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Former dean of women leaves KU $1.1 million

LAWRENCE | A former dean of women at the University of Kansas has left the school a $1.1 million bequest from her estate.

The gift from Martha Peterson, who died in 2006 at the age of 90, will be used to benefit an endowed math professorship.

Peterson earned a bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Kansas. She later was dean of women at the university from 1952 to 1956 and held other teaching and administrative roles.

The gift adds to an endowed math professorship established in 2003 to benefit two of Peterson's longtime friends, math professors Florence Black and Wealthy Babcock.

She was the first woman to serve on the board of Exxon, and became president of Barnard College in 1967, and the first woman president of Beloit College in Beloit, Wis. in 1975.

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