Texas Tech University

Charles Weddle Endowed Scholarship

The Charles Weddle Endowed Scholarship was established by the estate of Billie Wolfe in 2008. This scholarship is awarded to students in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences with preference given to graduate horticulture students researching native plants, including buffalo grass, native trees, orchids, and wildflowers. If no candidates meet this criteria, the scholarship can be awarded to graduate or undergraduate students studying ornamental horticulture. The student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Charles L. Weddle was born May 3, 1909 in Ector, Texas, and graduated from Bonham High School in 1932. He was a 1932 Texas Tech University graduate with a B.S. in Soil Science. He received a Master of Science in Horticulture in 1936 from Michigan State University and attended Cornell as a doctoral candidate and graduate assistant in Floriculture from 1938 to 1941.

In 1941, he joined the Burpee Seed Company in Pennsylvania where he developed the company's first all double pink petunias. In 1945, he founded his own company, Pan American Seed Company, which initially was located in Pennsylvania but was subsequently moved to Colorado where the climate was ideally suited for flower breeding and seed production.

The company was sold to George J. Ball Seed Company in 1963, and Charles remained briefly with the firm as a consultant. Being a quintessential entrepreneur with a true love of ornamental flowering plants, he established Weddle Plant Laboratories, a research and development company, in 1966. This company later became Weddle Native Gardens and is today operated under the direction of his son, Leonard.

In his life, Charles achieved a reputation as a preeminent plant breeder of flowers and bedding plants. In the 1950's and 60's, more than 50 percent of the petunias sold were his varieties. Many of his hybrids received the highest awards from the most prestigious All American Selection Council of Judges. His interests included development of native plants and wildflowers for seed production and growth, where environmental conditions permitted, throughout the world. His honors included 23 All American Selection medals, past president and judge for All American Selections Council, and a Distinguished Alumnus award from Texas Tech's College of Agriculture. He was a member of Sigma Xi, national honorary scientific society.

Charles passed away February 15, 1987.

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Alex Yack
Senior Director of Development

Matt Williams
Director of Development

Shelbey Havens
Assistant Director of Development