Alumni Faculty and Staff

CPHHS mourns the loss of faculty emeritus, loyal supporter 

Jean Peters, ’64, faculty emeritus, is remembered as community steward and supporter of students

1988 foods and nutrition faculty group photo
Oregon State University College of Home Economics Department of Foods and Nutrition in 1988. From bottom row left to right: Lorraine Miller, James Leklem, Margy Woodburn, Margaret Lewis, Carolyn Raab, Jean Peters, Rosemary Wander, Constance Georgiou, Mary Kelsey, Zoe Ann Holmes, and Florian Cerklewski.1

The college’s long-time friend and loyal supporter, Jean Henrietta (McLeod) Peters, died Wednesday, February 15, at age 94. 

Jean started her graduate studies at Michigan State University and completed them in 1964 at Oregon State University with a master’s degree in nutrition and food management. 

Jean served on the faculty of the University of British Columbia before coming to Oregon State University in 1958 as a foods and nutrition professor. Her primary research was vitamin B6 methodology, with side projects analyzing elephant milk and cultural foods of the Warm Springs Tribes. She kept her students interested by telling them about milking elephants at the Portland Zoo. 

Jean retired as associate dean of the College of Home Economics and Education in 1991. 

During her tenure at OSU, Jean was awarded the OSU Elizabeth Ritchie Distinguished Professor Award in 1981. In 1989, she was voted the Westley Teacher/Counselor of the Year for the College of Home Economics.  

She was named Home Economist of the Year by the Oregon Home Economics Association in 1991, and also received the OSU Home Economics Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Award.  

Jean Peters (front row, lavender shirt) with College of Home Economics alumni in July 2019.

In 1991, she was honored with a classroom named for her in the OSU Bates Family Study Center in Bates Hall. 

Jean Peters (right) and G. Burton Wood (left), director of the OSU Agricultural Experiment, with Earl L. Butz (middle) United States Secretary of Agriculture in 1975.2

Over the years, Jean’s activities have represented a wide range of professional interests and community endeavors.  

She was president of both the Association of Retired Oregon State Employees and of the Oregon State Retirement Association. She was named Corvallis Senior First Citizen in 1996.  

Jean and her husband, Pete, felt strongly about returning something to the community in which they lived and worked through many volunteer projects, which led them to establish a fund with The Benton County Foundation. 

The Allen R. & Jean H. Peters Scholarship Fund awards annual scholarships to Oregon State University students studying in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences.  

Jean was born in Vancouver, B.C., on July 3, 1928, to Neil McLeod, a retired sea captain from Edinburgh, Scotland, and Catherine Sands McLeod.   

Both of Jean’s children, Steven Peters, CPHHS ’89, and Kathleen Dooley, CLA ’82, are alumni and supporters of Oregon State University. 

A celebration of life will take place at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 26 at OSU’s CH2M Hill Alumni Center, 725 SW 26th Street.

Adapted from the Benton Community Foundation and Jean Peters’ obituary 

Image sources:

  1. Historical Images of Oregon State University, Oregon State University. (28 Feb 2023). Foods and Nutrition Department members Retrieved from
  2. Historical Images of Oregon State University, Oregon State University. (28 Feb 2023). G. Burton Wood, Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz, and Jean Peters at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, 1975 Retrieved from