Charles E. Kruse, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, will address William Woods University graduates and their families during commencement exercises Dec. 10.
Kruse has been president of the Missouri Farm Bureau Federation and the federation’s five affiliated companies since 1992. He is also a fourth-generation farmer from Stoddard County.During his 18 years as president, Missouri Farm Bureau has grown from 77,000 to more than 111,000 member families.
It will be WWU’s largest December commencement, with 650 graduates. A total of 491 December degrees will be conferred. Another 158 graduates whose degrees were conferred in August are 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.
The commencement ceremony and hooding of candidates for graduate degrees will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center.
Degrees earned by December and August graduates combined include 12 associate of arts, nine bachelor of arts, 79 bachelor of science, two bachelor of social work, 144 master of business administration, 339 master of education and 65 specialist of education in school administration degrees.
In addition to students from the Fulton campus, students from Graduate and Professional Studies cohorts in the Missouri communities of Blue Springs, Cadet. California, Cape Girardeau, Carrollton, Caruthersville, Chillicothe, Columbia, Doniphan, El Dorado Springs, Festus, Hannibal, Independence, Ironton, Jefferson City, Joplin, Kahoka, Kansas City, Kennett, Kirksville, Lake Ozark, Lee’s Summit, Mexico, Milan, Moberly, Mount Vernon, Mountain View, Neosho, New Madrid, Osage Beach, Perryville, Poplar Bluff, Rolla, Sedalia, Springfield, Summersville, Union, Warrenton, Wellsville and West Plains, as well as cohorts in two Arkansas communities, Paragould and Williford will receive their diplomas.
The commencement speaker, Kruse, also serves as a member of the executive committee of the American Farm Bureau Board of Directors, representing 12 Midwestern state Farm Bureaus and is one of four persons serving on American Farm Bureau’s Executive Committee.
He earned a degree in agronomy from Arkansas State University in 1967, and a master of science degree in agronomy from the University of Missouri in 1973. He is the recipient of the University of Missouri Faculty Alumnus and Ag Alumnus of the Year awards, and the Arkansas State University Outstanding Alumni Award.
Kruse is a retired brigadier general of the Missouri National Guard, with 26 years of distinguished military service.
He was appointed by President George H. W. Bush to President’s Council on Rural America and twice appointed by President George W. Bush to Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.