passion for rugby and her thanks to the alumni for celebrating the legacy of the sport. During the reception, Mark Boylan, D.C. (Main, ’78), formally announced his commitment to give $25,000 to Palmer College to support construction of a new athletic field, which will allow rugby and other club sports to have a beautiful on-campus green space that will be used throughout the school year.
Dr. Pinkerton says journeying back to campus was an unforgettable experience. "I encourage all alumni to make the pilgrimage back to the Fountainhead to establish a link to the present and future. Alumni are the lifeblood of Palmer – a symbiotic relationship through our support and the referral of students to ensure the future of our profession."
FROM LEFT: Main Campus alumni Doug Vickers (’79), Paul Stick (’80), Ed Burdock (’95), Sam Pinkerton (’79), John Hansen (’80), Vickie Palmer (Hon.), Jim Kinsey (’79), Mark Boylan (’78), John Thompson (’78), Bill Matijasic (’79), Gerry Provance (’80), George Shoemaker (’80)