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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

May 8, 2015

Dr. Kala Stroup to address Missouri Academy’s graduating students

Dr. Kala Stroup

Dr. Kala Stroup

Dr. Kala Stroup, a proponent for the launch of Northwest Missouri State University’s Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing 15 years ago, will address its class of 2015.

Stroup, who was commissioner of the Coordinating Board for Higher Education at the time of the Missouri Academy’s 2000 opening, will deliver the keynote address at its graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 30.

“She was central to the initial brainstorming and approval of the creation of the Missouri Academy,” said Dr. Cleo Samudzi, the dean of the Missouri Academy, who served as senior associate for academic affairs under Stroup at the Coordinating Board. “I felt it was appropriate to bring her here and have her talk to our graduating students – especially as we celebrate Missouri Academy’s 15th anniversary this year.”

Stroup has had a distinguished career as a leader in higher education for more than four decades. In addition to serving as commissioner of the Coordinating Board from 1995 to 2002, she served as vice president for academic affairs at Emporia State University and terms as president of Southeast Missouri State University and Murray State University in Kentucky. Currently, she is a professor in the honors program at the University of Kansas.

Stroup has received numerous honors, including the 2012 Mortar Board Outstanding Educator Award, an outstanding adviser citation in the honors program at University of Kansas and seven honorary degrees. She also has demonstrated leadership with service on several national organizations, including the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America and Women Philanthropists for the University of Kansas.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and drama, a Master of Science degree in education psychology and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in speech communication at the University of Kansas. She also was elected to its Women’s Hall of Fame.

The Missouri Academy commencement ceremony begins at 1 p.m. in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Individuals interested in attending the ceremony should contact Sue Smith, administrative secretary at the Missouri Academy, at 660.562.1960 or

In addition to the Saturday commencement ceremony, the Missouri Academy Class of 2015 will attend a graduation banquet with their families and Missouri Academy staff at 6 p.m. Friday, May 29, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom.

The Missouri Academy was established in 2000 as a two-year residential, early-entrance-to-college program on the Northwest campus. The program replaces the junior and senior year of high school. Academy students enroll in the same classes as traditional students and are held to the same academic expectations while living, socializing and studying in a learning community of peers. In August, the Missouri Academy will celebrate 15 years of service to high achieving students, to Northwest and to the state of Missouri. For more information about the Missouri Academy, visit

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468