The Octagon was established in 2007 by then Life University president, Guy F. Riekeman, D.C. Dr. Riekeman envisioned The Octagon as a vibrant, dynamic, and engaging community of academics, researchers, business leaders, political scientists, and dreamers who would be willing to engage questions of the day from the perspective of Life University’s vitalistic philosophy that sees all systems as inter-related, and all living systems as self-aware, self-healing and self-evolving.
The term “octagon” is derived from a policy position advanced by Dr. Riekeman and adopted by the Board of Trustees of the University that codified eight areas of inquiry as critical to the vision and mission of the institution. These include: Integrity and Citizenship, Communication and Relationship Theory, Philosophy of Human Existence, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Belief Systems and Performance, Learning Theory/Critical Thinking, Contemporary Scientific Paradigms, and Integrative Change. Dr. Riekeman established the Octagon as a forum to explore these eight areas of inquiry, and, therefore, the logical name of The Octagon emerged.
In 2007 President Riekeman charged, Stephen Belles, D.C., to serve as the first Director of The Octagon. After a period of organization and planning for the future of The Octagon the first Octagon conference was held on the campus of Life University in 2009. In 2011 Gerard W. Clum, D.C., a member of the institution’s founding faculty, returned to Life University after a 30 year-stint as president of Life Chiropractic College West in the San Francisco Bay area to serve as the Director of The Octagon.