Peder Sather

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sather Tower at UC, Berkeley

Peder Sather (September 25, 1810 - December 28, 1886) was a prominent Norwegian-born American banker who is best known for his legacy to the University of California, Berkeley. His widow, Jane K. Sather, donated money in his memory for two of the school's most famous landmarks. Sather Gate and Sather Tower, which is more commonly known as The Campanile, are both California Historical Landmarks which are registered National Register of Historic Places[1]


Peder Pedersen Sæther was born in Odal, a traditional district in the county of Hedmark in eastern Norway, on the farm Nordstun Nedre Sæther (Sør-Odal). His parents were Peder Larsen and Mari Kristoffersdatter. Sæther was a fisherman before emigrating to New York City in about 1832.[2] He entered the banking house of Drexel & Co. in Philadelphia and remained there until 1850.[3]

In 1850, he and his business partner, Edward W. Church, moved to San Francisco and established the banking firm Sather and Church. Upon his death, the Sather and Church banking firm was absorbed by the Bank of California. Peder Sather was a trustee of the College of California, which would later become UC Berkeley.

His first wife Sarah Thompson was born in 1808 in Connecticut and died in 1881. They had 4 children: Caroline E. Sather, born about 1838, Josephine Frederikke Sather (married Bruguière), born about 1843, died when the White Star Line passenger liner RMS Arabic was torpedoed on August 19, 1915. Mary Emma Sather, born about 1845 and Peder B. Sather, born about 1846. Peder Sather was the maternal grandfather of photographer, Francis Bruguière.

Peder Sather married secondly, in 1882, the widow Jane Krohm Read. She was born 1824 in New York state and died 1911 in California. After her husband's death, she donated money for the construction of a gate and belltower, both of which are named in their honor. She also created an endowment for the Sather Professorship of Classical Literature.[4]

Peder Sather Symposium[edit]

The Peder Sather Symposium is a biennial event organized as a collaboration between the government of Norway and Sweden and UC Berkeley. The stated goal of the symposium is to promote the understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues. It is designed to foster interdisciplinary discussion among scholars and policymakers on global and national issues of mutual concern.[5]

Sather Classical Lectures[edit]

The Sather Classical Lectures are an annual presentation by a selected scholar (the Sather Professor) on topics from the Greek and Roman world of antiquity. The lectures are usually about six in number, and are normally reprinted in book form.[6] Among the distinguished appointees have been Ronald Syme, William Bedell Stanford, John Myres, Brian Stock, and Herbert Weir Smyth.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sather Tower and the Sather Gate (Viking magazine. Sons of Norway)
  2. ^ Peder Sather, a famous banker born at Sæther (Slekt i Sør Odal)
  3. ^ Death of a Prominent Ban Francisco Banker at Oakland (Daily Alta California. December 29, 1886) [1]
  4. ^ A Brief History of the Sather Professorship (Joseph Fontenrose. "The First Century" 1982)[2]
  5. ^ Peder Sather Symposium (The Center for Studies in Higher Education) [3]
  6. ^ Sather Classical Lectures (Classics Department of the University of California, Berkeley) [4]

Further reading[edit]

  • Dow, Sterling Fifty Years of Sathers: The Sather Professorship of Classical Literature in the University of California, Berkeley (University of California Press. 1965)
  • Alexander, William Hardy The Sather Classical Lectures (Classical Association of the Atlantic States. The Classical Weekly, Volume 48, No. 2 January 3, 1955)

External links[edit]