Robert J. Kruse, C.S.C. Citation
May 23, 2010
In 1903, the great German poet Rainer Maria Rilke advised a young writer: "If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place."
Father Kruse, your everyday life has never seemed poor, and the places you have been-both out in the world and within yourself-have been made rich by your own creation. Stonehill College has benefited more from your poetic vision than any other place on earth.
In your youth, you listened to a call to religious life, making your first profession with the Congregation of Holy Cross when you were just nineteen years old. Over the next decade, you earned a degree in Philosophy from Stonehill, entered the priesthood, commenced your doctoral studies in Rome, and started your teaching career at the College. Perhaps it was even this early that you planted your garden, a passion you maintain today.
It was certainly a time for sowing seeds that you and Stonehill continue to reap. Your classroom teaching was legendary for its fervor, commitment, and clarity. As a department chair, you helped build the Religious Studies Department into one of the most intellectually vital departments on this campus. The testament to your years in the Academic Dean's office is that you remain beloved by faculty members who worked with you as you guided the academic mission of the College.
Later, you took the less visible role of Executive Vice President, but your hand can be seen everywhere in the College's growth from the late 1980s to the turn of the century, when you stepped away from that office and became "Counselor to the President." And the College honored you then, as it does again today, with the Kruse Center for Academic and Professional Excellence, a hub for experiential opportunities that prepare students for post-graduate success.
Because you came to a new college with few resources and saw in it "no poor indifferent place," but rather a garden to cultivate; because you humbly followed the call that made you a man of faith who transforms the world through education; and because you gave the best of your creative self to build this place you call home, Stonehill College is proud to confer upon you, Robert J. Kruse C.S.C., honoris causa, the degree of Doctor of Theology.
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