Student, Employee, Supporter
Linda A. Palmiero ’66
Linda A. Palmiero ’66 has accomplished much in her life, from helping to ensure the future of her family’s automobile dealership to solidifying the success of Allegheny College and many of its students.
Linda has served Allegheny in a variety of ways: She is a past president and member of the Alumni Council, has chaired her Reunion committees, and coordinated the search for the College’s 21st president six years ago. She also has experienced Allegheny as a student and later as a longtime employee, spending almost 30 years in a variety of posts, including assistant dean of the College, registrar, and interim director of Alumni Affairs.
Some of the most valuable lessons she has learned, with many of them reinforced at Allegheny, involve the rewards of service and philanthropy. Linda learned early that giving to others is the key to a successful and fulfilling life.
“I have been blessed with a close, loving family. My mother, a highly respected secondary school teacher, believed strongly in the value of education,” Linda says. “Both of my parents were hard workers who strived to provide opportunities and fun for my brother and me, as well as others.
“We learn about philanthropy through being aware — through friends, our personal interests, reading, listening,
and observing,” she says.
“I enjoy volunteering. In Meadville I have volunteered at Women’s Services, the Soup Kitchen, my church, and the YWCA,” Linda says. “In Hilton Head, where we currently live part of the year, I tutor first-graders at the elementary school and participate in our community endowment fund, which is active in raising money for the many nonprofit organizations on the island. In volunteer work I enjoy working with others who share a common interest and who work toward a particular goal. You see a need and apply your ideas, time, and money toward meeting that need. The effort brings joy to all — those who receive the services and money, and those of us volunteering.”
The family business, Palmiero Toyota in Meadville, is engaged in the community as well. It launched a “Give Back Program” four years ago and has supported organizations ranging from Women’s Services to the Court Appointed Special Advocate program to the Soup Kitchen.
How do Linda and her husband of 46 years, Joe, decide what causes to support?
“We each have our special interests, our ‘push-buttons.’ For me, it is education, children, women’s issues, and nonprofits that attempt to enable people in poverty conditions to develop resources and skills. My husband is interested in developing good business practices. We look for charities that are addressing a need, where the organization expends its resources to meet those needs and does not have a bulky administrative staff or expenses,” she says.
Linda points to her student years as a psychology major at Allegheny College as being formative — and transformative.
“I take great pride in saying I am a graduate of Allegheny College. The College supports and guides students in and out of the classroom. I felt myself grow and learn as I recognized that faculty knew me and cared about me. The College provides so many opportunities on campus and in the community for students to get involved, to become leaders,” she says.
Linda adds that she continues to volunteer at the College and support it financially because “I believe in the College and want to see the College continue to provide the high-quality education and opportunities for students to succeed, become leaders, and contribute to their communities and the world. I want to see Allegheny values inform citizens’ interactions. I want the College to have the resources to educate students, explore issues, and contribute to understanding and knowledge.”
Serving others has been a privilege that Linda has made a priority. She received the Robert T. Sherman Distinguished Service Award in 1995 for her dedication and support for the College. She also received the College’s highest award, the Alumni Medal, in 2009 for her volunteer service.
“Now that I am retired, I have more time to offer to nonprofit organizations and individuals, but I also recognize the ‘informal philanthropy’ that occurs every day in the workplace and institutions by caring people,” she says. “These are people for whom their work is a calling, not just a job. It is my experience that Allegheny epitomizes that value.”
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