Valerian, universally known as Peppah, died Jan. 27, 2023, in his beloved New Orleans.

Peppah brought polymathic and passionate intensity to all that he undertook: a career in finance, a starring turn performing on the cello with the University Orchestra, captaining the equestrian team, cooking, gardening, history, and historic preservation. Through all these enterprises he maintained a deep commitment to the Anglican church, volunteering as warden of the vestry of All Saints Episcopal in New York and participating in the life of St. James Episcopal when he relocated back to Louisiana.

Peppah graduated from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, applying only to Princeton. He majored in politics and was a member of Ivy Club. In addition to the orchestra, he performed with the Triangle Club and the Freshman Singers. After graduation, he volunteered with the Princeton Schools Committee, with a special focus on recruiting minority and underserved students. His career in finance included the co-founding of the first minority-owned plan fiduciary consulting firm in the country.

Peppah is survived by his mother, Valeria Jean Butler; and sisters Lynn Whitfield, Kimberleigh Butler-Smith Taylor, and Shawne Langston Emery. The class joins them in mourning the loss of a singular talent and friend.

Undergraduate Class of 1982