Les and Kim Ferguson both graduated from Seymour High School in southern Iowa. From high school graduation (1973, 1974 respectively) until 1993 they farmed 240 acres southwest of Centerville, IA. This included rented crop land, 100+ head of cows, corn/beans, hay, and the occasional ground feeder pigs. Here they raised two children: Tina and Taron.
Due to rising health concerns, they decided to make a career change. Les left his physically demanding job at the local elevator and attended IHCC 1989-1991. After graduating there, he immediately came to William Penn College as a non-traditional student, and graduated in 1993 with an Industrial Tech Degree, Business Minor. He spent his internship at Mid-American Energy, where he then became employed for the next 25 years as an Electrical Design Technician.
This career took them from the farm in southern Iowa to rural Carlisle, so Les and Kim could both commute to Des Moines. Here Kim took a 24-year career within Iowa State Government. She spent part of her time at Iowa College Student Aid and then at Iowa Department of Public Health, as a Financial Pre-Auditor. It was in Carlisle, they adopted two young boys in 1997: Jon and Bryce.
Les and Kim both retired the summer of 2018, followed by a move to Oskaloosa, to be closer to kids and grandkids. They have enjoyed being heavily involved in their church, serving as 4-H Leaders, Dutch Oven cooking (teaching and competing), camping, and fishing trips to Canada.
Sons, Jon and Bryce, both graduated from Carlisle HS. Jon works construction in the Des Moines area. Bryce is an Army Veteran, having served 2 deployments to Iraq. He currently works at Lumen Technology, having risen to the rank of Senior Program Manager.
Son, Taron, also graduated from Carlisle HS. He graduated from William Penn University in 2002 with a BA in Industrial Management. Taron is an alumnus of Sigma Phi Sigma Fraternity and has been one of the cooks for the Alumni Homecoming Tailgate for years. He has worked at Musco Lighting since 2000 with positions in Engineering, currently a Project Manager assisting contractors with sports lighting installations around the USA. Taron’s partner, Amanda McGraw also graduated from William Penn University in 1996 with a degree in business management. She has worked at Musco since 1997 holding positions in Marketing; currently a Project Manager assisting contractors with installations around the USA. They have 2 daughters, MacKenzie and Ireland. Ireland is an 8th grader at Oskaloosa. Mackenzie is a Pharmacist at Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach, MO. She is married to Ross Howe who graduated from William Penn in 2014 and is a Recruiting Coach Manager at NCSA.
Daughter, Tina, graduated from Seymour HS. She attended William Penn College, graduating in 1997, with a Human Relations Degree, Business Minor. She was employed at Child Protective Services through Mahaska Company Public Health for several years before becoming a stay-at-home-mom. During this season, she has also been the local MOPS Director, serves on her church board, been a 4-H Leader for 15 years, taught honeybee classes, and home-schooled 4 children.
Tina’s husband, Jim Marshall, graduated from Centerville HS. He attended IHCC, where he graduated with an AAS in Electronics/Telecommunications in 1986. Later, he attended William Penn University and graduated in 2000, with an Industrial Tech-Engineering Technology Degree, with a minor in Applied Computer Science. He has been at Musco since 1990 and currently serves as Senior Application Product Designer. He is very active in his church, serves as 4-H Leader alongside his wife, and has served several terms as District Director with the Iowa Honey Producers.
Jim and Tina have four children: Lyman, Kendal, Grace, and Brie. They continue to live in rural Mahaska County where they raise chickens, honeybees, fruit trees, and life. Due to their ties to Musco and WPU they remained in the area.
The third generation of the Ferguson family continues with two of Jim and Tina’s children Lyman and Grace. Lyman graduated from WPU in 2018 with a Biology: Natural Resources degree. He is currently employed by MCG as a Telecommunications Directional Drill Operator and Locator. He and his wife, Molly have a son, Oliver, at home. Grace is currently a junior at WPU, with plans to graduate in 2024, with a Major in Small Business Entrepreneurship, Minor in Theater. She is engaged to be married in December.
The other two Marshall siblings stay busy. Kendal graduated from IHCC in 2018 with an AAS in Robotics and Automation Technology. He is currently living in Evansdale, IA and has been working for John Deere as an Electrical Maintenance Technician since graduating. Brie is a busy 8th grader and Garfield Boosters 4-H Club member.
As you can see, Les started a legacy of college education. Along with his wife, Kim, they raised 2 children, adopted 2 boys, spoil 6 grandchildren, and adore 1 great grandchild. Les blazed a path and made friends wherever he went. Les passed away in August of 2021 from the same illness that instigated his decision to go to college.
For their generational support to higher education, William Penn is honored to present the 2022 Torch Award to the Leslie and Kim Ferguson family.