Sunday July 14, 2024

Joe Palmer '84 Memorial

We are very pleased to report that a number of members of the Class of '84 and Joe's family have instituted a special fund in memory of Joe Palmer '84. Joe was one of the keystones of OA's climbing program in the eighties and helped to build the first climbing wall. He died in a climbing accident in Yosemite in 1985. A number of Joe's roommates and friends have created a special memorial fund to honor Joe, his contributions to OA, and his love of climbing.

In June of 2007 the original Climbing Wall that Joe helped build was torn down as the University demolished the Armory building to make way for a new Chemistry building. We are extremely grateful to the University for building a new state-of-the-art Climbing Wall to replace the original Wall. Thanks to generous gifts from a number of Joe's roommates and other members of Joe's class we have raised over $30,000. A portion of these funds were used to purchase new equipment to outfit the new Climbing Wall.

Our long term goal is to develop an endowed fund in Joe's name to support the annual operation of the Wall. This seed funding for this endowment comes from the gifts made by Joe's family and friends. We hope to continue to expand the fund to be able to generate an annual operating budget of $25,000 to cover the costs of staffing, training, equipment to ensure that the Climbing program continues to thrive at Princeton and that the Wall is open to all students. Funds from the Palmer Fund will also support activities like the Peak Potential Community Service Program.

Our second goal is to expand the current Wall and add a bouldering room. This was part of the original design plan for the new Wall. This will require $100,000. To contribute to the Joe Palmer '84 Fund, please see the OA Gifts page or contact Rick Curtis at the OA Office (609-258-5621, email oa at

I can't think of a more fitting way to remember Joe than to support the Climbing Program at Princeton that was so important to Joe. I want to encourage all of those who knew Joe and those who want to see the OA Climbing Program continue to grow to contribute to the Joe Palmer '84 Memorial Fund. 


Donations to the Joe Palmer '84 Memorial Fund are fully tax-deductible donations to Princeton University. Donations should be sent to:

Outdoor Action
Dillon Court West
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544

For additional information, please contact the Outdoor Action Office (609) 258-5621.