Monday, October 21, 1996

Name: Edwin C. Peterson
Age: 60
Education: Northern Michigan University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Southern California
Hobbies: Jogging

AF trainer hits peak

Edwin Peterson may not have realized his dream of becoming a college football or basketball coach, but he's headed for the hall of fame nonetheless.

Peterson, chief of education and training for the Pacific Air Forces headquarters at Hickam Air Force Base, is among the first class of inductees into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will take place Oct. 29 in Charlotte, N.C.

Thurman J. White, chairman of the hall, said Peterson is being recognized for his vision, which has "lifted learners ahead of their time."

Peterson, a civilian, achieved fame in his field largely by helping to shape it. Before the early 1970s, when he came on board at Hickam, adult education had not achieved the recognition it now enjoys as a profession in its own right.

"We kind of give a lot of adults a second chance," he said.

Peterson has been responsible for the development, operation and management of Air Force and interservice adult continuing education and training programs.

He oversees education programs that serve more than 120,000 U.S. military personnel and civilian employees throughout the Pacific in Australia, New Zealand, Diego Garcia, Johnston Island, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

The job has allowed him to get in plenty of traveling - something he's grateful for.

Peterson grew up in Sault Sainte Marie in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He expected to be doing something entirely different when he was a student at Northern Michigan University, where he played on the basketball and football teams.

His goal of coaching college basketball or football had to be modified when he started his career with the Air Force in 1958 as a contract education adviser at Kincheloe Air Force Base in Michigan.

But Peterson says he would never question the path he's taken.

"It's a surprise," he says, referring to his induction into the adult education hall of fame. But he says he couldn't be happier to be there.

Jean Christensen, Star-Bulletin

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