From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Peterson, Roy Phillip

(born: 1934  -  died: 1998) 

Born in Alexandria, LA, Roy P. Peterson lived in Lexington, KY. He was the Deputy Executive Director for Academic Affairs at the Kentucky Council on Higher Education [now the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education]. He temporarily left Kentucky in 1985 to become the Interim President of Tennessee State University.

Upon his return to Kentucky in 1987, Peterson was named Executive Assistant Director for Educational Attainment at the Kentucky Council on Higher Education where he is credited with the development of a number of programs, including the Governor's Minority Student College Preparation Program, the Southern Regional Education Board's Compact for Faculty Diversity, and the Committee on Equal Opportunities.

Peterson was appointed by Gov. Wallace Wilkinson to the Governor's Task Force for the Arts, and in 1995  Gov. Paul E. Patton appointed him Secretary of the Cabinet for Education Arts and Humanities. The Milner Award was presented to Peterson posthumously in 2000. The Dr. Roy P. and Juanita Betz Peterson Arts and Education Fund is named in his and his wife's honor.

Peterson, a biology and liberal arts major, was a 1957 graduate, cum laude, of Southern University. He earned a master's degree in reproductive biology in 1961 at the University of Oregon, and his Ph.D. in endocrinology in 1967 at the University of Iowa.

For more see Musical Heritage Celebration, February 27, 2004 and March 3, 2006, both by the Musical Heritage Celebration Committee; and J. Hewlett, "Education Secretary Roy Peterson, 64, dies," Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/29/1998, City & Region section, p. B1.

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Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Musical Heritage Celebration (periodical)
NKAA Source: Lexington herald-leader (newspaper)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Peterson, Roy Phillip,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 26, 2022,

Last modified: 2021-05-07 17:01:32