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Alumni Feature 1

Charles L. "Chick" Peterson, Class of 1953

Artist, Professor

Charles L. "Chick" Peterson

A 1953 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Marietta College and later a revered professor, art mentor and friend, Charles L. Peterson taught at Marietta College from 1959 – 1973. Before coming to Marietta, he served in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific.

The Elgin, Illinois, native worked as a commercial artist for Chicago's prestigious Leo Burnett Advertising Agency and studied at the American Academy of Art. He then transferred to Marietta College, where he earned his undergraduate degree. He received his Master's degree from Ohio University, taught at Concord College, and then returned to his Alma Mater. Peterson is credited with expanding the arts program by adding faculty and broadening the program to include printmaking, ceramics and sculpture. He designed the third floor of the Hermann Fine Arts Center. While teaching he also completed commissioned works of art and freelance illustrations.

A series of Peterson's watercolors was part of a European tour in 1961. Peterson retired to Ephraim, Wisconsin, in 1973 to devote full time to painting. Known for his detailed renderings of ships, sailing conditions, historical marine objects, and agricultural work, Peterson paints mostly in watercolor and oil. His very successful limited edition prints can be viewed in corporate boardrooms and private homes.

He received a Distinguished Alumni award from Marietta College in 1985, an honorary Doctorate of Humanities in 1988, and was honored as the College's first professor inducted into the Emeritus Chamber in 1997.