Dr. Trudy Palmer (US’72)

Editor Emeritus

It’s fitting that Principia’s woman of letters, Dr. Trudy Palmer (US’72), inspires a wealth of descriptors: “whip smart” comes to mind, or “exceedingly gracious.” Also on the list: relentlessly curious.

Among the first African American students at Principia, Dr. Palmer is no stranger to breaking barriers— earning her PhD in English and American Literature at Stanford, then teaching at University of Pittsburgh and Tufts, helping to edit the Christian Science periodicals, not to mention a scholarly book on blues music, serving as an assistant dean at Washington University, before coming full circle to helm the Purpose for 13 years.

One of her Purpose highlights was the Summer 2009 issue on “Peace”: “It showed the difference Principians are making in the world,” she says. And in her final issue, Winter 2021, she was honored to share the story of Edith Walker, Principia’s first Black student.

Dr. Palmer has since spread her wings yet again, as cover story editor for The Christian Science Monitor. Her reserved demeanor belies an eagerness to greet the world that is as inspiring as it is expansive. “As soon as you open the door, you get to explore new territory. I love that.”

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