Dr. Willis F. Pierce was one of the best-known doctors in the United States, born in Dover, Bureau County, Illinois on December 11, 1853 to Caleb and Martha F. (Paddleford) Pierce. He was also one of the largest donors to what is known today as PIERCE – The American College of Greece. Dr. Pierce was raised in Dover and studied at Dover Academy and Princeton High School, and later at Rush Medical College in Chicago, where he graduated from in 1876.
He set up his practice in Malden, Illinois, and later practiced at Carson, beginning in 1880.
According to reports, Dr Pierce invested in property in Grove township from money he inherited from his father.
He was also surgeon for railroads that entered Carson, and was a member of the County, the State and National Railway Surgeons' Associations.
In November, 1880, Dr Pierce married Orlinda C. Childs, of Dover township, Bureau county, Illinois, who was born February 19, 1859. They traveled extensively to Europe and around the world on many occasions. Dr Pierce was also a member of the Knights of Pythias lodge and had been a delegate to its grand lodge three different times. He was also a charter member of the Elks lodge at Council Bluffs.
In 1936, Dr. Willis F. Pierce, through a donation to the then American Junior College for Girls, contributed to the expansion of the newly-acquired Hellenikon campus facilities. His generosity was recognized by changing the name of the school to Orlinda Childs Pierce College in memory of his late wife.
The American College of Greece owes a big debt of gratitude to Willis F. Pierce. Thank you!
The AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GREECE (PIERCE-DEREE-ALBA) is a non-profit, non-sectarian educational institution that was founded in 1875. It is the oldest and largest American college in Europe, offering secondary, undergraduate, and graduate studies as well as programs in professional education. ACG is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the most prestigious accrediting organization in the United States, and has a degree validation agreement with the Open University of the United Kingdom. The College enrolls approximately 4,000 students and has 37,000 alumni who live and work in dozens of countries around the world.