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Clair O'Dell Awarded Honorary Doctor of Chiropractic Humanities Degree

AUGUST 12, 2002 - Legendary chiropractor and staunch Sherman College supporter Clair W. O’Dell, D.C., Ph.C., was recently presented with the honorary Doctor of Chiropractic Humanities (D.C.H.) degree in honor of his commitment to the chiropractic profession and to Sherman College.

During Sherman College’s June commencement ceremony, President Jerry L. Hardee, Ed.D., presented O’Dell with the framed honorary degree as well as a gold medallion bearing the Sherman College logo. O’Dell then presented the commencement address to the graduates.

Hardee said O’Dell was very worthy of receiving the Doctor of Chiropractic Humanities degree. “Dr. O’Dell is a giant in the chiropractic profession,” he said. “He was around during the turbulent times and took many personal risks to ensure that the philosophy espoused by D.D. and B.J. Palmer remained intact. Having assisted so many individuals to become chiropractors and to grow in the field is a tribute to his commitment and perseverance for a profession that he loves dearly.”

A 1936 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, O’Dell practices in Southgate, MI, and continues to write, travel and lecture about the benefits of chiropractic care. He is now in his 65th year of practice.

O’Dell and his wife, Martha, estimate that they have influenced nearly 200 people to become doctors of chiropractic, including many members of their own family. Their sons, Roger and James, have been doctors of chiropractic for 40 and 35 years, respectively, and their daughters, Joan Swistock and Kay Alcott, are chiropractic assistants. Twelve grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren are faithfully carrying on the chiropractic legacy — 39 in total are involved in the profession.

O’Dell is a charter member of the International Chiropractors Association. He was instrumental in the formation of the American Chiropractic Association and was first president of the Straight Chiropractic Academic Standards Association. He was chairman of the committee that brought about the antitrust lawsuit against the American Medical Association in the 1970s and ‘80s. He also assisted in getting chiropractic licensing laws passed in Massachusetts, New York and Oklahoma.

O’Dell was recently honored with the Lifetime Service Award at the World Chiropractic Parker Seminar. He was named Humanitarian of the Year by the World Chiropractic Alliance in 2000 and was cited for his service to the profession as well as to his patients. He has previously been named Chiropractor of the Year and Career Advisor of the Year by Sherman College.

In addition, he is a member of the International Board of Governors of the World Chiropractic Alliance and the Sherman College Board of Regents, a select group of people dedicated to supporting quality straight chiropractic education here.

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