The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.


George Ellis Palmer
Law School

George E. Palmer was a professor of law at the University of Michigan from 1946 to 1978, when he was named professor emeritus. He was born on February 3, 1908 in Washington, Indiana, and married Ruth Hamersly on July 7, 1935.

A 1932 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, he also spent some time studying law at Columbia University around 1940. He served as attorney and associate general council for the United States Office of Price Administration from 1942 to 1945, where he authored the Rent Control Laws for the country during World War II. He was an attorney for the Department of Justice in 1945.

Palmer primarily taught courses on Trusts and Estates and Restitution while he was at the University of Michigan. He was regarded as an international authority on restitution, and wrote many works about the subject including a casebook (with Jack Dawson) used in the teaching of restitution, a four-volume work on restitution, an article on the history of restitution, which appeared in the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, and other articles that appeared in various law journals.

He served on several Law School committees, including the Academic Standards Committee (1970 - 1972) and the Library Advisory Committee (1965 - 1969; committee chair, 1966 - 1969). He was also a member of the Board of Governors of Residence Halls from 1957 to 1960, during which time the board was dealing with problems relating to the integration of the residence halls.

After retiring in 1978, Palmer continued to teach both at the university and as a guest lecturer at other law schools. He also continued to do research and produce scholarly articles throughout the 1980s. George Palmer died on May 10, 1994.