Hall of Fame
The following are some former students who have had exceptional careers, due to both their longevity and their pioneering spirit:
Harold Packman, LMT
Alumnus Harold Packman was featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal on March 10, 2008 for his work providing massage therapy to women at the Providence Rest Nursing Home. According to the article, Mr. Packman, 85 years young, was hired as part of an unusual experiment to help reduce agitation in patients with the hope of reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs. The nursing home has been able to reduce its use of antipsychotic drugs from 21 percent to between two or three percent. Not only was there a wonderful article about Mr. Packman in the WSJ, their website also posted a video of him at work.
John “Doc” Johnson, LMT Class of 1937
John “Doc” Johnson got a shout-out during the 2008 Super Bowl game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots. During a show watched by over 97 million viewers in the U.S., “Doc” was honored for being with the Giants as one of their trainers for 60 years! Those of us Swedish Institute graduates who know about Doc were surprised and thrilled that the team took advantage of this primetime opportunity to honor him.
Valerio Pasqua, D.C., Class of 1947
Valerio Pasqua was in the last class to graduate while founder Theodore Melander was director of the school. "It was more than massage," Dr. Pasqua recalled about the program at the time. "It was called 'physical culture' and included principles of exercise, right diet, and clean living. It was a holistic approach." Living by those principles ever since has rewarded Dr. Pasqua with health as well as prosperity. When he returned to visit the school in 2003, he was a vibrant 77 years old, and still practicing three days a week as a chiropractor.
Anna Koppen Schmidt, Class of 1927
Anna Koppen left Norway at the tender age of 21, bound for New York City by herself with high hopes for a new life. She was part of a wave of immigration that began around 1892, when Ellis Island opened and a million people a year sailed past the Statue of Liberty on their way into America. She started studying at the Swedish Institute two years later and then practiced as a massage therapist for 50 years. She lived to be 103, and was a great source of inspiration to her children and grandchildren, some of whom also came to study at the Swedish Institute.