11:26 AM

WWII Veteran Wentz Awarded Honorary Degree

WWII Veteran Wentz Awarded Honorary Degree

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

Chief Master Sergeant Ken Wentz (U.S. Air Force, Ret.), was presented with an honorary Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree, Saturday, May 21, at the University’s Military-Veterans Services Center.

“In recognition of Mr. Kenneth Wentz considerably achievements to our service, our communities, and our families, we want to present him with an honorary bachelor of science in commerce degree from the University,” said Matt Davis, Chief Operating Officer at the University, who spoke at the ceremony.

WentzDegreeThe 94-year-old Wentz is a World War II veteran who served in the Pacific. He was a ball-turret gunner in the 392 Heavy Bombardment Squadron, 30th Bomb Group, in the Seventh Air Force. He completed 30 bombing missions and logged 329 combat hours.

At the end of the war, Wentz moved to Ottumwa, Iowa to work at the Ottumwa Electric Company before reenlisting in the U.S. Air Force in 1948. He retired from the Air Force in after 20 years at the rank of Chief Master Sergeant.

The honorary degree process was set in motion by Wentz’s son, Ken Wentz II, a 1971 graduate of the University and longtime contributor.

“When my son told me I thought it was for him. When I realized it was for me… Unbelievable,” The elder Wentz said.