Ben K. Wells, executive vice president, chief financial officer for Burger King Corporation, addressed William Woods University graduates and their families during commencement exercises Dec. 11.
Burger King is the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world, and Wells has been on the company’s management team since 2005. He also serves on the WWU Board of Trustees, an appointment he accepted after his daughter, Kate, enrolled at William Woods.
Kate Wells was among the 435 students whose degrees were conferred in December. Another 217 graduates whose degrees were conferred in August were eligible to participate in the winter ceremony. A combined total of 1,277 students in all disciplines have graduated from WWU in the past 12 months.
More educators than ever before have earned their master of education degrees from William Woods University this year, as 726 graduate students have completed requirements for M.Ed. degrees in 2009 (417 in May, 58 in August and 251 in December). In addition, 107 students earned educational specialist degrees.
Degrees earned by December and August graduates combined include 13 associate of arts, three bachelor of arts, 101 bachelor of science, one bachelor of fine arts, 164 master of business administration, 309 master of education and 61 specialist of education in school administration degrees.
In addition to students from the Fulton campus, students from Graduate & Adult Studies cohorts in Blue Springs, Butler, Canton, Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville, Chillicothe, Columbia, Dexter, Essex, Farmington, Fulton, Hannibal, Harrisonville, Jefferson City, Joplin, Kearney, Kennett, Lebanon, Lee’s Summit, Macon, Mexico, Osage Beach, Paragould (Ark.), Perryville, Pineville, Platte City, Poplar Bluff, Princeton, Raymore/Peculiar, Purdy, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, Trenton, Wentzville and West Plains received their diplomas.
As executive vice president, chief financial officer for Burger King Corporation, Wells reports directly to CEO John Chidsey and serves as a key member of the executive leadership team. He has also served as senior vice president, treasurer at the company.
Wells has more than 25 years experience in finance. Before joining BKC, he was vice president, corporate treasurer at Compaq Computer Corporation, where he was responsible for building a world-class treasury organization and developing capital structure and risk management programs for the global organization.
In addition, he also served as acting CFO during a critical period in Compaq’s history, when he successfully led the finance team in stabilizing finance and accounting operations. He also served as chairman of Compaq Federal LLC.
Prior to Compaq, he held various finance and treasury responsibilities over a 10-year period at British Petroleum. Wells earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s degree in economics from Texas A&M University, as well as a master’s degree in business administration from Canisius College.