History of the University
A New Era Begins
A New Era Begins
In April 2011, Parker was pleased to announce its transition to university status, marking an enormous achievement for the students, faculty, staff, and alumni who had dutifully carried the vision of Dr. Parker into the 21st century. This transition marks only one event in a history rich with historic achievements for Parker University. It is this history, and the invaluable contributions of Dr. Parker, that set the foundation for Parker’s future impact on the health care profession.
- Our History
Parker University (formerly Parker College of Chiropractic) is named for its late founder, Dr. James William Parker. For five decades, Dr. Parker’s passion, skills, and love were directed completely toward chiropractic – from the day he began recuperating from childhood illnesses through chiropractic adjustments until his death in 1997. While still a senior in chiropractic college, Dr. Parker opened two successful practices in Illinois and published a book on chiropractic. After graduating from chiropractic college in 1946, he moved to Fort Worth, TX, and developed one of the fastest growing chiropractic practices in the history of the profession. In 18 months, he established 18 clinics, one in almost every major city in Texas. From his experience operating these offices, Dr. Parker improved chiropractic care and developed methods for establishing and maintaining successful chiropractic practices. Under Dr. Parker’s direction, a foundation was created in 1951 to conduct postgraduate chiropractic seminars. Since its inception, the seminars evolved into PSPS (Parker School of Professional Success), which is known today as Parker Seminars. Nearly 40,000 chiropractors, or approximately two-thirds of the world’s doctors of chiropractic, have attended these seminars.
In the late 1970s, at the urging of his colleagues, Dr. Jim Parker helped establish and fund Parker College of Chiropractic and consented to lend his name to the school. These colleagues felt students could benefit from Dr. Parker’s unique success, his healing techniques, his philosophy, and his business training, which was not included in traditional chiropractic curriculum. This approach quickly emerged as the foundation for Parker College and still serves as the basis today. These doctors believed that if students were exposed to his principles and teachings during their years of training, they would become more successful healers and practitioners after graduation.
Parker College was chartered by the State of Texas on March 8, 1978 and received its non-profit IRS status in October 1978. The original campus, located in Irving, TX, a suburb of Dallas, officially opened on September 12, 1982, Dr. Parker’s 62nd birthday. The first class of 27 students graduated in September 1985. After the opening of the Irving campus, enrollment increased dramatically and the college moved to the larger Dallas campus in September 1989. The new campus featured the latest in education resources, including amphitheater classroom seating, full video display, and podcasting technology, advanced laboratories, and a 30,000 square foot outpatient wellness clinic where student interns could perfect the art of chiropractic under the watchful eyes of the best doctors in the profession. In September 1993, enrollment had reached 1,000 students, making it the third largest chiropractic college in the world. The original Irving campus was converted into a 6,000 square foot chiropractic wellness center where patients continue to receive chiropractic care today.
In April 2011, Parker College of Chiropractic officially became Parker University, paving the way for new health care degree programs that expand our students’ scope of knowledge and provide additional opportunities for Parker graduates to serve more people around the world.