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#WeSeeYouKSHB: Kind Kansas farmer receives degree from K-State

Dennis Ruhnke donated mask to NY nurses
Dennis Ruhnke with Laura Kelly.jpeg
Posted at 3:39 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 16:39:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The small-town Kansas farmer who made international headlines when he sent New York Governor Andrew Cuomo a mask for a nurse to use last month has been recognized by Kansas State University.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly tweeted several photos Tuesday as K-State President Richard Myers conferred a bachelor’s degree degree upon Dennis Ruhnke of Troy, Kansas.

Ruhnke sent a handwritten letter explaining that he wanted to give a spare N95 mask he had to a nurse in New York City, who was treating COVID-19 patients.

New York, both the city and state, have been among the hardest hit by the virus’ outbreak.

Kelly noted that Ruhnke was two credits from receiving a bachelor’s degree in agriculture at K-State in 1971 when he left school after his father died to care for his mother and the family farm.

“Dennis’ kindness and lifelong career in ag make him more than qualified to receive a degree,” Kelly wrote on Twitter.

During the pandemic, 41 Action News wants to spotlight people, organizations and companies helping the community. To share these stories, use #WeSeeYouKSHB on social media.