Palmer College unveils new interactive statue; prepares for 125th anniversary celebration

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Officials at Palmer College of Chiropractic have unveiled a new interactive statue as it prepares to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of chiropractic.

Officials at Palmer College of Chiropractic have unveiled a new interactive statue as it prepares to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the founding of chiropractic. (KWQC)

You can read the full announcement from Palmer College of Chiropractic below.

"Forty years ago this month, Juanita Thompson was searching for a receptionist job in the small farming community of Springfield, Mo.

“I was told a chiropractor was looking for a receptionist, so I walked into his office and applied for the job. I was hired on the spot,” she said.

Days later, her new boss took her to lunch. “I want you to meet a friend of mine,” he said. “He’s another chiropractor.”

That was the day Homer Thompson, D.C., walked into Juanita’s life. The two were soon married, and Juanita eventually went to work for her husband. “That’s how I fell in love with chiropractic,” she said.

Fast-forward 40 years, nearly to the day, and Juanita will make the seven-hour drive to the Quad Cities to participate in the dedication of a new, interactive statue featuring D.D. Palmer on Sept. 18, 2019. D.D. Palmer discovered chiropractic—in the Quad Cities nearly 125 years ago. He went on to found what is today Palmer College of Chiropractic two years later. The statue is possible thanks to a generous $100,000 donation by Juanita to celebrate the life and career of her late-husband Homer, a graduate of Palmer College.

“Homer loved Palmer, he loved chiropractic, and he would be so proud for this moment,” Juanita added.

Homer Thompson came from a poor family. On trips into town with his family, he watched as people would walk into the local chiropractic clinic with an ailment, and be amazed when they left transformed. “In the back of his mind, he thought he’d like to be a chiropractor,” Juanita said.

After enlisting in the United States Army and working at a heavy-equipment company in Chicago, he eventually attended Palmer College in Davenport and graduated in 1968. He opened a chiropractic clinic in Springfield, Mo. and quickly became known for his ability to care for his patients—and refer them to medical doctors when that was the appropriate treatment. Throughout his career, he was appointed twice to the State Board of Examiners, was president of the Missouri Chiropractic Association, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award in addition to many, many other awards during his nearly 50 years in practice.

“Juanita has found such a beautiful, fitting way to honor her late husband by making this statue possible on our main campus,” said Dennis Marchiori, D.C., Ph.D., chancellor and CEO of Palmer College of Chiropractic. “I’ve gotten to know Juanita throughout the creation of this sculpture, and she’s shared with me Homer’s desire to help future chiropractors realize the dream D.D. Palmer first had. What an honor it is to dedicate this statue with her.”

The statue, designed by Gino Tassara at Inspired Artisans, a family owned art studio in Milwaukee, Wisc., features D.D. Palmer behind a chiropractic table performing the first adjustment in Davenport. However, the statue features an open space between D.D. Palmer’s hands and the table, allowing for students, alumni and visitors to lay on the table for an “adjustment.”

“With this statue, we begin a new tradition at Palmer College, one in which new students, graduates and our alumni will be able to get their photo taken—either on the first day of classes, on graduation day, or during Homecoming—with the statue,” Marchiori said.

The final design was a collaboration between Tassara, Marchiori and Palmer College Historian Roger Hynes, D.C. Hynes helped to ensure the placement of D.D. Palmer’s hands correctly represents the technique taught to chiropractors across the globe today.

The statue dedication comes as the chiropractic profession prepares to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the first adjustment by D.D. Palmer in Davenport next year: Sept.18, 2020. Palmer College is leading the planning for the 125 year celebration in the Quad Cities, which will bring thousands of chiropractors to the community one year from now."