Charles E. Palmer, Ph.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “Charles E. Palmer, Ph.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed May 20, 2024,

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Charles E. Palmer, Ph.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage

Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Speech, Charles E. Palmer (December 16, 1906 - ), a retired college professor and administrator, was born in Port Arthur, Texas, the son of Sarah Maria and Charles V. Palmer. His wife is Winifred N. Palmer (February 24, 1906 - ), the daughter of Nellie Mae and David Newberry. The young Charles Palmer graduated from Port Arthur High School in 1923. He then attended DePauw University on a Rector Scholarship and received his B.A. in speech in 1928. While at DePauw, Palmer worked as a graduate assistant to the chairman of the Speech Department during his senior year. He was also a member of the band and the glee club and earned keys in both debate and National Collegiate Players. After working for a year, Palmer entered Garrett Theological Institute to be groomed for a position as a conference director of religious drama. After receiving his B.D. degree in religious drama in 1932, the job for which he trained was never created due to the Great Depression. In 1932, Palmer became a minister at the Irwindell Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas for a year. He soon, however, left Dallas to teach public speaking, business, and English at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. Palmer then moved to Beaumont, Texas, where he was director of children's drama at the Junior Little Theater and director of The School of the Theater until 1936. Palmer then moved to Sevierville, Tennessee, where he taught English at Pittman Community Center until 1939. During this time, Palmer also served as a minister at the Methodist Church in Gatlinburg, Tennessee until 1940. For the next two years, Palmer worked with children at Mt. Hartnoni High School in Roxboro, North Carolina, where he was a teacher and assistant principal. He also served as the director of education/recreation at the National Youth Administration. During the Second World War, Palmer returned to the business world. From 1942 to 1943, he worked at the office of the post engineer, A.A.B. in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he was the chief administrative assistant and supervised civilian personnel. Palmer later worked for the Fingles Company in Baltimore, Maryland as the assistant to the superintendent and personnel manager until 1947. In 1944, Palmer returned to his true vocation as the director of speech and drama activities for the City of Baltimore for six years. During this time, he was also a member of the faculty at the University of Maryland, where he became an instructor in public speaking and voice and diction. He visited the University of Wisconsin to broaden his training in this area during 1949. Palmer became so interested in the field of speech correction that he attended the University of Wisconsin during the summer months and earned his M.A. degree in speech pathology in 1951. He then resigned from the University of Maryland to work on his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin. While working on his Ph.D., Palmer worked as a teaching assistant in speech pathology and as a speech correctionist in Rock County, Wisconsin, where he developed a program in speech pathology. Palmer earned his Ph.D. in speech pathology in 1955. Having received his Ph.D., Palmer took a position as director of special services in Waukesha County, Wisconsin. There he served as a speech correctionist for two days a week, and at that time there was only one speech correctionist on the staff. Before he left, he had built a program with six speech correctionists, had set up adequate facilities for the mentally retarded, and had implemented a transportation system for transporting all children with exceptional needs to appropriate facilities. Palmer taught part-time for seven years for the Extension Division of the University of Wisconsin. He also spent his summers teaching speech correction and directing speech clinics in South Dakota, at the University of Tennessee, at Rockford College, and at the University of Wisconsin. In 1959, Palmer became a faculty member at Northwestern State College, Natchitoches, Louisiana. While at Northwestern, Palmer developed a graduate program in speech pathology that met all of the academic requirements for ASHA certification. Until 1967. Palmer was also the director of speech pathology at Northwestern. He came to Appalachian State University in 1967 as professor and chairman of the Department of Speech. During his three years as chairman, the Department of Speech increased its repertoire of courses from 22 in 1967 to 59 courses in 1970. Palmer resigned as chairman in 1970 to teach and serve as director of the speech clinic he had established. Palmer's publications include: "The Exceptional Child in the Church School," in Child Guidance in Christian Living. September 1958. "They Need a Chance to Grow," in International Journal of Religious Education. February 1962. "The Role of Religion in Rehabilitation," in Rehabilitation Literature, December 1962. "We Must Prepare a Place for Them," in The Christian Home, January 1963. "What Shall We do With Him?," in International Journal of Religious Education, February 1965. The Church and the Handicapped Person, Abingdon Press, 1961. Speech and Hearing Problems, Charles C. Thomas Publishers, 1961. Religion and Rehabilitation, Charles C. Thomas Publishers, 1968. While at Appalachian State University, Palmer served on the Committee on Academic Policies and Procedures and the Curriculum Committee. Palmer held certificates of clinical competence in both speech pathology and audiology. He held membership in the American Speech and Hearing Association, the Council for Exceptional Children, the Division for Children with Hearing Disorders, the Speech Association of America, the North Carolina Speech and Drama Association, the North Carolina Speech and Hearing Association, the North Carolina Acoustical Society, and the Southern Speech Association. Palmer retired from his position at Appalachian State University in 1972 and was granted emeritus status by the board of trustees the same year. In his retirement, Palmer has served as Director of Special Projects for the Bristol (TN-VA) Speech and Hearing Clinic, setting up speech and hearing clinics in Kingsport, Tennessee, in Wise, Virginia, and in Lebanon, Virginia. He organized and served as director for five years of the Offender Aid and Restoration of Bristol and served three terms as a member of the College Board of Virginia Highlands Community College. As this is written, Palmer is serving on the Governor's Advisory Committee for the Division of Volunteerism, the Advisory Council of the Center for Volunteer Development (located at Virginia Tech), and the Advisory Committees of R.S.V.P. of Bristol, and the Services for the Aging of the District III Governmental Cooperative (headquartered in Marion, Virginia). Sources: Appalachian State University files and personal correspondence, - Dr. Richard D. Howe

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