Sierra College Announces Passing of Board of Trustee Member Nancy Palmer

September 13, 2023
Nancy Palmer News Headshot
Trustee Nancy Palmer

The Sierra College Board of Trustees is deeply saddened to announce the passing of valued colleague and Sierra College Trustee, Nancy Palmer. 

As a long-time Grass Valley resident and community leader, Trustee Palmer was inspired to run for the Sierra College Board of Trustees after the community groundbreaking of the college’s Nevada County Campus. Having grown up in a town with a college she recognized the value of community education. Her passion and enthusiasm won her first election in 1994, and she held the District 6 seat on the Board for an impressive 29 years. During her time of service, the Nevada County Campus opened and served thousands of students by bringing higher education to an underserved area. 

“Nancy cared about the college so much and her dedication as the representative for Nevada County was evident in everything she did,” said Paul Bancroft, Sierra College Board of Trustees President. “It’s not enough to say thank you to recognize her service, we are grateful for Nancy.”  

Trustee Palmer’s passion for community college extended far beyond the Nevada County Campus or the District. She coordinated trainings for fellow trustees at the state level, and one of her favorite events to participate in each year was focused on coaching student trustees from the 73 California Community College districts across the state. 

Students were the heart of Trustee Palmer’s motivation. She was the keynote speaker for many Nevada County Campus commencement ceremonies where she shared a few words of wisdom from Ann Landers’ famous column on maturity, including the following quote, “Action requires courage. Without courage in life very little is accomplished.” Trustee Palmer’s accomplishments demonstrate a life lived with action and courage, leading our students, and our community, by example. 

“Nancy dedicated her life to Sierra College, and I can’t imagine the college without her,” said Willy Duncan, Sierra College Superintendent/President. “We are grateful for Nancy’s service but most of all for the humanity she brought to governance, putting students first and always encouraging her fellow trustees to ask what was best for students. She was a wonderful colleague but more than that, she was a dear friend, and I will miss her greatly.”  

Donations to the Sierra College Foundation may be made in Trustee Palmer’s name to benefit Nevada County students at the following link: 

In Memory of Nancy Palmer – Beloved Sierra College Trustee  

About Sierra College 

The Sierra College District is rising to the needs of our community. Sierra College serves 3,200 square miles of Northern California with campuses in Roseville, Rocklin, Grass Valley, and Truckee. With approximately 125 degree and certificate programs, Sierra College is ranked first in Northern California (Sacramento north) for transfers to four-year universities, offers career/technical training and classes for upgrading job skills.  Sierra graduates can be found in businesses and industries throughout the region. More information at