Engineering scholarship honors pioneer of color television

KSU Foundation

The Loren Kirkwood Memorial Scholarship benefits electrical engineering students. Kirkwood was involved in the development of the CTC 100, the first color television. (Photo: Courtesy of KSU Foundation)


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.

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 in 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.

“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.”

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 used a distribution from his IRA account to endow the Stephen, Robert and Loren Kirkwood Memorial Scholarships for engineering and business students.


“We hope to give students some help,” he said. “With the economics of college and how difficult it can be, it doesn’t allow a lot of time for work. Hopefully the school can identify a worthy student who will do something significant to demonstrate K-State’s expertise.”

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Gift honors K-State grad’s life, legacy

As a young child in the early 1980s, Jason Hager watched his dad earn a Kansas State University accounting degree in three years while working full-time at a community grocery store.

“That’s just unheard of,” he said of his father, who died in 2011. “From my earliest memories, he worked really hard.”

Now, his father’s memory will live on at the university he loved through a gift from his family. The gift will name a window in John Hager’s honor inside the Berney Family Welcome Center, currently under construction. The gift will also establish the John R. Hager Childcare Fund, providing assistance with childcare costs for K-State students with children enrolled in the K-State Center for Child Development.

Read more about the Hager family’s gifts to K-State.

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