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Charles Pennce

Scholarship continues as strong family tradition

By Hayli Morrison

Charles W. Pence was a hard-working Kansas native, raised on a farm in Shawnee County. At around 1,200 acres, the farm required the whole family to help tend the wheat and livestock.

It’s no surprise Charles went on to graduate from Kansas State University’s College of Agriculture in 1938 and worked for several years as a county extension agent. He traveled extensively during his Army service in World War II and later with his job setting up grain export deals for the Department of Agriculture. Still, Kansas always remained his home.

In Charles’ honor, his son established a scholarship to help other Kansas students study agriculture at K-State.

“K-State is a strong family tradition,” said Charles D. Pence, recalling a long list of relatives who attended the university. “I wanted to support the land-grant mission and we’re passionate about K-State.”

A 1964 graduate of K-State’s College of Arts and Sciences who now works as an orthopedic surgeon at Via Christi Medical Center in Wichita, Kan., Charles credits his father’s example as an inspiration for his own life.

“He was very disciplined and had a strong work ethic,” he said. “He was a very loving father and supportive of anything I wanted to do.”

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