Oscar L. Rand ’40

Even though other great Peddie masters of his day took on many different roles in the life of the school, Oscar “Ozzie” Rand may have set the record!

When legendary Headmaster Wilbour Saunders hired Ozzie as an English teacher in 1940, he made an excellent choice. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale, Oscar had already taught English for two years - in China no less.

But World War II, which broke out in December of 1941, was to take Ozzie back to the Pacific. This time, he served as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Seventh Fleet in Australia, New Guinea and the Philippines. By the end of the war, he was the Aide to Admiral Thomas C. Kincaid, Commander of the Seventh Fleet.

When he returned to Peddie only to find that there were no openings in the English Department, Oscar was prevailed upon by Dr. Saunders to join the Math Department, where he taught and later chaired for many years. Of course, teaching was only one of his duties. He had a long tenure as a dormitory supervisor in Austen Colgate, Avery, and McCutcheon. He then joined the Administration as the school’s Registrar for many years. Only someone as able, steadfast, and hard-working as Ozzie could have been a teacher, department chair, Registrar, and head coach - and the consummate professional he was in each of these roles - all at the same time.

Whenever in the summer he wasn’t busy scheduling all the students and teachers, assigning classrooms, doing transcripts, and writing all the college recommendations (all this without a computer, no less!), he headed up the Peddie “school within a school” summer school.

Having played on his high school basketball and baseball teams, Ozzie was always interested in Peddie sports. At various times he coached Peddie’s eighth-grade basketball team and the varsity squash team, which played the Yale and Princeton freshmen as well as various Philadelphia-area teams.

Although he had never played soccer, he became interested in the sport through helping Evans Hicks with his great teams. When Evans had a heart attack one summer, Ozzie suddenly found himself a most surprised head coach. As Ozzie says in his typically modest fashion, “Fortunately, I inherited a fine team.” They must have inherited a pretty good coach, as well, since they won the prep school championship! Ozzie continued to coach soccer for a total of 16 years, winning two more state titles and enjoying many more fine seasons. Several of his players went on to distinguish themselves in collegiate soccer, joining the many others who - by the way they acquitted themselves on as well as off the field - have continued to be a source of pride to Ozzie and Peddie.