Honoring Innovation

New scholarship honors pioneer of color TV

When Steve Kirkwood was young, he had no idea his father’s engineering work would influence the development of color television. In fact, as vice president of the consumer electronics division for RCA, Loren Kirkwood held 36 patents in radio and television.

“He accomplished quite a bit,” said Steve Kirkwood, who recently established the Loren Kirkwood Memorial Scholarship for electrical engineering students in his father’s honor. “I thought it would be good for the university and the family to recognize him.”

Kirkwood was a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and served as engineering policy council chairman for the Electronics Industries Association’s Consumer Electronics Group. He directed all technical activities for demonstrations and field tests of RCA’s new receivers, and was deeply involved the development of the CTC 100, the first color television which sold in 1954 for $1,000. Kirkwood worked for RCA until age 74, a few years before his death in 1987.

As a 1930 K-State electrical engineering graduate and member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Loren Kirkwood set an example followed by both his sons – Steve, ’65, and Robert, ’62, both College of Business Administration graduates.

For a more permanent gift to honor his family at K-State, Steve also set up a distribution from his IRA account and a bequest in his will to endow the Stephen, Robert and Loren Kirkwood Memorial Scholarships for engineering and business students.

The scholarship comes at a critical time of growth for the College of Engineering, as it strives to graduate more engineers through the statewide University Engineering Initiative Act and through the Phase IV expansion to the engineering complex.

“This college is on the move, and folks like Steve Kirkwood make that possible,” said Darren Dawson, dean of engineering. “We see growing interest from prospective engineering students along with a growing commitment from our dedicated alumni, friends and corporate partners. It’s really the perfect climate for the College of Engineering to achieve its strategic goals over the next decade.

Read more about how your gift can support the College of Engineering and advance the Innovation and Inspiration Campaign.


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