Honors Program celebrates 25 years with lecture, new award

March 16, 2012

Senior Lecturer of English Emerita Nancy Palmer returns to the Hill to give the 25th anniversary Honors Program lecture at 7:30 p.m. March 20 and celebrate inaugural College Scholar Alumni awardee Dennis Lucey ’01.

The lecture, “Great Works: Transcending Academic Tariff Walls,” is in McDaniel Lounge and is free and open to the public.

Palmer, who was Honors Program director from 1992-2002, will discuss Great Works and how they encourage thought and creativity. She is well acquainted with the topic, having taught Great Works of the Western World I during her four decades at McDaniel. Husband Del Palmer, professor of English emeritus, taught the second semester of the course, both of which were required of Honors Program students.

During her career, Palmer challenged herself as an academic and teacher – and she challenged the campus status quo regarding women’s rights, the rank of adjunct faculty members and the lack of campus diversity.

Among the designers of the Honors Program, Palmer and a committee of faculty and administrators developed a plan for living and learning on campus that tied together curriculum, affinity housing in Daniel MacLea residence hall and cultural and social activities.

College Scholars, a designation graduates of the Honors Program earn, are sure to remember the famous Palmer maxim, “don’t waste your brains.” The memory no doubt resonates most clearly among graduates from the decade of Palmer’s directorship, who include inaugural College Scholar Alumni Award recipient Dennis Lucey.

Lucey, who earned a master’s degree in quantitative finance from the University of Texas at Austin, exemplifies the award, which was established in 2012 and given annually to a graduate of the Honors Program who has demonstrated leadership in career, academic and civic involvement. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and the national leadership society Omicron Delta Kappa, Lucey is a financial analyst for Genscape, the Boston-based global provider of energy information for commodity and financial markets with clients that include the top 50 U.S. and European power generating, trading and marketing companies as well as the Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.