Tuleah Palmer was announced as the 39th annual recipient of the Distinguished Minnesotan Award and will give the commencement addresses for Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College this Friday.
Palmer, a 2000 BSU grad, has spent 20 years in public service in northern Minnesota, including her work as CEO of the Blandin Foundation since 2020.
Prior to that, she spent years in advocacy and direct services work, like domestic abuse intervention in Duluth, victim services in Beltrami County, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Leech Lake Area, grant writer for the Leech Lake Band, and executive director of the Northwest Indian Community Development Center.
Over her career, she has written grants for $100 million in state and federal funds for community building in northern Minnesota.
Dr. John L. Hoffman, president of BSU and NTC, says Palmer is an outstanding BSU alumna who has positively contributed to the region and is an esteemed member of the BSU community.
“Tuleah’s passion for the people of Minnesota is truly remarkable,” he said.
“She is a highly-respected leader who has committed her professional career to serving others. At her core is an authentic commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in all of its forms, especially in rural spaces, and this has benefited Minnesotans in meaningful ways. I am beyond thrilled that she has accepted this year’s Distinguished Minnesotan award and will address our graduating students at this year’s Commencement ceremonies.”