Nelsen Williamsburg

3785 Strawberry Plains Rd., Williamsburg, VA


Richard Hudson Palmer

August 16, 1940March 15, 2020

Richard Hudson Palmer was born on August 16, 1940 and passed away on March 15, 2020.


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Richard Hudson Palmer

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David Aday

March 29, 2020

We were fortunate to travel with Rich and Becky as part of the W&M program in Cambridge. We learned about theater and got insights into Shakespeare through Rich's course and, through his efforts, we had the chance to see live performances at the Royal Shakespeare Theater. Rich and Becky welcomed us as fellow travelers and were unfailingly kind and generous in their friendship.

I had the good fortune to teach their son, Zack, whom I remember fondly as a perceptive and solid man with a quick and genuine smile.

Rich took on some of the most difficult challenges as a faculty leader at W&M and brought incisive thought and clear perspective to governance responsibilities. I know from his students that he was a generous and thoughtful mentor and a caring teacher. His contributions to the College and to the academy are significant and long-lasting.

George Greenia

March 26, 2020

On behalf of Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, we express our mourning at the passing of a major figure on the faculty of William & Mary. Prof. Palmer’s service to our Chapter, the first in the nation, went far beyond formal roles as an officer and committee member. He showed his dedication above all through sustained personal involvement. For literally decades, all PBK’s incoming mail went to his home department of Theatre, Speech & Dance because Rich dedicated a mailbox in his department as a stable PBK drop site. His abundant published scholarship was matched by dedicated mentorship for his students in the theatre arts. With other legendary educators across our faculty, Prof. Palmer championed the ideals of Phi Beta Kappa, promoting excellence in every field of humane arts and sciences. Our debt to him is great.

Kate Slevin

March 26, 2020

I am so sorry to learn of Richard’s recent death. Over my years at W&M I had many occasions to interact with Professor Palmer. He was a consummate professional, an intellectual and a professor who had high standards— for himself, for his students, for his colleagues. I also spent social time with Richard and Becky and an evening with them was always one that included lively discussion and debate about a range of worldly affairs.
I extend my deepest sympathy to Becky and his family. I know you will miss him greatly.