First Urbana chancellor dies at 91

Jack Peltason, the first chancellor of the Urbana campus, died Saturday at 91 years old.

Peltason served as the LAS dean and before serving as chancellor from 1967 to 1977. Following his term as chancellor at the University, ┬áPeltason became President of Washington D.C.’s American Council on Education, where he served for seven years.

Pelatson was born in St. Louis, MO in 1923, and attended the University of Missouri from which he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees and also met his wife, Suzanne.

Pelatson’s time at the University spanned most of the Vietnam war and he was known for keeping the University open despite student demonstrations on campus. He met with the Illinois State police and the National Guard before deciding to keep the University open through the demonstrations and was one of the only major universities in Illinois to do so.

Peltason is also known for authoring the textbook “Government by the People” which details the history of American democracy.

He is survived by his wife Suzanne and their three children as well as their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.