A Legacy of Support

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Robert Peeler (BS ’48) came to Caltech in 1944, in pursuit of a chemistry degree. But his plans were waylaid by World War II. He redirected his focus to mechanical engineering to help the U.S. Navy meet its need for commissioned officers through the V-12 Navy College Training Program. After two years, he resumed his chemistry studies. Remarkably, he still managed to graduate in four years.

After Caltech, Peeler earned his master’s degree at MIT and embarked on a long, fulfi lling career. He was granted a patent in 1956 for inventing a rust-inhibiting lubricating oil, and conducted research in Northern California for Chevron Corporation for nearly four decades.

Through the years, Peeler kept abreast of Caltech’s breakthroughs in alternative energy sources, advancements in artifi cial intelligence, and glimpses of uncharted skies made by the Keck Telescopes. These contributions to science and society sustained his pride in his alma mater and inspired him to help others benefit from a Caltech education.

In 1990, Peeler established the Robert and Amelia Peeler Scholarship fund, named in honor of his parents. When he passed away, his bequest considerably enhanced the fund. To date, eight students have received support through Peeler’s gift, and more will benefi t from his generosity for generations to come.