Why I Give – Mark Palmer ‘74

“I admit I’ve been a latecomer to giving to the school. I didn’t engage with KWC for a long time-not because I didn’t want to-it was simply out of sight and out of mind. In the last few years, KWC has done an excellent job in reaching out to me with letters, calls and personal visits, including one from Dr. Mitzel. Adding my old roommate Roy Pickerill ’75 to your alumni outreach team also helps since he knows everyone who has ever set foot on the campus during the last 50 years. In looking at the effectiveness of KWC’s recent Giving Tuesday campaign, it appears those efforts are reaping rewards for KWC. As for me, I’m reminded that my gifts may help others have their Professor Richard Ford moment (see below), and that is a powerful incentive for me.

“I read great things about KWC expanding its influence from its campus. Its academics are stronger; it has robust partnerships with other academic institutions and businesses. It is engaging in expanding workforce readiness and opportunities for its students. KWC is clearly punching above its weight and that should make every alumnus proud and supportive of its efforts. One way alumni can perpetuate KWC’s continued rise to elite status is to fuel it with their donations. By doing this, alumni can assist KWC to thrive and grow and be part of something larger than themselves.”


“After graduating from law school, I worked for about six years as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Macon and Princeton, Ind. I prosecuted everything from traffic tickets to murder cases. I then opened a private practice and got interested in politics. I was elected a state representative and served in the Indiana General Assembly. I found that three terms were enough for me, so I retired and returned full-time to my law practice.

“Shortly after retiring from the General Assembly, I received a call from large law firm in Indianapolis who thought I might be a good fit to join its lobbying group. About five years ago, I left the law firm I was with and went out on my own. I’ve been lobbying now for over 30 years, representing Fortune 500 companies, Indiana’s only commuter railroad, the largest privately held business in Indiana, a hospital system and smaller associations and businesses.”


“I married my high school sweetheart a few months after graduating from KWC. We have two children. Our son is an immigration lawyer in San Francisco. Our daughter helps me with the administrative side of my lobbying practice and also works with emotionally fragile children at a magnet school in Indianapolis. We live in Zionsville, a growing community, located a few miles northwest of Indianapolis.

“Before Covid, my wife and I enjoyed traveling and are anxious to resume that activity. I enjoy reading, especially history and biographies. Although my knees are shot from playing basketball for too long, I like to get out on the course to play an unexceptional round of golf. I also serve on the board of the foundation which preserves and operates Grouseland, the home of President William Henry Harrison, located in Vincennes, Ind. It was built in 1804 and served as the Indiana Territorial Capitol until 1816.”


“At the top of the list, I’d have to rank being a member of the Panther basketball team for four years. We were in the Final Four my freshman year and won the Division II National Championship in 1973. I started a few times, but mostly served as the sixth man.

“I also remember being a member of one of the first classes on computer programming at KWC. At that time, one had to punch holes in about a thousand paper cards and feed it into the computer (which was about as big as a car) to have it calculate 2+2=4. Since I’m more of a right-brained person, I really wasn’t very good at it–I’m still not good with computers-but I’ll never forget that experience.”


“My entire working career resulted from my taking a business law class at KWC. Richard Ford, an Owensboro attorney, was the professor of the class. I liked him as a professor, and I did very well in it. After one class, Professor Ford approached me and suggested I should think about applying for law school. I was stunned. Being a lawyer had never crossed my mind until that moment. Professor Ford also suggested I strongly consider applying to Mercer University. He’d recently been to Mercer and said he was impressed with the school. Based upon Professor Ford’s recommendation, I did apply to Mercer and was accepted. Three years later, I started my career in the law.”