University of Western States Celebrates 120 Years of Excellence in Chiropractic and Whole-Person Health Care Education

UWS 120th anniversary logo

This year University of Western States (UWS) celebrates the 120th anniversary of its founding, marking over a century of advancing chiropractic medicine and whole-person health education.

“As we commemorate this important milestone in our university’s history, we reflect on our lasting commitment to the advancement of whole health education focused on caring for the whole person rather than merely treating symptoms,” said Joseph Brimhall, DC, president of University of Western States. “Our institution has played a pivotal role in shaping the professions we serve and advancing careers for thousands of healthcare professionals. This legacy of academic excellence continues to evolve as UWS shapes the future of whole-person health care and education.”

Since its founding in 1904, University of Western States has been at the forefront of innovation and leadership in chiropractic care and hosts the longest-established Doctor of Chiropractic degree program in the Western United States. The university has expanded its academic programs to include naturopathic medicine, functional medicine, clinical nutrition, sports medicine, sport and performance psychology, and clinical mental health counseling. This academic expansion exemplifies the university’s commitment to whole-person health care, recognizing how multiple factors converge to impact the health and wellbeing of individuals, and facilitating the partnership between healthcare professionals and their patients.

UWS has earned an international reputation for high-quality academic programs that prepare students to flourish in their professional endeavors. Student outcome data from 2019-2022 demonstrates that 92% of UWS Doctor of Chiropractic graduates attain licensure within six months of graduation, exceeding the 80% benchmark established by the Council on Chiropractic Education. The university sees similarly high rates of licensure (91%) for graduates of the Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine programs.

Located in Portland, Oregon, the university has cultivated a strong bond with its community, forming reliable partnerships with organizations, universities, and schools to provide whole-person health care for veterans, homeless persons, athletes, students, and the community at large. The university is committed to fostering collaborations that promote the health and well-being of Portland-area residents. From its inception, UWS has offered clinical care to community members through clinics staffed by university faculty and students. Today the UWS Connected Whole Health Clinic, serves more than 15,000 patients per year.

UWS’s more than 7,000 alumni include professionals positively impacting their local communities and individuals, from Olympic-level athletes to technical laborers. This powerful alumni network spans the globe and serves as a testament to the university’s influence and reputation.

In response to disruptive changes in the higher education landscape, in 2023 UWS joined The Community Solution Education System, a national nonprofit system of six universities working collaboratively to advance academic goals, improve infrastructure and support systems, and develop strategies for sustainable growth. The System’s culture of radical cooperation aligns with UWS core values, supports the advancement of interdisciplinary health education, and enhances learning experiences for students.

To celebrate its enduring legacy, UWS is hosting a festive gala at Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland on September 28, 2024. Alumni, students, trustees, donors, business supporters, community leaders, and dignitaries will be invited to attend.

As University of Western States commemorates its 120th anniversary, the university community looks forward to preparing the next generation of whole-person health care professionals to serve the evolving needs of a diverse and dynamic world.

Visit to learn more about University of Western States and stay up-to-date on its plans to celebrate the milestone anniversary with the community or to explore degree programs in whole-person health care.