R. Palmer Donnelly Swims Around Staten Island
August 27, 1960

   R. Palmer Donnelly was born in Erie, Pa. and moved to Perth Amboy, NJ as an infant. Palmer attended local schools, graduating from Perth Amboy High School in 1957. He was employed by Cheesebrough Ponds and attended Seton Hall University night school for a year. He then transferred to Upsala College as a day student, majoring in psychology. He was a member  of Theta Epsilon and its president in 1961-62. He wrote a cloumn for the Gazette concerning fraternity life on campus.

   He was always interested in athletics, with swimming always his favorite. He learned to swim at the age of four when his father Raymond, tossed him in the water, and has worked hard at it ever scince. When he was 11 he swam the Perth Amboy Y. M. H. A. pool nonstop 55 times, and the following year boosted his record by swimming the Y. M. C. A. pool 100 times nonstop. He swam as a Boy Scout and a charter member of Sea Explorer Ship 21, Sea Scouts.

   He received his letter in high school for wrestling, and played halfback on the football team for two years. He played city league basketball and enjoyed weight lifting and body building. During college he was employed as an instructor at the Orange Y. M. C. A. and as captain of the Perth Amboy lifeguards with a Red Cross Senior lifesaving and instructors badge.

Palmer's long range plan was to try and swim the English Channel if the Staten Island swim attempt worked to his satisfaction. He became the first person ever to swim around Staten Island.

   Palmer's cheering squad road a boat following him during his swim around the island. Pictured are Karl Pierson leading the "Go Palmer Go" chant, Ginny Ryan (Palmer's future wife", Larry Langley, Bill Hopken (obscured), Al Heller, Frank Hamm. Top Row: Satoshi Sasaki, George Hellerman, Marv Kuyper and Joe Hunoval.

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