PETERS, HARRY ALFRED (4 Aug. 1879-15 May 1961) doubled the enrollment, solidified the finances, and created a new campus for UNIVERSITY SCHOOL during his term as headmaster (1908-47, afterwards, headmaster emeritus). Under his administration, the school established its reputation as one of the area's top PRIVATE SCHOOLS. Peters was born in Mauch Chunk, PA to Harry Alfred and Abigail (Horn) Peters. After a brief stint in the paymaster's office of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, he attended Phillips Academy in MA (1896-98) and Yale University (1898-1902), where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Peters first taught history, physical geography, French, Latin and German at University School (1902-07) and coached baseball (1903-07). Just prior to his appointment as headmaster, Peters was considering trading teaching for gold mining.
Among other professional activities, Peters chaired the committee on education of the Chamber of Commerce (see GREATER CLEVELAND GROWTH ASSOCIATION) and presided over the North Central Academic Association, the Headmasters' Association of the United States, and the Country Day School Headmasters' Association. He also served as the first president of the PROFESSIONAL MEN'S CLUB OF CLEVELAND (1930-31). On 1 Jan. 1908 Peters married Rosamund Zuck; they had a son Richard D., a former chief editorial writer for the CLEVELAND PRESS. After divorcing his first wife, Peters married Ruth Miller (d. 1950) in Oct. 1929. Peters, a member of the CHURCH OF THE COVENANT (PRESBYTERIAN), lived in SHAKER HEIGHTS and, after retirement, in CLEVELAND HEIGHTS. In 1933 he received honorary degrees from both Kenyon College and Yale University. Peters is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.