School of Medicine

Obituary: William A. Peck, former medical school dean, 89

William A. Peck, MD, former executive vice chancellor and dean of Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, died peacefully, surrounded by family, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, at his home in St. Louis County, Mo. He was 89.

The first to hold the positions of both executive vice chancellor and dean at the university, Peck also served as president of Washington University Medical Center during a span when the School of Medicine became one of the nation’s leading centers for medical research and academic clinical practice, as well as one of the most academically selective medical schools.


As Peck worked to elevate the school’s stature over his 14-year tenure as dean, he focused heavily on recruiting top researchers, educators and staff; on fostering infectious collaboration among those on his leadership team; and on raising the school’s research profile in genetics, neurodegenerative disease and basic science.

Under his leadership, the university opened the Center for Advanced Medicine, a 14-story building aimed at providing state-of-the-art clinical and outpatient surgical space for the school’s rapidly growing Faculty Practice Plan. The building houses Washington University outpatient clinics and operating rooms and also includes the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, which was launched in 1999, also during Peck’s tenure.

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