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Former Palmer College graduate donates $1M to alma matter to support students

A former graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic has committed $1 million to his alma matter...
A former graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic has committed $1 million to his alma matter in a support of its students. In a release on Friday, school officials say, Charles Keller, a 1955 graduate of Palmer College, donated the money to support the students. The gift supports current projects underway at the leading chiropractic college in the world.(kwqc, palmer college)
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 3:35 PM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - A former graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic has committed $1 million to his alma matter in a support of its students.

In a release on Friday, school officials say, Charles Keller, a 1955 graduate of Palmer College, donated the money to support the students. The gift supports current projects underway at the leading chiropractic college in the world.

“This is an extraordinary gift from an extraordinary person,” Chancellor and CEO of Palmer College Dennis Marchiori said. “Throughout his life, Dr. Keller has given to both Palmer and the profession through his time, talent, and treasure. Future generations will know Dr. Keller’s name, and the compassion with which he treated each patient—and person—he came across.”

You can read more from the release below.

“Dr. Keller has found a unique, thoughtful way to make this legacy gift, allowing him to witness his philanthropy’s impact now and support the College in the future. Inspired by the College’s vision for the future and the daring capital projects currently underway at both Palmer’s main campus in Davenport, Iowa, and Palmer Florida in Port Orange, Florida, he has made a $500,000 cash gift. The remainder of the commitment will support the College through an estate gift.

The gift supports capital improvement projects of the College. The Charles J. Keller Terrace will be named in recognition of Dr. Keller’s generosity.

Born in the New York City borough of the Bronx, Dr. Keller was first introduced to chiropractic by a German doctor practicing in New York City. She had a dramatic impact on his mother’s health and wellbeing, which spurred an interest in the young New Yorker “to trade the skyscrapers of New York City for the cornfields of Iowa,” Dr. Keller recalled. “When that woman recommended that I go to Iowa, I said, ‘What? People in New York don’t cross the Hudson. There’s something in Iowa besides corn?’”

Still, he headed west, where he earned his chiropractic education and developed a personal philosophy that has always sat at the heart of his relationships with patients and friends. “There’s no such thing as a one-way trip in life,” he said. “You can never just receive. Everything you receive is just passing through you so you can give.”

“I hope people will say that Charlie Keller made life a little bit better at the top of Brady Street Hill,” Keller added. “I hope that they will say that he gave that institution something that has great value not just financially, but for humanity. What a pleasure it is to influence someone else’s life in a profession that is meaningful to me. If I’m helping someone else to get into ‘the game,’ that’s extremely gratifying. I hope other graduates will do the same because, wow, we can make a difference together.”

The gift comes at a time of unprecedented growth and momentum at Palmer College, despite the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented to the hands-on education the school provides in Davenport, as well as in Port Orange, Florida, and San Jose, California.

In Davenport, construction nears completion on the new David D. Palmer Learning Commons at the top of Brady Street Hill, which will provide new academic and social space in a way that has never been seen before at any other chiropractic college. The building represents the first phase of more than $20 million in planned investments. At Palmer Florida, the College is building a new $12 million academic building to meet the Sunshine State’s rising enrollment demands. The new space will offer additional technique rooms, a larger anatomy learning environment, and virtual- and augmented-reality learning tools.

“What we can accomplish is only possible because of the contributions alumni like Dr. Keller make to the College,” Dr. Marchiori noted. “Despite a tough year in 2020, we saw incredible generosity, which only affirms our vision for the future.””

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