Two long-time William Woods University professors—Walter Renaud and Gary Kremer—will be honored for their illustrious careers by being accorded the rank of professor emeritus during Commencement ceremonies at WWU Friday.
The title of professor emeritus can be given to faculty who have had at least 10 years of distinguished teaching and service to the institution. The honor is presented upon the recommendation of the academic dean and a vote of the faculty. The last time it was conferred at William Woods was in 2000. At that time Florence Krause, who taught English at WWU for 29 years, was named professor emeritus.
Renaud has been teaching English literature classes for 41 years—30 of them at William Woods. His specialties are the Renaissance and Shakespeare. Although retired, he continues to teach a film course each semester.
Before coming to William Woods, he taught at Bentley College, Boston State College, the University of Maine and Wheaton College. In the summer of 1995, he was a visiting professor at Nagoya Women’s University in Japan.
Renaud received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in English/American Literature from Harvard University.
Kremer joined the WWU faculty in 1991 after serving as the state archivist for four years. He also was a faculty member at Lincoln University from 1973 to 1987. His areas of expertise include Missouri history and African American history in Missouri.
Widely respected as a scholar of Missouri history, Kremer left William Woods this fall to become executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri. He also serves as the director of the Western Historical Manuscript Collection, a repository of primary source materials operated jointly by the University of Missouri and the society on the four campuses of the university.
A graduate of Lincoln University in Jefferson City with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history, Kremer earned his doctorate in history from American University in Washington, DC.
Kremer has written, co-authored, and co-edited nine books, including the recently released “Women in Missouri History: In Search of Power and Influence,” “A Dictionary of Missouri Biography” (1999), “A History of Missouri, 1875-1919” (1997), and “Missouri’s Black Heritage” (1993).
He has also published two volumes of “Heartland History: Essays on the Cultural Heritage of the Central Missouri Region,” a compilation of biweekly and monthly columns on historic figures, places, and events he prepared for the Jefferson City News Tribune beginning in 1998. Kremer has also published more than 20 articles in scholarly journals, contributed essays to several volumes, and spoken at numerous historical conferences.
Kremer once said, “I love the intellectual charge that comes with teaching at William Woods. When I’m teaching, I forget about everything except what’s going on in that classroom. If I’m doing my job right, my students do, too.”
He received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1992 and won the Distinguished Professor Award at William Woods University in 1993.
Renaud, too, has received the Distinguished Professor Award at William Woods, once in 1982 and again in 1998. He also won the 1998 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
According to his colleagues, Renaud has had a profound and direct impact on the quality of undergraduate instruction. His dedication to teaching has produced an effectiveness in energizing the intellectual talents and capabilities of the students.
“I like to get students involved,” he said. “I want them to have an appreciation or a reaction to what they read, a positive one and, if not, at least a reaction. I want students to develop their critical thinking to create thoughtful and informed people.”
Renaud’s love for English is reflected in his many interests and positions. He is on the executive board for the Friends of the Callaway County Library. He also is the secretary of the Foundation Board for the Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia.
He also is a member of the Jane Austin Society of North America. He has presented several papers to the Missouri Philological Society. He has also been chosen to attend numerous seminars all over the country for the National Endowment for the Humanities.