Pete P.PetersPete P.​ ​Peters

President, Pete P. Peters Foundation

California State University, Fresno

The youngest son of Armenian immigrants, Pete P. Peters, known as “Uncle Pete” to many, got his start running Fresno’s Valley Foundry and Machine Works.  During that time, the business manufactured wine grape crushers, but shifted to ship winches and valves during World War II.  Fresno Foundry later was sold to Amatek, where Mr. Peters continued his career as vice president.  He longed to attend college, but instead worked hard and gained a reputation as an honest businessman.

Success spurred Mr. Peters to form his own charitable foundation. The Pete P. Peters Foundation is guided by the words of Mr. Peter’s late father:  “Give back to the community.”  Many organizations have been touched by his generosity, including the San Joaquin River Parkway and Conservation Trust, Valley Public Television, the San Joaquin College of Law, the Boys and Girls Club, and many others.

He believes that strong education and health care are integral components that make good communities great.  Since the early 1980s, the Foundation has provided numerous gifts to Fresno State, such as annual student scholarships in  Nursing, Business and Viticulture. The Foundation also established an Endowment for Armenian Studies.  In 1999 the Pete P. Peters Foundation and the Leon S. Peters Foundation provided the first $1.2 million to the Save Mart Center capital campaign. The gift created a state-of-the art 300-seat classroom auditorium in the Student Recreation Center.

Mr. Peters has given graciously to the Leon S. Peters Rehab Center at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.   For more than 30 years, this well-respected facility has helped accident victims, cardiac patients and others to walk and talk again.   The Peters’ family foundations also recently gifted $3 million to support the renovation and expansion of Clovis Community Medical Center’s Maternal Child Services. Mr. Peters and his family have given generously to improve the quality of health care in the Central Valley.

In recognition of these achievements, his outstanding leadership, and sincere civic commitment, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Fresno are proud to confer on Mr. Pete P. Peters the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.