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Palmer College Celebrates Completion of Historic Fundraising Campaign, Announcing $30.2M in Donations

Photo of Palmer College fountains at night.

Palmer College Celebrates Completion of Historic Fundraising Campaign, Announcing $30.2M in Donations

More than half of the donors were first-time contributors to the college. 

Alumni and friends of Palmer College of Chiropractic have donated $30.2 million to the College’s “Daring and Driven” capital, scholarship, and endowment campaign, surpassing the originally announced $25 million goal by more than 20 percent.

The campaign—the largest ever undertaken by a chiropractic college in history—officially concluded on Sept. 1, 2023.

The campaign total was announced during Homecoming festivities at the College’s Main Campus in Davenport, Iowa, on September 15, 2023.

“When we started this fundraising campaign in support of Palmer College’s vision for a world of unlimited health and human potential, we knew we would need to rally the Palmer nation to support the college like never before,” said Barbara Melbourne, J.D., vice chancellor for institutional advancement. “This campaign engaged alumni that span decades and generations, including hundreds of recent alumni and even current students.”

A total of 2,200 alumni and friends of the College made contributions. “Of that total, more than 1,150 donors, when asked to participate, found joy in making a gift to the college for the first time,” she added.

“This is history,” Dr. Marchiori said. “And the total dollars raised represents so much more than just a number. This unprecedented swell of support from alumni and friends demonstrates their belief that we offer the very best chiropractic education in the world today, as well as a commitment to ensuring we will always do so. We are deeply grateful for their participation in this campaign.”

This milestone in Palmer College history comes during a period of record-breaking enrollment growth on Palmer’s campuses in Davenport and Port Orange, Florida. Over the past five years, major investments in academic and recreational spaces and technology have enhanced the student experience in ways never seen at other chiropractic colleges.

In total, eight new capital projects were completed, and $12.5 million was added to grow the College’s endowment and student opportunity scholarship program.

Lead gifts to the campaign included a $5 million gift from Bechtel Trusts; a $4 million gift from a Florida couple who wish to remain anonymous; and a $3.3 million gift from William Kiernan, D.C., and his late wife, Mary. George Blackwood, D.C.; Bruce Hagen, D.C., and his wife Bethel; Paul Hetrick, D.C.; Charles Keller, D.C.; and Paul and Donna VanDuyne, D.C.s, all made gifts of $1 million or more.

“This milestone in Palmer College’s storied history will have a ripple effect on Palmer students, the college, and the profession for decades to come.” Marchiori added. “This is also just the start. We know that there is more work to do to rally our graduates and friends together to help Palmer reach new heights as we educate the very best chiropractors in the world.”

About Palmer College and the “Daring and Driven” campaign

Palmer College of Chiropractic is the first and largest chiropractic college in the world. Its Main Campus is in Davenport, Iowa. Its branch campuses are in Port Orange, Florida and San Jose, California. The College’s “Daring and Driven: The Campaign for Palmer College” was the largest campaign ever undertaken by a chiropractic college in history. Contributions from the campaign supported building, scholarship, and endowment projects that promote learning innovation, student success, and an unmatched educational experience.    

The campaign results by the numbers:

  • Total dollars raised: $30.2 million 
  • Total donors to the campaign: 2,200 
  • Total new donors to Palmer College: 1,168
  • Total donors who graduated in the past 10 years: 201
  • Total number of new buildings built or renovated: 8
    • David D. Palmer Learning Commons (Davenport)
    • William J. & Mary A. Kiernan Hall – Anatomy & Technique Center (Davenport)
    • Paul & Donna VanDuyne Hall (Davenport)
    • Charles & Hildegarde Keller Terrace (Davenport)
    • Bruce & Bethel Hagen Student Union (Davenport)
    • Trevor V. Ireland Student Clinic (Davenport)
    • Palmer College of Chiropractic—Florida Fourth Building (Port Orange)
    • NCMIC Center for Business Development (Davenport)
  • Total number of classrooms added: 25

View more details about recent campus enhancements.