$50,000 donation to benefit College of Agricultural Sciences research endowment

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Charles “Chuck” Krueger and his wife, Ellen Krueger, of Mesa, Arizona, have donated $50,000 to benefit undergraduate research programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State.

The Charles R. and Ellen M. Krueger Undergraduate Research Endowment will fund undergraduate research performed in the college. The idea for a gift focused on undergraduate research was motivated by Chuck Krueger’s experience in a Special Research Projects course that resulted in his first published research paper, co-authored with his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he said.

“I credit this experience for shaping my future career. This opportunity, along with encouragement from my major adviser, led me to pursue interdisciplinary advanced degrees in dairy nutrition and agronomy,” he explained.

The College of Agricultural Sciences provides $100,000 in funding for undergraduate research each year, explained Tracy Hoover, associate dean for undergraduate education. "Endowments designated for undergraduates give students a chance to work alongside a faculty member and provide firsthand experience with research and how it is translated to professions and the public.”

Chuck Krueger graduated with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science in 1960, a master’s degree, also in dairy science, in 1963, and a doctoral degree in agronomy in 1967, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then became an assistant professor and forage crops extension agronomist at the same university.

In 1970, Krueger began an assistant professorship in plant science at South Dakota State University with teaching and research responsibilities, subsequently rising to head of the department, a position he held for five years before becoming assistant director of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and a professor of agronomy at Ohio State University for four years.

In 1982, he relocated to State College to become the associate dean for research and associate director of the Pennsylvania Agricultural Experiment Station at Penn State. After 15 years in the role, he began teaching a course in forage crops management for the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences.

For four years, Krueger also worked part time for the USDA-Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service in Washington, D.C., linking the environmental programs of federal agencies with USDA and with the education, research and extension efforts of land-grant universities.

Until 2006, he served as executive director and helped to organize the Northeast Pasture Research and Extension Consortium, a public-private partnership of USDA/ARS scientists, university research and extension faculty and livestock producers in the 12 northeastern states formed to determine research and education priorities and have users educate Congress on the societal benefits of grass-based agriculture and seek federal support for grazing research in the region.

Krueger retired from Penn State in 2004 and relocated to Mesa, Arizona, in 2006. He has raised funds for facility improvement projects in a Leisure World community and has served on the board of directors and as president of the Leisure World Foundation of Arizona Inc., which provides charitable relief to help meet the needs of elderly, disabled, and distressed persons in the Mesa, Arizona, and nearby East Valley areas.

Ellen Krueger graduated from the University of Northern Iowa at Cedar Falls and taught elementary school in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin before raising a family in State College and working at the Penn State Bookstore.

The Kruegers have two children, Beth and Brian, both of whom graduated from Penn State. Beth K. Gugino is a three-time Penn State graduate with degrees in horticulture and plant pathology who is now an associate professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at Penn State and works as the vegetable extension plant pathologist with research responsibilities. Her husband, Jeff, a two-time Penn State graduate, is a senior undergraduate studies adviser in the Division of Undergraduate Studies.

Brian graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in organizational leadership and political science from Penn State’s World Campus while working full time. He lives with his wife, Kelly, in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and is managing partner of Bahama Breeze, a Darden restaurant in Raleigh.

In addition to the opportunity to support a significant need for research funding in undergraduate education, the Kruegers hope that their donation reflects their gratitude to the University. “Penn State has had a major impact on the lives and successes of our entire family,” Chuck Krueger said. Both Chuck and Ellen are also inspired by the charitable endowments of Chuck’s late father, Hilmar C. Krueger, who had a long and successful career in higher education at the University of Cincinnati and strongly believed in the value of supporting students philanthropically.

Penn State's alumni and friends are invaluable partners in fulfilling the University's land-grant mission of education, research and service. Private gifts from alumni and friends enrich the experiences of students both in and out of the classroom; expand the research and teaching capacity of faculty; enhance the University's ability to recruit and retain top students and faculty; and help to ensure that students from every economic background have access to a Penn State education. The University's colleges and campuses are now enlisting the support of alumni and friends to advance a range of unit-specific initiatives.

Last Updated August 23, 2016