Northwestern Community Event to Honor Dean Penelope Peterson

Northwestern Community Event to Honor Dean Penelope Peterson

Penelope PetersonThe School of Education and Social Policy and the Northwestern University community will celebrate Dean Penelope L. Peterson’s 20 years of leadership from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, on the Mid-Campus Green (lawn east of Annenberg Hall).

Peterson, the Eleanor R. Baldwin Professor of Education at Northwestern, will retire from the dean’s position Aug. 31, 2017. Peterson has been dean of the School of Education and Social Policy (SESP) since 1997 and is currently Northwestern’s longest-serving dean and the longest-serving dean in the history of the School.

“Penelope Peterson has been a key member of the Northwestern community,” President Morton Schapiro said. “Her dedication, innovative approach and tremendous leadership have benefited the University immensely, and we deeply appreciate her significant contributions to the University’s academic success.”

During Peterson’s tenure, the School of Education and Social Policy increased undergraduate enrollment by more than 33 percent, and undergraduates consistently express great satisfaction with their experience in the School.

Nearly half of School of Education and Social Policy full professors have been elected to the National Academy of Education — the most prestigious institution for educational researchers in the world. The School’s endowment has increased from $900,000 to more than $46 million. And nearly 4,500 new alumni having joined us since Peterson began as Dean 20 years ago.

As dean, Peterson has created and sustained a number of innovative and impactful initiatives, including Northwestern Academy, a multi-year college preparation and enrichment program for diverse, academically motivated students in Chicago Public Schools. 

She also has continued to teach courses for undergraduates and graduate students. Committed to making the School of Education and Social Policy a supportive academic environment for undergraduates, Peterson created a strong advising system for which the School in now known.

“Our outstanding faculty, excellent staff, and wonderful students have made it a joy to be dean of the School of Education and Social Policy for nearly two decades,” Peterson said. “I will miss them greatly.” 

All are welcome to the free reception, which includes food and drink. Please RSVP to the event here.

By Julie Deardorff
Last Modified: 5/30/17