Growing up during the depression in the drought-stricken Acadia Valley, on the border of Saskatchewan and Alberta, sensitized Frank Peers to the plight of young people dreaming of higher education. He first began contributing to scholarships at the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta, his two alma maters, because he remembered what it was like to be a graduate student facing the prospect of debt. In fact, it was only thanks to a $500 scholarship that he was able to come to the University of Toronto for his MA—this after earning his Honours BA at the age of 18.
After graduation, Peers worked for several years at the CBC, where he created public programming that earned him international awards and the enduring respect of his colleagues. He joined U of T’s Department of Political Economy (later the Department of Political Science) in 1963.
He established 12 scholarships over the years, many in honour of other people, as he shied away from public recognition.
Professor Emeritus Frank W. Peers passed away in 2016, leaving one more legacy to Arts & Science students in the form of financial support for mentorships, internships, study abroad and international scholarships.