In Memoriam

John B. Turner (1922-2009)

John B. Turner, a Tuskegee Airman and former dean of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina, died after complications from a fall. He was 86 years old.

Professor Turner joined the faculty at Chapel Hill in 1974. In 1981 he was named dean of the School of Social Work, the first African-American dean in the university’s history. He remained in that post until his retirement in 1992.

Turner was a native of Fort Valley, Georgia. After studying at Morehouse College, he joined the Army and was assigned for pilot training at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. Trained as a bomber pilot, Turner did not see combat action in World War II because only black fighter pilots were deployed overseas.

After the war, Turner earned his Ph.D. in social work at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He served as dean of applied social sciences there and was the first African American to be elected a city commissioner in East Cleveland.

An endowed professorship and a building on the Chapel Hill campus are named in his honor.

Augustus Lindsay Palmer (1923-2009)

Augustus L. Palmer, who was a long-time administrator in higher education, died from prostate cancer at a hospice center in Washington, D.C. He was 85 years old.

Palmer was a native of Newport News, Virginia. He served as a Tuskegee Airman during World War II. After leaving the Army, Palmer earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics at Hampton University. In 1956 he received an MBA from New York University.

Palmer then served as an administrator at Texas Southern University in Houston. In 1971 he took a position at Howard University in Washington, retiring in 1991 as associate vice president for health affairs.