Alumnus Makes $860,000 Donation to Peru State

Owen Zook

Owen Zook ('27)

A gift received from the estate of Peru State College alumnus Owen Zook, is the largest single donation in the history of the Peru State College Foundation. Zook graduated from PSC in 1927 with a bachelor's degree and a professional teaching certificate. After teaching and serving as a principal in Exeter, he spent most of his career teaching in the Eugene, Ore., area where he passed away in 2010 at the age of 106. He also earned master's degrees from Colorado State University and the University of Michigan. "When he was here, back in the 1920s, somebody made a big impact on his life," said Todd Simpson, executive director of the Peru State College Foundation. "That's what kept him teaching all those years, that's the reason why he remained enthusiastic and the reason he remembered Peru State. We're looking forward to helping a lot of students with this gift." PSC President Dan Hanson said Zook's gift is a testament to the college's founding principle of individualized education focused on student success. "Our focus on each of our students as individuals has made the college what it is today - a respected center for engagement, inquiry, discovery and innovation," Hanson said. "The time Mr. Zook spent at Peru State College clearly had a tremendous impact on his life for him to remember us in this way. His Bobcat pride never wavered, and his generous gift will ensure that future generations of PSC students have an opportunity to achieve greatness."