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Luther R. Palmer, Jr.’s Legacy

The Luther R. Palmer, Jr., Work Study Program


Recently, Pine Forge Academy Foundation implemented the Work Study Program to provide additional opportunities for PFA students to have financial assistance.   They will gain important work and leadership experience along with being compensated. The Executive Board of the Foundation, in collaboration with the National Pine Forge Academy Alumni Association has voted to re-name this worthy program The Luther R. Palmer Work Study Program to pay tribute to Elder Palmer’s legacy of caring and countless contributions to PFA.


The Pine Forge Academy Foundation is pleased to establish The Luther R. Palmer, Jr. Work Study Program in honor of our beloved Luther R. Palmer, Jr.  It is because of the impact that Elder Palmer had on our lives as students and friends that the Pine Forge Academy Alumni and Foundation exists.   His innovative and long-lasting contributions have directly benefited countless PFA students and others throughout the nation.  Elder Palmer was a friend, motivator, and counselor.  The beam in his eyes reminded youth how much he cared about them and how much he desired to see them achieve.  The expressions on his face also communicated to us that he desired a quick change in our behavior whenever we tested the rules in the smallest manner.


Elder Palmer loved Pine Forge Academy and provided excellent leadership as our Principal and Chair of the Pine Forge Academy Board when he was President of the Allegheny East Conference.  His vision for the Academy was to ensure that each eligible student in the Conference would have an opportunity to attend Pine Forge Academy with scholarship assistance available to them.


About Luther R. Palmer, Jr.


Elder Luther R. Palmer, Jr., 1929—2016, is the former president of The Lake Region Conference. President Palmer served as principal of Pine Forge Academy from 1963 to 1966.  It was during this time the Academy received its first accreditation and conducted the first renovation of the historic Manor House.


Elder Palmer was a man of many talents.  He masterfully perform the academics and he was also a master working with his hands. He began his professional career as a businessman and worked with his father in a masonry and construction company. During these years with his father, their company built the Pine Forge Academy Administration Building, now known as Wagner Hall.


During the years 1966-1971, Elder Palmer pastored the First Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington, DC.  He went on to serve as Executive Secretary for Allegheny East from 1971 to 1975 and later as the third president of Allegheny East Conference from 1975 to 1981.  During this time he led in the building of the pavilion, the log cabins on the historic grounds of the conference and the boy’s dormitory for Pine Forge Academy known as Handy Hall.  He left Allegheny East in 1981 to serve as Executive Secretary for the Columbia Union.


In 1987, he was voted President of Lake Region Conference and served from 1987 to 1990. He returned to Allegheny East and pastored the Breath of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church for ten years in Fort Washington, Maryland.


Elder Palmer was a champion and advocate for Christian Education. The Alumni Association and the Foundation exists to advance the strategic visioning, governance and fundraising efforts of the Academy and to provide high quality Christ centered education for its students.  Whenever the opportunity was presented, Elder Palmer supported our goals along with providing counsel and wisdom that empowered us to reach those goals over the years.


Luther Palmer, Jr. longed to have thriving industry available to provide work experiences for students attending the Academy.   We are determined that his dream does not vanish and that the Foundation carries his vision to completion.


The Pine Forge Academy Foundation Board of Directors


Edward Pelote, M.D.,  President and COO