Kansas farmer who mailed Cuomo N95 mask awarded bachelor’s degree

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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has bestowed a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University to the farmer who sent a single N95 mask to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an effort to fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

Dennis Ruhnke of Troy, Kansas, made national headlines in late April when he mailed the mask and a heartfelt letter to Cuomo, saying he “hoped it could be used by a doctor or nurse.”

While tearing up, Cuomo read the entire letter at a daily briefing as an example of courage and generosity in dark times.

Kelly was joined by Kansas State University President Richard Myers on Tuesday in a ceremony that awarded a bachelor’s degree to Ruhnke.

“In 1971, Dennis was two credits away from earning his degree in agriculture when his father passed away,” Kelly said. “He chose to leave school to take care of his mother and the family farm. Dennis’ kindness and lifelong career in agriculture make him more than qualified to receive a degree.”