Scholarships and Special Funds

Jack Palmer Endowed Graduate Fund

Jack Palmer

Recently, SPHSC Lecturer Martin Nevdahl and his wife Terri established an endowment in memory of Dr. John M. (Jack) Palmer, Professor Emeritus of Speech and Hearing Sciences and of Prosthodontics at the University of Washington. Jack Palmer, who was one of the most beloved professors to have ever taught at the University of Washington, passed away almost a decade ago (on April 26, 1996).

Jack began undergraduate studies at Central Washington College of Education in 1940. He transferred to the University of Washington in 1942. Following service in World War II, he completed bachelors and masters degrees at the University of Washington. He earned his doctorate at the University of Michigan in 1952 and immediately was hired by the University of Washington. Jack Palmer held clinical certification in both speech-language pathology and in audiology. It is noteworthy that he spent his entire academic life at the University of Washington until his retirement in 1992. In that 40-year period he inspired hundreds of students as an outstanding teacher, clinician, counselor and role model.

Dr. Palmer taught a wide range of courses in both speech and hearing throughout his career. He will be long remembered for his infectious enthusiasm in introducing the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology to his students at the undergraduate level. Jack was particularly interested in the anatomy of the speech and hearing mechanisms. His text, Anatomy for Speech and Hearing, was in its 4th edition and was considered a classic in the field at the time of his death. Dr. Palmer established a laboratory in the Department of Anatomy for student dissection of anatomic material - an elective course providing a unique learning experience enjoyed by many students over the years. Jack was so enthusiastic about this aspect of student education that after his retirement he continued to offer the course without compensation until shortly before his death.

He loved trading silly jokes with his students. For example, he would tell the story of a woman who was shot. He would inform the students that "the bullet was in her yet." He would then want the students to identify the anatomical location of the "yet."

Another of Jack Palmer's professional interests was in the area of maxillofacial disorders. He served for many years as a member of the cleft palate team and helped speech pathology students appreciate the clinical implications of maxillofacial disorders.

Dr. Palmer served the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in a number of capacities, and was elected to Fellowship in 1965. He was President of the Washington Speech and Hearing Association in 1963. He served as a professional consultant to a number of local and state agencies serving the communicatively impaired.

The endowment established in memory of Dr. Jack Palmer will elicit an approving smile and a nod of appreciation from many alumni. This gift ensures that future SPHSC students will continue to benefit from Dr. Palmer’s devotion to Speech and Hearing Sciences, and that they will appreciate this dedicated teacher-clinician, a true friend and role model to SPHSC faculty and students alike. His was a life well lived.
We welcome your support to the Palmer Endowment!