A new scholarship has been established at the Newhouse School in memory of alumnus Fred L. Peterson ’72, G’73.
The scholarship is funded by a gift from Peterson’s partner, Carol O’Brien, with support from his children, Patric Peterson, Vical Peterson, Katie O’Brien Cancila and Megan O’Brien Cancila.
The fund will support undergraduate students at the Newhouse School, with consideration given to students who advance the University’s interest in promoting the educational benefits of a diverse student body.
A native of Chicago, Peterson served as a military journalist in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He attended Syracuse University on the G.I. Bill, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public relations. “He was tremendously proud to be a graduate of the Newhouse School,” O’Brien says.
After graduating with honors, Peterson had a successful career in public relations. He worked for International Harvester, becoming the first African American to serve as spokesperson for the company. He later held PR positions at Bethany Hospital in Chicago and the American Dental Association.
A staunch fan of the Orange, Peterson had hoped to visit campus again during basketball season. But he became ill with the coronavirus in November and passed away Dec. 22, before he could return.
“It is the hope of his family and loved ones that the scholarship for Newhouse students in Fred’s name will continue to honor his memory by helping other Newhouse students achieve their dreams,” O’Brien says.