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Gary Palmer Awarded Doctor of Humane Letters by University of Mobile

Gary Palmer, president and co-founder of the Alabama Policy Institute, was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the University of Mobile during graduation ceremonies May 14.

“I don’t know of a man who has had more impact on the state of Alabama and the health of our state than Gary Palmer. Thank you for what you do for our state and our nation,” said University of Mobile President Dr. Mark Foley during the event at the Mobile Civic Center.

Foley praised Palmer as “a dedicated follower of Christ” who has “proven himself a friend to the University of Mobile.”

“Given the strong correspondence between the missions of the Alabama Policy Institute and the University of Mobile, it is fitting that we this day bestow this recognition of Mr. Palmer’s contribution to our state and to our nation,” Foley said.

Palmer, who celebrated his birthday on the same day he received the honor, was joined on stage by his wife, Ann.

The Alabama Policy Institute is a research and education organization whose purpose is to identify, develop and promote sound public policies that emphasize a limited government, free markets and competition, the rule of law and the preservation of healthy families.

In the 21 years since co-founding the Institute, Palmer has become widely recognized for his ability to address issues strategically and with clarity. He has authored and contributed to numerous papers and articles on state and national policy and was recently appointed to Gov. Robert Bentley’s Alabama Commission on Improving State Government.

He served on former Gov. Bob Riley’s Task Force to Strengthen Alabama Families; as an advisor to the Alabama Aerospace, Science and Industry Task Force; and on the Governor’s Welfare Reform Commission during the James Administration. He was a founding director of the State Policy Network, the professional service organization for America’s state-based, free market think tanks, and he served on the SPN board of directors for six years, the final two as president.

Palmer has been recognized by Focus on the Family twice for his leadership in support of Alabama’s families. Palmer was named an “Outstanding Young Man in America” and recognized as one of “America’s Emerging Leaders.” In 2008, he was listed as one of the “Top 40 Most Influential Non-elected Alabamians.”

Palmer is recipient of the Roe Award. Named in honor of the late Tom Roe who was instrumental in the founding of state-based think tanks, the Roe Award recognizes effective think tank leadership, innovation, and accomplishment and pays tribute to those in the state public policy movement whose achievements have greatly advanced freedom.

Before founding the Institute, Palmer worked in cost engineering and project control in the engineering field for Combustion Engineering in their Environmental Systems Division and for Rust International where he was assigned to projects ranging from refuse to energy to pulp and paper to aerospace. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a bachelor of science in operations management.

For more information on the University of Mobile, visit the website at, or call Enrollment Services at 251.442.2222, or toll free at 1.800.WIN.RAMS.

Ann and Gary Palmer, Dr. Mark Foley
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