With a $2 million gift to the Eli Broad College of Business, alumnus Russell “Russ” Palmer and his wife Wendy are supporting the construction of the Business Pavilion and ensuring that business students have the resources to pursue their dream careers.
The college will name the future home for its career management teams the Russell Palmer Career Management Center in honor of Palmers’ gift.
“MSU’s new business pavilion will enhance our position to be in the forefront of helping our students to make the right career choice,” Palmer said. “The new career management center will offer enhanced, state-of-the-art career services to provide comprehensive topflight means for students to research areas of employment interests, connect to alumni for advice and access, and direct them to specific companies within their geographic areas of interest.”
Currently, Broad College’s undergraduate and graduate career centers are housed separately, as the Lear Corporation Career Services Center for undergraduates and the Graduate Career Management Center for MBA and master’s students at Michigan State University. The new Russell Palmer Career Management Center will house both in a single office on the first floor of the pavilion, making them more visible and accessible to the Broad college’s entire student body. The center will serve as a headquarters for career advisors and services, employer engagement and professional development services.
“Great facilities and resources are critical components of a world-class education and the Business Pavilion will position our business students to thrive after they graduate from Michigan State,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “We are grateful to Russ and Wendy Palmer for their support as we create a place for students to take that world-class business education into the job market.”
Palmer graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Currently, he is chairman and chief executive officer of The Palmer Group, a private investment firm in Philadelphia. Prior to that, he worked in accounting and consulting for nearly 30 years, during which time he was managing partner and CEO for Touche Ross International (now Deloitte). At 37, he was the youngest professional to obtain a CEO title at one of the world’s elite “big eight” firms. Palmer went on to serve as dean of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Palmer’s strategy behind the gift was one based on his passion and personal experience. “The career center will work more closely with students than ever before to maximize real opportunities and launch successful careers,” he said. “Having been the CEO of one of the largest accounting and consulting firms in the world, the dean of the Wharton Business School and the head of a private equity firm, I have come to realize how important the choice of career is in a fulfilling life that is happy, productive and meaningful both to the individual, his or her family and society in general.”
“Russ and Wendy’s ongoing support for the Business Pavilion reinforces our commitment to students’ success as they begin their careers and make an impact in the workforce,” said Sanjay Gupta, the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean. “Having joined the Broad College faculty as the Russell E. Palmer Endowed Professor of Accounting and Information Systems, I’ve felt the magnitude of the Palmers’ generosity for years. Now, we can look forward to feeling that same impact for years to come.”