Robert M. Peck '70

In 2020, we proudly honored  Bob Peck ’70 as the CHA Alumnus of the Year. Bob is a longtime volunteer, board member, parent, and supporter of CHA and SCH.

Bob served on CHA’s Board of Trustees from 1979 to 1987 and on SCH’s Board from 2010 to 2020. During that time he actively participated in fundraising for the McCausland Lower School and the Restore the Rec Campaign.  

Bob boasts an impressive professional resume. He is a senior fellow at the Academy of Natural Sciences; a writer with several books published; a naturalist; and a historian who has traveled extensively.

He is the winner of many awards including Philadelphia’s Wyck-Strickland Award for outstanding contributions to the cultural life of Philadelphia.

In 2012, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Delaware, and in 2015 he was honored with the Sarah Chapman Francis Medal for environmental writing by the Garden Club of America.

He also received the David S. Ingalls, Jr Award for Excellence in 2018. Bob was a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome.

Additionally, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Princeton University Library, Readers Digest Books, David Attenborough and the British Broadcasting Corporation (B.B.C.) rely on him as a valued consultant.

In 2006, he represented the President of the United States and U.S. State Department at Mongolia’s 800’s birthday celebration in Ulaan Baatar

Bob will be receiving the Founders Medal from the Society for the History of Natural History in London.  The medal is awarded to “persons who have made a substantial contribution to the study of the history of natural history” and who have made “a sustained record of high-quality publications in the field.” The Society is based at the British Museum.

Are you familiar with Peck’s Peeper? In 1988 it became a new species of South American frog, one of three new frog species that Bob discovered in the Amazon basin. Named in his honor: Eleuthodactylus pecki is commonly called “Peck’s Peeper.”

But he’s our honoree today because he always finds time for SCH and is often a benefactor of his expertise, experience, extensive knowledge, and time. His photographs have been published in books, journals, and magazines and exhibited in museums. Some of them are now part of SCH’s permanent collection and can be seen hanging on the walls of the Wissahickon Inn.

He has shared his experiences on many occasions, including this week at one of our virtual alumni events. Bob’s love of the natural world shapes his influence on SCH with a Science room in Lower School bearing his family’s name. 

Congratulations Bob and thank you for your dedication and service.

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