Maryville Student Has Hair-Raising Experience


Maryville University student Jenny Palmer made a dare and lost her hair so sick children could get good care.

Palmer of Bellevue, Neb., a junior majoring in interior design at Maryville, and a resident assistant, told the students on her floor that if they raised more than $100 for the St. Louis chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation in the two weeks leading up to semester break, she would shave her head. The students, with contributions from throughout campus, surpassed their goal, raising $155. Palmer kept her word and lost her hair.

Palmer had been asked to hold the fundraiser by one of her floor residents, whose brother is seriously ill and who has been helped by the Make a Wish Foundation. Palmer had her head shaved in early January while in Denver for a convention with the Maryville chapter of Campus Crusade for Christ. Doing the honors was fellow Maryville chapter member, freshman Jessica Mitchell. “We tied my hair into two long ponytails and then cut them,” said Palmer, who added other Maryville students got to take a turn with the clippers once they saw what was happening.

Palmer wore a Mohawk for a day, which brought some interesting looks, before shaving the rest of her head. She noted her family knew what her plans were. “I got a lot of hats for Christmas,” she said with a laugh. Palmer said her mother, Janice Whitmarsh of Bellevue, got to see her for a day when Palmer returned home after the convention. “She just kept staring at me,” Palmer said. “She would feel the top of my head.”

Palmer’s shorn hair went to a good cause as well. She donated it to Locks of Love, an organization which uses donated hair to create wigs for cancer patients who have lost their hair due to radiation treatments. “It’s been an interesting experience,” Palmer noted. “It’s the least amount of hair I have had since birth. But its for a great cause, well, actually two great causes.”

Maryville University, founded in 1872, is a private, coeducational institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master’s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,300 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers by offering programs that integrate liberal arts with professional studies.

Among Maryville’s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.