Duke’s Office of Durham and Regional Affairs honors and recognizes Michael Palmer, Assistant Vice President for Community Affairs, as he leaves Duke. Palmer has led the Office of Community Affairs from the early years of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, which was created in 1996 to connect Duke University to the neighborhoods and schools surrounding campus.”Michael’s vision for community partnerships has been uniquely insightful,” said Dr. Phail Wynn, Duke’s Vice President for Durham and Regional Affairs. “His dedication and commitment to the revitalization of the surrounding neighborhoods and to improving relations between the university and the neighborhoods have been truly noteworthy. We extend sincere thanks and appreciation for his contributions to the development of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership.”
Mayme Webb-Bledsoe, Duke’s Senior Neighborhood Partnership Coordinator and facilitator for the Southwest Central Durham Quality of Life Project, said Palmer has an instinct for community work.
“Michael often speaks of the neighborhoods having a pace, their own rhythms that outsiders need to identify and listen for,” she said. “We began this journey of listening in Southwest Central Durham over eight years ago, and that has allowed us to build a trusting relationship of collaboration.”
Under Palmer, the staff in the Office of Community Affairs and Duke’s internal and external partners have worked to attain the following:
Palmer also has served on numerous boards and committees, supporting the work of the Durham Partnership for Children, Carter Community Charter School, the Durham Economic Resource Center, and Durham’s 10-year plan to end homelessness.
“Michael’s years of service at Duke have revealed a heart of concern and compassion for those who are underserved, a person of high integrity, and always a voice of calm, reason and wisdom,” said Sam Miglarese, Duke’s Director of Community Engagement. “We wish him Godspeed on the next steps of his journey.”