On Thursday, April 7, 2022, local dignitaries, Parker University staff, students, and community leaders gathered inside the new South Building on Parker University’s campus to celebrate the Grand Opening of this new state-of-the-art facility.
On October 20, 2019, Parker University was struck by an F3 tornado. In the wake of the tragedy, and the loss of much of Parker University’s campus structures, 350 contractors worked 12-hour days, with an accumulation of more than 25,000 hours, to restore the university to normal operations within only a week. Faculty, staff, and students even volunteered, showing the value of the team and family environment at Parker University. Yesterday’s celebration served to honor everyone, like these individuals, who helped make Parker University all that it is today.
At the Grand Opening Ceremony, Floyd McLendon Jr., the Director of Institutional Advancement, served as the Master of Ceremonies. He introduced the attending platform party, including Parker University President Dr. William E. Morgan and Dr. Steven Brooks, Chairman of the Parker University Board of Trustees. Also in attendance were Dr. Raúl Carrillo, the National Medical Director at the Ministry of Sports CONADE, Mr. Tate Fehr, the State Senate District 2 District Aide for State Senator Bob Hall, and Ms. Scherron Richard, the Field Representative for U.S. House of Representative Marc Veasey. A special thank you was extended to Dr. John Donovan (sponsor of the Donovan Lounge) and Dr. Tony DeRamus (sponsor of several South Building classrooms), both also in attendance.
Without the fast-acting leadership of Dr. Morgan and the Executive Team, including Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Jayne Moschella, Vice President and COO Mr. Donnie McNutt, and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mr. Clint Gilchrist, Parker University would not be where it is today, especially after such a disaster that was soon followed by the COVID-19 pandemic and an unprecedented winter storm in 2021. When Dr. Morgan spoke, he credited the Board of Trustees for their quick action to fast-track reopening, making it possible to secure disaster recovery services. “We were able to rebuild this from rubble. Everyone took up the mantle and went to work,” Dr. Morgan shared. “At a time when only five percent of colleges grew, we were growing.” When he spoke, Dr. Brooks added, “Parker was always a beautiful place, but look at it now! It is amazing to see the transformation that has happened. We greatly appreciate you celebrating our success.”
Tristan Hallman, Chief of Policy and Communications at Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s office, spoke and said, “Parker University is back and will be a big part in bringing northwest Dallas back, as well. This is big for economic development and partnerships. This isn’t just a building that’s been rebuilt. This is a partnership that’s growing. This university is a committed partner with the city of Dallas.”
The architecture firm, Perkins & Will, designed the new South Building, and the Skiles Group constructed it and the new ParkerFit Gym, which recently won the TEXO Distinguished Building Award. Senior Vice President and Project Lead of the Skiles Group, Mr. Michael Blakemore, highlighted the construction process for the audience. “This building revolutionizes learning and sets the standard for higher education,” he said. “The completion of these projects, along with others, helped make this a truly magnificent campus.”
In closing, in front of attendees, Drs. Morgan, Brooks, DeRamus, and Donovan cut the ribbon recognizing the official opening of the South Building. Following the ceremony, guided tours were offered to all in attendance.
Parker University is proud to thank everyone who helped make this new building and special ceremonial event so successful. To view the footage covering the tornado destruction and rebuild, that was shown to attendees during the ceremony, go to https://youtu.be/mT0jSssi69g.
About Parker University
Parker University, the fourth-fastest growing college in Texas and the fastest-growing college in Dallas, was founded in 1982 by Dr. James William Parker (formerly Parker College of Chiropractic). Today, Parker University has more than 1,800 students and more than 35 academic programs, including its famed chiropractic program, as well as master’s degrees in neuroscience, clinical neuroscience, strength and human performance, and functional nutrition. Currently, Parker University’s chiropractic cohort is the second largest of any campus in the world. Parker University has been recognized as a Great College to Work For®, one of the 25 Fastest-Growing Colleges in the U.S., and as a recipient of the 2021 FutureEdge 50 Awards.