Dr. Peter Grothe 1931-2012

Written by  //  October 2, 2012  //  Passages  //  2 Comments

Longtime Monterey Institute staff member and adjunct professor Peter Grothe passed away on June 16 following a serious illness. He was 81.

Born in San Francisco, Peter was raised in nearby Hillsborough, and earned BA and MA degrees from Stanford and a Ph.D. in political science from George Washington University. He also received an honorary doctorate from the Monterey Institute in 2005. Peter’s proudest achievement was drafting the original Peace Corps legislation and giving it the name “The Peace Corps” in 1960 while working for Senator Hubert Humphrey. In 1961 he was appointed deputy director of the U.N. Division of the U.S. Peace Corps, and he taught and lectured for many years after leaving government service until his arrival at the Monterey Institute in 1979.

At the Institute, Peter taught cross-cultural communications and American politics, while for many years also serving as director of international student programs. Peter’s dedication to his students was exceptional, and he was known on the MIIS campus as a mentor and friend who inspired, guided, cared for, and sometimes even fed his students. In recent years, he also made a financial commitment to enable 145 highly qualified international and minority students to pursue their education.

Peter authored two books and published numerous articles and essays in the American Political Science Review, New York Times, Washington Post, and others. He was also an accomplished photographer whose photos grace the walls of many buildings throughout the Monterey Institute campus.  During his lifetime, he traveled in 138 countries.

The Institute hosted a celebration of Peter’s life in the Irvine Auditorium on September 18. Peter’s family suggests a donation in his memory to the Peter Grothe Scholarship Fund for Women in Developing Countries. You may donate online at go.miis.edu/givedrgrothe or mail a check to: MIIS Institutional Advancement Office, 460 Pierce Street, Monterey, CA 93940.

2 Comments on "Dr. Peter Grothe 1931-2012"

  1. Fran Lee Gazin May 3, 2013 at 1:27 am · Reply

    Dr. Grothe was my all time favorite professor at San Jose State many years ago and I was saddened to learn of his passing. He made political science class so interesting!

  2. Bilquees Daud November 16, 2014 at 2:07 pm · Reply

    It was a very sad moment when I heard about Peter Grothe’s passing away. I still remember the very first moment when I saw him, a very humble, kind and caring person. He was my first mentor who opened the first windows of opportunity for me to pursue my academic interest. I am very grateful to him for giving me the chance to be one of the first Afghan female who studied the ESL program in MIIS in 2004.
    It is a pity that I could not meet him after leaving MIIS. I believe he still remains with us in spirit.
    May his soul rest in peace,

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