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Yale 62

Peter Hamlin Wells

Born: February 23, 1941
Died: September 21, 2021

Peter Hamlin Wells was born in Harbor Green, N.Y. son of Arthur Millard and Ruth Hagerman Wells. Peter prepared for Yale at Andover.

At Yale Peter was a member of Silliman, on the Ivy Magazine board (Advertising manager 1959-1960), and a member of the German Club. Fittingly for one who would have a lengthy and distinguished career in education, Peter was an English Major.

After graduation, Peter pursued further education as did Peter’s spouse, Wendy, whom he married on June 20, 1982. He earned his M.A. in English in 1968 at Trinity College and his Ph.D. in English in 1970 from New York University. He also was awarded a M.Ed. from Columbia Teachers College and a degree in counseling psychology in 1981. He also earned his M.A. in school psychology in 1982 from Southern Connecticut State University.

Peter served six years in the Connecticut National Guard and was promoted to full Lieutenant by the time of his discharge in 1970.

Wendy earned her B.A. at Wellesley and M.S.Ed. (Southern Connecticut State University); teacher certification from Teachers College at Columbia, M.A. and 6th year certification from Southern Connecticut.

Peter was an important and devoted member of the Hopkins School faculty and administration over 42 years as a teacher, school psychologist, Dean of Students and Admissions Director. He taught both English and Psychology.

The official announcement of Peter’s passing highlighted his impact on Hopkins, the students and the community:

His dedication and excellence as a teacher, advisor and mentor touched generations of students and colleagues and had an indelible impact on Hopkins community. Even after his official retirement, Peter continued to work with Hopkins by administering the Independent School Health Checks as recently as February 2020. His many contributions to the School, including the introduction of psychology as a school subject, were recognized in 2006, when he was awarded the Hopkins Medal.

The address by Barbara M. Riley, Hopkins Head of School, in 2006 captured Peter’s leadership and lasting impact:

“Peter’s many roles and responsibilities, varied and significant as they have been, are subsumed under Peter’s most important role at Hopkins which has been, I believe, as a master teacher in the very broadest sense of that term.

“It has been Peter Wells who showed us how to add intellect to experience and find judgment and wisdom; it has been Peter Wells who took knowledge of the human mind, added, in equal measure, a dose of the human heart, listening, and about asking the questions that enable others to find their way to the answers, and then to more questions. Again and again, and for “students” of all ages, he modeled the intellectual habits, and the social and ethical behavior that set a standard for us all.

“It is, quite simply, impossible to overstate the importance of Peter Wells’ service to the purpose, ethos and people of Hopkins School. Peter’s forty-two year tenure at Hopkins has been a long and significant chapter in the Chronicles of Hopkins.”

Peter is survived by his wife Wendy and four children, all of whom graduated from Hopkins: J.B. Kittredge, Mary Groezinger, Ned Kittredge, and Sarah Campbell. The family asked that in lieu of flowers contributions in Peter’s memory be made to the Faculty Sabbatical Fund in Honor of Peter Wells, c/o Hopkins School, 986 Forest Road, New Haven, CT 06511 or at


R. G. Oliver