Stephen Peck Memorial
"We of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at U.C.L.A. were privileged to have Stephen Peck among us ... for almost a decade. As student, graduate teaching assistant, faculty member, and scholar in his chosen field he will be remembered for his remarkable linguistic abilities, his radiant enthusiasm, and his capacity to convey his enthusiasm as well as his knowledge to students and colleagues alike."
- Shirley L. Arora
Chair, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Dorothy Adams Peck established the Stephen Madry Peck, Jr. Memorial Scholarship to memorialize her son who died from a brain tumor in January 1990. Because of his proficiency as a teacher and his dedication to his students and profession, the Stephen Madry Peck Scholarship in Language and Linguistics for Minority Students has also been established at U.C.L.A. Dr. Peck, a graduate of Twin Lakes High School, was a scholar with an abiding interest in foreign languages and culture. He traveled throughout Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and South America doing research and study of languages and cultures.
His professional studies were conducted at the University of California at Los Angeles (Ph.D. in Romance Linguistics); Pennsylvania State University (M.A. in Spanish Linguistics); Davidson College (B.A. in Spanish Literature); Universidade Federal da Bahia, Brazil (Fulbright Fellowship in Portuguese and Linguistics); Universite de Paris IV, the Nouvelle Sorbonne; Institut Hispanique de Paris and Institut National de Langues et Cultures Orientation; Boston University, Department of African Studies (Cape Verdean Krioulo); and Antioch College (Junior Year Abroad, Bogota, Columbia). He was proficient in eight languages besides his native English, and was a professor of Romance Languages at U.C.L.A.
Continuing a tradition started with his first high school medal, he earned plaudits at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including two Fulbright Fellowships and study grants from non-profit private foundations. Stephen was initiated into Phi Sigma Iota Honor Society for excellence in Romance Languages. The Peck clan has strong interests in education and has produced a family of doctors, dentists, college professors, school administrators, social workers and business men and women of the highest integrity. Not surprisingly, Stephen Jr., was a gifted professional, challenged by new experiences and guided by excellence.
He tackled his academic endeavors with gusto and inspired hundreds of students to strive for scholastic excellence. Stephen's hunger for teaching and learning guided his service in many areas. He was a program producer, lecturer, interpreter and consultant for various United States, United Nations and overseas organizations. He had also worked as a feasibility investigator with the Palm Beach County Public Defender's Office.
Included among the family members who cherish Stephen's memory and accomplishments are his wife, Luciene F. Peck, Los Angeles, California; mother, Dr. Dorothy Adams Peck, West Palm Beach, Florida; brothers, Jonathan Earl and George Marlon Peck, New York City and Ft. Myers, Florida, respectively; grandfather, J. N. Adams, Waycross, Georgia.
"Stephen Peck was one of those rare human beings whose extraordinary desire for the pursuit of knowledge was tempered by his warm sense of humanity. As a scholar, Stephen was fascinated by languages. As a human being, he was fascinated by the people who spoke them; especially the people of Brazil and West Africa. His talent for language was remarkable: besides his native English, Stephen learned Portuguese, Spanish, French, Bambara and the Kriol of Guinea-Bissau. His research interest led him away from home to Brazil, to France, and to Africa. In all of these, he left a stream of friends who will always remember him as the warm, brave, and excellent human being that he was."
- A. Carlos Quicoli,
Chair, Romance Linguistics and Literature Program
Department of Spanish and Portuguese University of California, Los Angeles