As a native of Minneapolis, KS, Chester E. Peters (Chet) began his legacy on the Kansas State University campus in 1940, when he arrived as an undergraduate student in business administration. While an undergraduate, he earned varsity letters in football and track and was a member of several honorary societies. He completed his bachelors degree in 1947. In 1950, Chet earned his masters degree in economics and agricultural economics at K-State. In 1953, he completed his doctorate in economics, agricultural economics, and administration at the University of Wisconsin.
At K-State, Chet served as an Assistant Dean for the College of Arts & Sciences before being named K-State Director of Placement in 1953. He became Dean of Students in 1962, and Vice President for Student Affairs in 1967. He remained Vice President for Student Affairs until his retirement in 1985. While serving as a K-State administrator, Chet also served as an advisor to Blue Key & Student Government, was a member of the Athletic Council, and chaired numerous University councils and committees.
On a national level, Chet held several office within the College Placement Council, including President from 1962-1963. He was quite active within the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), serving as a Regional Vice President, the Director of the Division of Professional Relations and Legislation, and as President of NASPA from 1971-1972. Chet also served as NASPA's representative on the American Council of Education's Commission on Collegiate Athletics. He was also a member of the North Central Accreditation Team for many years.
In 1980, a new campus recreation complex was named after Chet Peters, and appropriately so. Chet was a world-class runner who competed nationally and internationally in master's competitions through the U.S. and in Canada, Germany and Australia. He completed the mile, the 1,500 steeplechase, the 3,000-meter-run, and later in life, in race walking. As exemplified in his own life, his commitment to students was marked by his caring about the total welfare of students, body as well as mind.
In 1983, K-State in cooperation with the College of Education, named a lecture series after Chet. The Chester E. Peters Lectures in Student Development Series is in recognition to Peters' contributions to students and the student personnel profession. As Chester E. Peters Scholarship for Student Development was also established in honor of Chet and is awarded each year by Blue Key to a student who has contributed in an especially positive way to the development of other students.
As stated by Vice President for Student Life & Dean of Students, Pat Bosco, "During his years of service at K-State, Chet gained the admiration and respect of countless K-State students who were moved by his warmth, gentle humor and caring attitude. His ability to extend an understanding of the real meaning of goodness as a human quality is his legacy to learning."