Thursday, May 23, 2013
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of its Lombard, Illinois campus, National University of Health Sciences opened a time capsule on Wednesday, May 22, that had been cemented into a dedication stone of its main building, Janse Hall. The capsule was originally placed during a dedication ceremony for the new campus on June 27, 1963. At that time, the National College of Chiropractic, founded in 1906, had just relocated to suburban Lombard from downtown Chicago.
During the noon ceremony, with the watchful anticipation of students, faculty and staff, current president, Dr. James F. Winterstein, opened the copper box filled with papers. The contents shed light on the university's history, issues facing the chiropractic profession, and a celebratory program from the 1963 dedication ceremony.
Other capsule contents included: a copy of the dedicatory prayer; State of Illinois articles of incorporation; a list of faculty, administration and staff serving the institution in 1963; and a booklet titled "Our History: The National College of Chiropractic from 1903 Genesis to 1963 Renaissance," by James M Cox, A.S. D.C.
Dr. Cox, a National graduate, later earned notoriety in the profession as a pioneer of a flexion-distraction technique that revolutionized non-surgical healing of ruptured spinal discs and other spinal injuries.
Also inside the capsule was a historic personal letter sent in 1906 from D. D. Palmer, the founder of the Palmer College of Chiropractic, to National's founder, John Fitz Alan Howard. The letter expresses D. D. Palmer's utmost confidence in Howard's integrity and ability to teach the emerging science of chiropractic medicine. The letter is of interest because it shows a close association between the founders of these two chiropractic colleges. Palmer and National went on to become prominent rivals in the field of chiropractic education.
The capsule also offered a copy of the National College of Chiropractic bulletin from 1963, listing courses and school policies of the era. President Winterstein read aloud from a page of the 1963 catalog at the capsule opening, listing the complete cost of a student's first semester tuition and fees to be a total of $267.
To preserve a glimpse into important professional issues of that year, the capsule included an editorial page from the The NCA Journal. The article noted that the profession was preparing for an annual convention to be held August of 1963 in Chicago. It was hoped that at the convention, attendees would vote on the proposed formation of an American Chiropractic Association through a merger of the National Chiropractic Association (NCA) and the International Chiropractic Association (ICA). The periodical also congratulated National College of Chiropractic's president, Dr. Joseph Janse, on the opening of the school's new campus.
Only one member of today's National University faculty, Dr. Charles Tasharski, was present at the 1963 dedication ceremony. "I had just started my first semester as a student. I waited to start in spring of 1963 specifically because I wanted to begin my education on the school's new campus rather than in Chicago at the old one." Dr. Tasharski went on to become one of the first radiology residents from National and has taught diagnostic imaging at the university for close to forty years.
"While this capsule can give us a glimpse into our past," says President Winterstein, "I don't think that they could have imagined in 1963 all the progress that our chiropractic profession would make over the next fifty years, nor could they have envisioned the full integrative medical university that National has become in 2013."
National University plans to place a new time capsule into the same dedication stone during a ceremony planned for spring of 2014. National will use the next twelve months to consider what items best represent both the institution and the state of its professions in the new millennium.
Perhaps the students of 2064 will gasp in amazement at tuition rates in 2014, or be reminded how medical professions were grappling with new national changes in health care policy. "One thing I can count on, is that there's a strong likelihood that National University will still be here in 2064, preparing new graduates for the health challenges of their day," says Dr. Winterstein.