William Woods University Plans Commencement Aug. 4

An award-winning William Woods University professor will address the August graduates during WWU’s 10th summer commencement Friday, Aug. 4.

Brenda Popp, an assistant professor of business, will give the commencement speech. She is the 2005 recipient of the Louis D. Beaumont Dad’s Association Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching at WWU.

A total of 391 students will graduate. With increased campus enrollment and the growth of the university’s outreach programs, William Woods now holds graduation ceremonies in May, August and December each year. The combined total of graduates in the past 12 months is 1,247.

The commencement ceremony and hooding of candidates for graduate degrees will be held at 6 p.m. in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center. The university will grant 18 associate of art, 28 bachelor of science, 114 master of business administration, 205 master of education and 26 specialist of education in school administration degrees.

Students from Graduate and Adult Studies cohorts in Blue Springs, Carrollton, Cameron, Columbia, Fulton, Hannibal, Harrisonville, Independence, Jefferson City, Kansas City, Kennett, Kirksville, Macon, Marceline, Nevada, New Madrid, Owensville, Poplar Bluff, Sedalia, Springfield, St. Louis, Warrensburg and Warrenton will receive their diplomas.

In addition, approximately 60 students from the Southeast Asian island of Taiwan will graduate. William Woods has had a program of educating students from Taiwan since 1992.

The university partners with an organization that specializes in overseas studies to bring Taiwanese students to Fulton for a year of concentrated studies, culminating in either bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

The commencement speaker, Popp, has taught at the university since 2001. She earned Certified Financial Planner certification in November 2004. Her areas of expertise are entrepreneurship, small business, personal finance, insurance, investments and income tax.

Popp came to William Woods from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, where she taught financial management, personal finance and essentials of investments. She earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration at Lincoln.

She owned and managed Popp’s Catering, Inc., for 16 years and is co-owner of Popp’s Farms. She was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Lincoln University in 1991.

Active in community affairs, Popp has been recognized for her special contributions to Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, Drug Free Youth Activities and the Samaritan Center. She has served on Strategic Planning Committees for Jefferson City and Cole County. Most recently, she was appointed to the Cole County Planning and Zoning Commission.