I’ve dedicated my entire life to Cleveland. When I was in school, I student-taught with Dr. Thomas in Diversified class, and that’s when I discovered my passion for teaching. When I graduated, my goal was to come back and teach. So, I went out and started a practice, and as soon as a position came open, I applied. I started working at Cleveland four years out of school. So, as far as influencing my life, I’ve dedicated my entire life to this profession. Technically, I started in ’92, so I’ve been associated with Cleveland for 30 years.

When I was in school, the cadaver lab was interesting because it had no ventilation. The room was terrible from that standpoint, and you’re going in there and you’ve never done this before. There’s a body lying there, and you’re trying to figure out all this stuff. But we had ladies walking down the street right there on the street level. And one woman stopped and looked in, and we leaned the body up and waved at her, and she took off running. But the thing is she actually ran into the other side of Cleveland’s building. We thought we were in trouble, but nothing ever came of that.

My graduation was kind of fun. I have no idea which of my classmates put the champagne up on the stage, but they had probably 10 or 12 bottles up there spread out. I don’t even remember at what point during the ceremony, but it was after we called names and sat down. They started popping the champagne, and I’m down there fiddling with mine, and I kept hearing pop, pop, pop, pop. I was the last one because I couldn’t get it to come off. I have no idea what happened to the bottles afterwards. I don’t know who went and got them. Dr. Cleveland never said anything. Dr. Beckley never said anything. I don’t know if anyone got upset.

Dear Cleveland Chiropractic College (as I know it): CONGRATULATIONS on the 100-year celebration of the College. I am so thankful I made the choice to be a chiropractor. As I begin my 38th year in practice in Jenks, Okla., I could not be happier with my decision. I had never been adjusted before I attended chiropractic college. I made my choice to become a chiropractor because I had always wanted to rehab and help special needs children. I was intrigued by the results that my sister and my aunt had achieved with chiropractic care, and I thought this might be my way to help other people. As all of us remember, C3 memorized our names upon our first introduction at the college. Even on my most recent visits back to the college, he still remembered my name.

The education and experiences I had in chiropractic college will always hold a special place in my heart. I am thankful I have been able to maintain the friendships of several of my classmates from that time including: Dr. Doug Mathisen, Drs. Jimmy and Marsha Turner, Dr. Mike Bohigian, Dr. Willard Brimm, Dr. Chris Humble, Dr. Vicki Collins, and Dr. Rick Huskey. I was privileged to have been taught by C2 and C3 as well as many other incredible teachers: my clinician, Dr. Eric Rasmussen, Dr. Doran Nicholson (who has actively helped me with radiographic questions throughout my practice), Dr. Beckley, Dr. Nichols, and Dr. Pat Thomason, just to name a few, who shaped my education.
I continue to recite the one-page description of chiropractic that C2 taught me to every new patient. I believe there were five females in our class of 63 students. I didn’t realize I was a part of females being in the minority of our profession until I watched how that changed through the years. I went on to be a graduate of the first Diplomate class of 1996, of the ICA Council of Chiropractic Pediatrics, and continue to have a thriving population of pediatric patients in my total family practice.
I have two children, Claire and Trace. Recently I shared with them that if someone walked into my clinic today and offered to pay for me to be whatever I wanted to be, I told them I would turn around, go right back through chiropractic college, and do it all over again. There is no better joy and satisfaction than seeing and knowing that the change of someone’s health and life has been, in part, from our hands releasing the nervous system’s interference to help their bodies heal. I have had the privilege of adjusting patients from less than 15 minutes old, to 98-years-old. To the entire Cleveland family and Chiropractic College – THANK YOU!!

A wonderful thing happened to me during my education at what was then Cleveland Chiropractic College was my outpatient clinic experience. Dr. Millie Cleveland was the clinic director at the time, and she oversaw every aspect of patient care in the outpatient clinic. She was a person who did volumes not only for myself, but for so many others, to help develop their skills as a doctor both diagnostically, and especially through the chiropractic adjustment.

In addition to helping us develop those skills, she also instilled within us a compassion for people. I would say that if you have all the skills and knowledge and everything, that’s great. If you don’t have the compassion – if you have it all in your head but you don’t have it in your heart – you’ll never reach your full potential as a doctor and as a professional.
Dr. Carl, congratulations on 100 years. It’s been a long time since I first met you about 1974 at the campus down on Troost. Congratulations and best wishes for continued success in all that we do at Cleveland University-Kansas City now. God bless, Carl.

I graduated from the school at 63rd St. and Rockhill Road. I remember wandering the halls there and seeing the very professional teaching rooms. I was very impressed with my teachers all throughout school there. I loved the labs! I particularly loved the microbiology lab. I thought it was great!

We had a wonderful chemistry professor by the name of Dr. Delta Geier. We had Dr. Pat Thomas, and she was wonderful; she was an incredible anatomy teacher. Dr. Rickard Thomas taught chiropractic…I would call it, ethics and principles. I was very impressed with chiropractic anatomy and spinal anatomy when I first met him. He is the consummate chiropractor. Later in school, I met Dr. Hugo Gibson, a very disciplined chiropractor who I learned much from.

I had great teachers at Cleveland – just fantastic teachers. I learned so much at school. I loved going to school every single day, and I miss it dearly. I love going back to school in postgrad. I want to congratulate Dr. Cleveland and everyone at Cleveland University-Kansas City for keeping, supporting, and maintaining this great educational institution for all of us.

I really enjoyed my time at Cleveland. I was able to work on campus and get to know the employees, students, and families of Cleveland, many who remain good friends, and one with whom I started a family. Chiropractors are, innately, some of the best people on the planet, and they draw other awesome people around them; people who love community, health, and caring for others. I’m grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community and I’m grateful for the close friendships I made while in school at Cleveland.

For the last 5+ years my husband and I have produced a podcast and created resources to help other chiropractors get started in practice. We share with them what has helped us, and how we’ve had success in business. We love being able to give back in a big way, to help others have successful careers in chiropractic.

With our education, we’ve been able to positively impact our family, friends, and patients by treating them in our practice, showing them how to live healthy and how to move properly. We’ve also given to many causes during our time in practice, most notably the schools in our area.

We’ve helped patients get back to a place in their lives where they feel happy and alive. They’re able to move better, contribute more, and do things their body once kept them from doing, which many times, is being able to go back to work.

We can further make a difference by continuing to inspire our family and others to live healthier lives. To take care of their bodies, so they can fulfill their own dreams and desires. We’ll also continue the podcast to inspire and educate new chiropractors on the tenets of running a successful practice. More chiropractors, doing better in practice, will help more people lead healthier, happier lives.

CUKC solidified my views on whole body health care, and offered ICPA classes on campus to further my passion in preventative pediatric care. It helped shape who I am as a person, and how I care for my patients. Being a five-year cancer survivor myself has opened a completely new door of care for other cancer fighters, survivors, thrivers, and their loved ones. Being able to talk the talk, and walk the walk with them has not only been physically helpful, but has also helped with the emotional side of cancer.

I have impacted the lives of others by helping little babies breast feed with cranial adjustments, influencing their nervous system so they can be at ease, and rest/digest. It’s very humbling and special to witness. Coming from a place of compassion and understanding while working with cancer patients and working on the emotional side of the VSC.

I can continue to make a difference by continuing to expand my knowledge of care for pediatrics, pregnancy and cancer patients while constantly thinking outside the box about ways to help. I’ve used pregnancy pillows and turned them the other direction to help those that have undergone bilateral mastectomies. This way they can be prone comfortably during an adjustment. I can also continue to volunteer in the community.

I graduated from Cleveland University-Kansas City in 2021. I made the commute from Tulsa to Kansas City weekly, for three-and-a-half years, with the dream that one day I would open my own family wellness practice in Oklahoma. That dream has come true. I am married to a Tulsa native, Dr. Sherri Hays ’11, a second-generation chiropractor, and together we have wonderful twin boys that are full of life! Family is what drives both of us in our personal and professional lives.

My journey to become a chiropractor started while cleaning wrestling mats with Dr. Joey Vrana ‘10. He suggested chiropractic care to help resolve my daughter’s chronic ear infections. That conversation changed my life.

Over the next two years, my family started receiving chiropractic care; the benefits were undeniable. I became interested in how chiropractic adjustments allow the body to heal itself, and was inspired to learn more. After dining one evening with Dr. Vrana and his wife Dr. Devin Vrana ’10, I realized that I needed to become a chiropractor.

I’m a military veteran, and at the time, I was working for the VA in Wichita, Kan. as a rating specialist. I felt drawn to a college where students are devoted to making health care accessible. Within months of my dinner with the Vranas, I enrolled as a student at Cleveland University-Kansas City.

Cleveland gave me a well-rounded education for my career in chiropractic. After more than 40 years in practice, there are many lives I have touched. I am grateful for the experience and to have made a difference.

Reflecting over my many years of chiropractic, I often think of the day that would forever change my life. During World War II in 1944, I was six years old, and my family and I regularly went to the movie theater. Movies always started with the latest news showing paratroopers jumping out of airplanes with their parachutes opening. They would float down to the ground like a bird. It just looked so neat, and I really wanted to do that!

I didn’t have a parachute or an airplane, but my grandmother had a very large umbrella and there was a garage in our back yard. Without her permission, I took her umbrella and proceeded to climb on the garage roof for my very first real parachute jump. It was thrilling!

There were a few problems. Number one, I wasn’t supposed to have my grandmother’s umbrella, and number two, I wasn’t ever supposed to climb on the garage roof, much less jump off. As fate would have it, just as I prepared for my jump, I saw my grandmother and she screamed, “Don’t jump!” But it was too late, I was already committed. I hit the ground with a thud, the umbrella had turned inside out, and I laid there knocked unconscious.

My grandmother called my aunt, Ruth Dodson who worked just three doors down from our house as a receptionist for Dr. Buell Boring, a 1934 Cleveland graduate. Aunt Ruth carried me to Dr. Boring’s office. I remember experiencing the examination and adjustments quite well still today. Who would believe that incident would eventually change my life in such a positive way!

Something very strange and interesting happened after the visits to Dr. Boring’s office. As a young boy, I took medication to control seizures, but it didn’t work. After my failed parachute jump, and the subsequent visits with Dr. Boring, my seizures were less and less until they ended.

My grandmother said those drugs are really working until one day she found them under my mattress. She was very upset and punished me with a good scolding, and that always made me feel terrible. She looked at me and said, “I wonder if chiropractic had anything to do with this.” My family wondered the same.

Following high school, I joined the U. S. Navy to see the world, and upon release from active duty in 1959, started taking courses at the University of Kansas. In 1959, I was involved in an auto accident and ended up in Dr. Boring’s office again. Well, he convinced me to meet with Dr. Carl Cleveland Jr., and called him to schedule a meeting. To my surprise, Dr. Cleveland said to come on up to the college. After the conversation I was convinced, I needed to start chiropractic college and make it my career. Dr Boring’s son, Raymond, was in my graduating class.

After my graduation, I opened my first office, and on January 29, 1967, I opened my office in a new building, and rented office space in the lower level (basement) of a 600-square-foot building. The rent was $100 a month, so I worked a deal with the owner to clean half of the building for half of my rent. I bought the best used furniture and equipment I could for the office. In going through my records, I found my open house invitation, and my guest registration book. I remember it was very cold, we had snow just a couple of days before, and I thought I was probably not going to have a great turnout. However, after going through my guest book I realized that I had 105 people attend.

Within a few years after graduation, I started purchasing and growing existing practices. I have hired and trained many associates and independent contractors over the years as well. What a great profession chiropractic has been for me, and Cleveland University-Kansas City has provided me with the skills and opportunities to successfully practice for forty years!