‘Miracle’ in Dallas: Parker University Reopens One Week After Tornado
Leadership, Teamwork Save Trimester, Accelerate Future Plans
(Dallas, TX) Parker University has achieved the seemingly impossible by reopening its doors just one week after the devastating tornado destroyed half of its buildings. The nonprofit healthcare college sprung into action quickly, avoiding the cancellation of its trimester, and giving new life to its ambitious goals for the future
“Well, if this is not a miracle, it is pretty close to one,” Parker President William E. Morgan stated. The tornado, which he said was not forecast, began on the Parker campus and ripped through a small section of north Dallas. Seven of the campus’ 14 buildings were demolished and the others were badly damaged. Fortunately, it struck on a Sunday evening when there was only a small security contingent and no one on campus was killed or hurt. “It came right out of, forgive me, thin air,” he added.
Dr. Morgan credits quick action by the Board of Trustees, which gave their blessing to his proposal to fast-track reopening. “By making the decision immediately to open in one week, rather than taking our time, we were able to secure disaster recovery services straightaway…. Delaying the decision to open would have ultimately led to closing our doors for the remainder of the year.” Indeed, other schools and businesses in the area have shut operations until 2020, if not permanently, because of the disaster.
It was not without superhuman efforts that Parker was able to get up-and-running so quickly. Roughly 350 contract workers worked 12-hour days, with an accumulation of more than 25,000 hours to restore the university to normal operations. Dr. Morgan also credits provost Jayne Moschella for directing teachers to create dual instructional tracts allowing them to lecture online in case of some type of disruption. “It’s almost as if [she] had anticipated this event,” he remarked.
In spite of the turmoil, Dr. Morgan sees the event in a positive light. “Parker is well insured, and I view this tornado as a blessing in disguise. First, and most importantly no one was injured. Operations were not impeded, and our clinics and Synapse survived, still fully functional. Not only that, the damage from the tornado will speed up the time frame for construction and modernization of our campus. We have been experiencing double-digit growth the past few years and we need new buildings and more parking. I see this tornado as the means to accelerate our plans.”
Parker University is currently raising funds to expand the rebuild to include a new outpatient chiropractic clinic, modernized research facilities, and to enhance the student experience. If you would like to help, they are taking donations at:
“We are accustomed to adapting and doing hard things. Some members of my team have told me that responding to this tornado was actually easier than putting on a Parker Seminar,” Dr. Morgan said.
About Parker University
Parker University, the 4th fastest growing college in Texas according to the Dallas Business Journal, was founded in 1982 by Dr. James William Parker, originally as Parker College of Chiropractic; in 2011, it changed the name as its curriculum expanded. Today, Parker University has 1,500 students and 27 academic programs including its famed chiropractic program along with master’s degrees in neuroscience, clinical neuroscience, and functional nutrition. Currently, Parker University’s chiropractic cohort is the second largest of any campus in the world.
The year 2020 marks the 100th birthday of Dr. Parker as well as the 125th anniversary of the discovery of chiropractic. The school hopes to celebrate by showcasing a modern, rebuilt facility.