The St. Mary’s University community mourns the loss of H. Palmer Hall, Ph.D., the longtime director of the University’s Louis J. Blume Library, who passed away Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.
Visitation will be in Assumption Chapel on the St. Mary’s campus on Monday, Feb. 11 from 4-6 p.m., and the rosary will be said at 6 p.m. A funeral mass will be held in Assumption Chapel on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 11 a.m., with a reception immediately following in the University Center, Conference Room A.
Hall first joined the University in 1976 as a bibliographer and reference librarian, and was named director in 1980. During his decades as director, Hall led the remarkable transformation of the library as advances in technology changed the way libraries function. Just last fall, the University dedicated the new Charles L. Cotrell Learning Commons, which came from Hall’s longtime vision for the space. The Cotrell Commons, a new learning environment developed on the first floor of the Blume Library, is a popular study and gathering spots for students, faculty and staff, and includes comfortable new furnishings, extensive access to technology and on-site technology assistance, extended library hours and a coffee shop.
Hall, a tenured faculty member, taught classes in creative writing and poetry in the Department of English. He is known for mentoring several generations of artists, both on campus and in the community, particularly through the University’s Pecan Grove Press.
An accomplished writer and poet, Hall was the author of 11 books, including Into the Thicket, The Big Thicket: Requiem and Redemption, and Foreign and Domestic. His work appeared in various literary magazines, including North American Review, The Texas Review, The Texas Observer, The Florida Review and many others.
In 2008, he was honored with the Art of Peace Award from the University’s President’s Peace Commission, and in January 2013, he received the Marianist Heritage Award for his contributions to and support of the Catholic and Marianist traditions of St. Mary’s. In 2005, he was elected to membership in the Texas Institute of Letters.
St. Mary’s University repeatedly has been nationally recognized for its commitment to service and community engagement. The Carnegie Foundation has given St. Mary’s its prestigious Community Engagement Classification, and St. Mary’s has received the Presidential Award from the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition for service in higher education. St. Mary’s University is a Catholic and Marianist university with a tradition of academic excellence.