Centenarian Barbara (Burtis) Peck ’32, should have a penny for every life she’s changed, every community she’s touched, every legacy she’s left. If she did, she would surely give it away, as she did for so many decades, to students, to community organizations, to causes. Barbara and her legacy of service were celebrated when she turned 100 in February. At a party in her honor, Tammy Bray, Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences presented Barbara with her teaching license, an award that in the 1930s was reserved for single women.
Barbara and Norton Peck married while she was still a student at OSU, then Oregon State Agricultural College. In the 1960s she earned the title of “Queen Barbara” when she led the Delphian Society women’s group to save the Pittock Mansion in Portland. She volunteered for 55 years as the Red Cross and helped found the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District in Washington County. “I took part in every organization that I thought enriched the community,” she said.
A regular guest for years at the college’s Celebration of Excellence, Barbara has helped countless students realize their dream of a college education through the endowed Barbara B. Peck Scholarship. Her generosity has paid tuition, purchased books, and sent students to conferences. Her legacy of learning will assist OSU students for generations to come.