In Memoriam: Roy C. Palmer, Class of 1962
March 2, 2017
The Chicago-Kent community is saddened to learn of the recent death of attorney and philanthropist Roy C. Palmer '62, a generous benefactor of the law school and founder and namesake of the Chicago-Kent College of Law/Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize. Mr. Palmer passed away on February 27, at age 81, in Franklin, North Carolina.
Mr. Palmer graduated with honors from Chicago-Kent in 1962 and worked for the Federal Trade Commission and for the Illinois Savings and Loan Board before embarking on a 25-year career in private practice. In 1990, he retired from the practice of law to focus on a variety of real estate development ventures.
"Roy was a savvy investor and incredibly literate," said Dean Harold Krent. "The law school has benefited enormously from his creation of the Palmer Civil Liberties Prize. He cared profoundly about the law school, and I appreciated deeply both the public and private advice he gave me over the years. I miss him."
A longtime member of the law school's board of advisors and an ardent supporter of the faculty's scholarly pursuits, Mr. Palmer was named one of Chicago-Kent's 125 Alumni of Distinction in 2013 on the occasion of the law school's 125th anniversary. He received the Chicago-Kent Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award in 2012. His daughter Allyson graduated from Chicago-Kent in 1991.
In 2007, Mr. Palmer and his wife, Susan, established the Palmer Civil Liberties Prize to honor scholarship exploring the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society. Since then, the prize has gained momentum and prestige. Among the past winners are Harvard Law School professor Gabriella Blum, ACLU national president Susan N. Herman, and Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution.
The Palmers have been active in numerous civic, social and philanthropic organizations over many years and received the 1997 Outstanding Individual Philanthropist Award from the National Society of Fundraising Executives. In 2006, the Palmers pledged a $1 million gift to support Chicago-Kent's initiatives.
The Chicago-Kent community extends its deepest sympathies to Mr. Palmer's family and friends.
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