Palmer Proud Magazine

A Legacy Beyond Practice

Willard Smith, D.C. Has Helped Award More Than $60,000 in Scholarships Through His Fund

Willard Smith, D.C. (Main, ‘60)Like many chiropractors, Willard Smith, D.C. (Main, ‘60) was drawn to chiropractic after experiencing its healing powers firsthand. The Oklahoma native dealt with migraine headaches at a young age, and after a “few accidents along the way,” decided to seek help from his neighborhood chiropractor. He was 28 years old.

The care he received and the chiropractors he met piqued his interest in the chiropractic profession. Accompanied by wife, Marguerite, Dr. Smith made the trip to Davenport, Iowa, where he enrolled at Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1957. The rest, as they say, is 63 years of history.

Following his graduation, Dr. Smith set up shop in Rock Island, Illinois, but his chiropractic experience extends beyond the 55 years he spent in practice. There are his thirty-plus mission trips to countries like Ethiopia and Russia. Not to mention 40 years as a faculty member at Palmer, spending most of his time in technique classes.

But his greatest legacy may be the students who’ve benefited from Dr. Smith’s generosity. In 1974, Dr. Smith and Marguerite made their first gift to Palmer College and have continued to make gifts in 53 of the last 56 years. The last year missed was 1998, the year that Marguerite passed. That’s when Dr. Smith established the Marguerite E. Smith Memorial Endowed Scholarship for Christian Chiropractic Students to honor Marguerite, and support students who have a passion for chiropractic and share the Smith’s value of the Christian faith. Over the last 22 years, the fund has awarded more than $60,000 in scholarship support for students.

This December, Dr. Smith will turn 95 years old. And he will continue to give because he “wants to see the College progress and the students be successful.” His words of wisdom about alumni giving back? “If they can, they should. When you consider yourself successful, you should share that with others. When you recognize a need, you do what you can to help. That’s what a doctor does.”


“Thank you for leaving a legacy in honor of your wife and in support of Palmer students. It is easy to take it for granted, but your generosity and commitment to use what God blessed you with to help others, blessed me and inspires me. Thank you for investing in the future of chiropractic and trusting in me enough to invest in me. I will strive to provide a good return on your investment.” – Stephen Paxton, D.C. (Main, ’20)

“I am so grateful that Dr. Smith celebrates faith and academics by generously providing this scholarship. It has given me freedom to continue serving Christ outside of school, such as leading Palmer’s chapter of the Christian Chiropractic Association and serving weekly in my local church. I am blessed to have been named a recipient of this scholarship and hope I can give back in the same way Dr. Smith has in the future.” – Emylee Kamper, 8th trimester, Palmer Main Campus

Read More from Palmer Proud Fall 2020

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