News Release


Charles and Alberta Bender to Receive Honorary Doctorates

Published Date5\2\2014
Charles and Alberta Bender are set to receive Honorary Doctorates from Mount Marty College during the 2014 spring commencement exercises at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, May 10 in Laddie E. Cimpl Arena, Yankton.

Charles Bender was born in St. Helena, Nebraska, and graduated from Holy Trinity High School, now Cedar Catholic High School in 1953. He entered the U.S. Army where he served from 1956 to 1958. After his time with the Army he served as a member of the South Dakota Army National Guard from 1958 to 1961. In 1959 Charles started as a laborer for the Welfl Construction Company. During his time with Welfl Construction, Charles worked on the construction of the Sacred Heart Monastery in 1959, the addition to Sacred Heart Hospital in 1965, the concrete structure of the current Sacred Heart Hospital, Whitby Hall, Corby Hall, and the Old Library building. In 1991 he became an owning partner and president of Welfl Construction, while owner projects included the remodel and addition to the Sacred Heart Monastery, St. Scholastica building and remodel of the Roncalli Center.

Charles' service to others is without question. He has participated in job fairs at both the Yankton Federal Prison Camp and Springfield State Prison where he helped inmates practice interviewing skills so that they may gain employment. He has been a member of the VFW since 1958, the Knights of Columbus since 1968, and the Elks since 1971. He was a member of the Mount Marty College Board of Trustees from 1994 to 1999, Crofton Golf Course Board member from 2000 to 2005, and currently serves on the Mount Marty College Buildings and Grounds Committee.

Alberta Bender was born in Avon, South Dakota and graduated from Avon High School. After graduation she started work at the Tyndall Clinic as a receptionist/clerk from 1955 to 1964. Alberta's sense of service to others and volunteering can be seen by everyone. She has been a member of the Catholic Daughters since the 1970's where she served as the financial secretary. She has also served as a 4-H Mother and volunteer since the 1970's, and from 1976 to 1978 she was a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts. She volunteered at the State Hospital Library from 1992 to 2006 and currently she is employed at the Natural Resource Conservation Service where she started as a volunteer in 1992.

Charles and Alberta just celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on April 4 and are the parents to five wonderful children; Delaine, Sharla, Gale, Chris, and Kevin. They have been heavily involved at both Sacred Heart and St. Benedict Catholic Churches and significant donors and supporters of the Catholic Education System.