Friend of Education - 2008

James S. Palmer, C.M., A.O.E., Q.C., LL.B., LL.D.
Chairman, Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP

With family roots stretching back to Confederation, PEI native James Palmer achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill and graduated from Dalhousie Law School prior to settling in Calgary in 1952. Jim is Chairman of Burnet, Duckworth & Palmer LLP, a law firm recognized for significant corporate deals, as a strong supporter of the community, and an employer of choice.

Jim believes that “education is independence” and has dedicated considerable time and leadership to help make education accessible to all. He advocates for a caring society that provides a solid safety net for people in need and has been a key supporter of a number of social, arts and cultural organizations over the years, perhaps none as vigorously as post-secondary education.

The University of Calgary, Dalhousie University and University of Prince Edward Island each have benefited from his leadership and have each recognized him with honorary Doctor of Laws degrees. In 2004, Dalhousie dedicated the James and Barbara Palmer Wing of the Weldon Law Building in recognition of Jim and Barbara’s financial support.

Jim’s appointments include Board of Governors of Dalhousie; member of the UPEI Visionary Society of planned giving; Board of Governors and Chancellor of the University of Calgary, and Chair of the University of Calgary’s first major capital campaign, Building on the Vision. The James S. Palmer Lecture Series was established in 1995, and with his wife Jim recently made a significant contribution to the University of Calgary through the establishment of the James S. & Barbara A. Palmer Chair in Public Policy, focused on the development of the best public policies in Canada and encouraging the finest students to pursue careers in the public sector.

In addition to the above, Jim has been recognized with a number of honours including: Member of the Order of Canada; Alberta Order of Excellence; Weldon Award from Dalhousie Law School for Unselfish Public Service; Distinguished Service Award from the Law Society of Alberta and the Canadian Bar Association; and Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In November 2008 Jim will be inducted into the Calgary Business Hall of Fame.