The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.

Retires from Faculty

Reuben Peterson
The Michigan Alumnus 227

Dr. Peterson Resigns From Faculty Post

The resignation of Dr. Reuben Peterson, to be
come effective in June of the current academic
 year at the conclusion of thirty years of service 
to the University, was accepted by the Regents on December 12.


Dr. Peterson, who bears the title of Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Bates
 Professor of Diseases of Women 
and Children, is the fourth man to
 head the Department of Obstetrics 
and Gynecology since the founding 
of the Medical School in 1851. 


During his many years at the
 University, Dr. Peterson has at
tained nation-wide recognition both 
for his own work and for the subsequent achievements of his staff
 members, many of whom now oc
cupy teaching positions in other uni
versities or are specialists in the
 field of obstetrics and gynecology in 
all parts of the country. He is rec
ognized as one of the most capable 
teachers and surgeons on the staff
 of the University Hospital, where 
he served as Medical Director from
1912 to 1918. During the World
 War he gave up this position to be-
come Major in the Medical Corps of 
the United States Army. From 1917
to 1919 he served also as medical adviser to the Governor of Michigan. He is equally prom
inent for his attainments in the classroom, in the con
sulting room, and in the operating room and has passed 
on to his associates much of the essence of his exten
sive studies and observations. 


Dr. Peterson has had in mind for some time the de-
sire to resign his professorship and to discontinue his
 active duties in the University Hospital at the comple
tion of thirty years of service. Not that his health is
 at all impaired by his arduous labors over a period of many years, but he feels that it is time to turn over the
 responsibilities to a younger man. While he has no 
particular plans for the future, he probably will con
tinue, for a few years at least, in special practice in
 Ann Arbor. 


Reuben Peterson was born in Boston, June 29, 1862. 
 He attended schools in the East and 
received his A.B. from Harvard in 1885. Four years later he received 
a medical degree from the same institution. In 1890 he moved to
 Michigan and married Josephine
 Davis of Elk Rapids. He began the
 practice of medicine in Grand Rap
ids and remained there until he was
 called to Chicago as Professor of
 Gynecology at the Post Graduate
 Medical School and Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology 
at Rush Medical College.


He resigned his professorships in
 Chicago in 1901 to accept the posi
tion of head of the Department of 
Obstetrics and Gynecology in the 
Medical School of the University of 
Michigan. He has written numer
ous articles for scientific journals. 
 He is also editor of "Peterson's Ob
stetrics," a volume published in
 1907, and "A Manual of Obstet
rics," published last year by Ed
wards Brothers of Ann Arbor. The latter volume is
 used by classes in the Medical School. 


Dr. Peterson is a Fellow of the American College of
 Surgeons, and a member of the American Medical As
sociation, American Gynecology Society (Pres. 1911), 
 Michigan State Medical Society (Pres. 1915), and the
 Detroit Obstetrical and Gynecological Society. 
 After accepting the resignation, the Board of Regents 
named Dr. Peterson to the honorary position of Professor Emeritus of Gynecology and Obstetrics.