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A fitting tribute

Iowa State University recognized the contributions of W. Kiley and Marie Powers to Iowa agriculture

An auditorium where Iowa State University students take agriculture classes has become a tribute to a Webster County couple.

The spacious room in Agronomy Hall was recently named the W. Kiley and Marie Powers Auditorium.

It’s a fitting tribute to the late Webster County residents who farmed and also owned a small seed company called Powers Proven Hybrids.

W. Kiley Powers was a World War I veteran. He served on the board of the Webster County Soil Conservation District, and was its chairman. He was also a member of the board of directors of the Iowa Crop Improvement Association.

Marie Powers taught English and drama for 45 years. She started her career in Lehigh, then moved to the Duncombe High School and then the Webster City Junior High School, from which she retired.

They farmed land near Duncombe. That property had been acquired by Patrick Powers, the grandfather of W. Kiley Powers, in 1864 and 1869.

W. Kiley Powers died in 1962; Marie Powers died in 1995.

Proceeds from their estate funded two scholarship programs for Iowa State students studying agronomy, plant sciences and agriculture.

In naming the auditorium after the Powers, the leaders of Iowa State University didn’t just put their name on a facility. They carefully picked a place that’s connected to things the couple cared about deeply.

We think it’s wonderful that Iowa State values the Powers’ work and legacy so much that their name was placed on a facility that students will use for decades to come.