Summer brings construction to the Davenport campus

Summer weather is here in the Quad Cities and that means construction is starting on the Davenport campus.

The koi fish were removed from the Clinic Garden ponds and taken to Niabi Zoo.

The koi fish were removed from the Clinic Garden ponds and taken to Niabi Zoo.

Our first step in preparing for renovations to the north end of the campus was to find new homes for the koi fish in the Clinic Garden ponds. We coordinated with staff at Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, Ill., to collect the larger fish for their ponds, and they retrieved about 500 fish. The remaining 300 or so smaller fish were collected and brought to farm ponds. Once the fish were re-homed we were able to prepare the ponds for the Clinic Garden renovation work to begin. We’ll be renovating the fountains and ponds and putting in new landscaping, but we’ll be sure to preserve the historic artifacts in this important greenspace.

Next we closed off the employee parking lot between the David D. Palmer Health Sciences Library and the Alumni Auditorium to begin preparing the space for construction, which started this week. We’ll be creating a new, north entrance to the campus with terraces, a tower with the Palmer crest on it and a new retaining wall and parking lot.

Artist rendering of the new running track in the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center.

Artist rendering of the new running track in the R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center.

Later this summer we’ll start work to completely renovate the Alumni Auditorium into the new R. Richard Bittner Athletic & Recreation Center, which includes the Paul and Donna VanDuyne Jogging Track. This modern facility will include enhanced aerobic and weight room facilities along with the second-floor track, and will be connected to B.J. Palmer Hall with an indoor walkway. While the Alumni Auditorium/Fitness Center is closed for renovations, we’ve partnered with the Scott County Family YMCA on a temporary membership agreement for our students and employees at deeply discounted rates.

I encourage you to visit the Davenport campus to see these changes in person. Homecoming is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with Palmer. Make plans for Homecoming in Davenport Aug. 11-13. I hope to see you there!

Reflecting and counting our blessings

The holidays are a great time for reflection, recharging your batteries, spending time with family and friends and counting your blessings.

One of my blessings is the team of talented, dedicated executives who are at my side each day leading Palmer College. Most days they do this humbly and without recognition, but every once in a while they get some recognition from the profession for their efforts.

Dr. Christine Goertz

Dr. Christine Goertz

Dr. Christine Goertz, our vice chancellor for research and health policy, was recently named Dynamic Chiropractic’s 2015 Person of the Year. Her response to this prestigious professional honor was to give credit to her team. “Any recognition I receive is only possible because I’m a part of the amazing team at Palmer,” she said. “Together, we truly are changing the world to make things better for doctors of chiropractic and the patients we serve.”

You can read more about Christine’s accomplishments in a feature article in Dynamic Chiropractic’s Dec. 15 issue. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor. Congratulations!


The momentum is building

What a year it’s been at Palmer! Momentum is building on so many fronts – from enrollment to NBCE board scores to alumni involvement and facility enhancements. I want to use this blog to let you in on our progress. My hope is that you’ll check in on our projects regularly and feel part of our momentum.

I just finished a series of employee meetings on the Davenport campus. It was exciting for me to see our fantastic employees see the reported results on our enrollment trending up on all three campuses, about the important research with the Gallup organization and its key findings, about our incredibly high ranking for educational value in the April 2015 Brookings Institution report, about our CareerNetwork job postings for graduates … I could go on and on about the many positives, many of which are captured in our Annual Report and Insights. I’m so proud of our progress and of the people who make it possible.

Of course, it is not just our employees who move us forward, but our fantastic alumni! I was pleased to share the results of a survey of our alumni who’ve been in practice 15 years. An amazing 78 percent of them would choose chiropractic again (much higher than what is reported in other professions) and 77 percent of them would choose Palmer again. Ninety-one percent consider themselves “successful.” And so many alumni are ensuring the future success of Palmer and the chiropractic profession by referring students to Palmer. Thank you for your efforts in student recruitment, college support and service.

Finally, I want to let you know about our upcoming capital campaign to enhance facilities and the learning experience on the Davenport campus. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and I’ve included some architectural drawings of some of our plans. We’re in the “silent phase” of the campaign, and our plans include completely renovating the Alumni Auditorium/Fitness Center into a state-of-the-art athletic and recreation complex, complete with a running track and two-level free-weight area surrounded by windows. The northwest corner of campus also will be beautified with a terraced wall, trees, a monument and a walkway.

recreation facility plans

Architectural rendering of the north end of campus showing the campus recreation facility in the background.


The inside of the recreation facility in an architectural rendering.

I can’t wait for all of this to begin. We hope to break ground on the recreation facility next spring and that’s only the start. It’s truly an exciting time to be at Palmer, and I look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.