Dr. Richard E. Peck '61
1990 Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement
Dr. Richard E. Peck '61 is an author, playwright, retired academic and accomplished writer. He published the novel “Something For Joey,” which was both a Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selection. He also wrote the three-act comedy, “The Cubs are in Fourth Place and Fading,” which earned the C. Brooke Fry Award from Theater Americana and for teleplays for television series such as “Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law.”
Peck was the first member of his family to earn a college degree. After high school and two years of factory work, he enlisted in the Marine Corps, as a green PFC and was selected for flight training. In June 1956, he was commissioned as the youngest officer and pilot in the Marine Corps at the age of 19. He then completed his degree at Carroll majoring in English where he was active in Carroll Players and Sigma Tau Epsilon.
He went on to lead a distinguished career in academia. He taught English at the University of Virginia and Temple University, and then filled administrative positions at the University of Alabama and Arizona State. Subsequently, he held the presidency at Arizona State University, the University of New Mexico and the University of South Florida.
Throughout his rise in academia he continued to serve on a variety of community and statewide boards and committees. He was known as a leader with an outstanding academic record who demonstrated a real commitment in minority recruitment and retention, diversification, and ability to effectively handle and resolve institutional crisis and transition.
Currently, Dr. Peck is a member of the Screen Writers Guild of America (West) and has contributed occasional columns to a number of newspapers. Dick, and his wife Donna (Krippner) Peck '60, are enjoying retirement in New Mexico.