Ed F. Kruse, a member of the Texas A&M class of 1949 and a steadfast supporter of the Bush School of Government and Public Service and of Texas A&M University, died on September 23, 2015. During his student years, Kruse was a distinguished military student in the Corps of Cadets and lettered on the varsity swim team. After graduating with a BS in dairy manufacturing, Kruse returned to his family business, Blue Bell Creameries, headquartered in Brenham, Texas. He held a number of positions with the company over the years, becoming Chairman, President, and General Manager in 1968, and Chief Executive Officer in 1986.
Edward and his brother Howard, ’52, were among the earliest supporters of the Bush School. In 1998 they established the Edward and Howard Kruse Endowed Directorship Chair for the Dean of the Bush School. A grant from the H.R. “Bum” Bright endowment for faculty chairs matched the Kruses’ $500,000 donation, creating a $1 million fund to support leading-edge research and critical needs for the college.
The Kruses’ endowed scholarships have enabled numbers of Aggies to continue their education, and the support for faculty and teaching excellence has enabled significant improvements in the academic environment. In addition to their support for the Bush School, the Kruse family has demonstrated their commitment to academic excellence at Texas A&M by significant contributions to a range of colleges and organizations, including the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Medicine, and the Corps of Cadets.
Bush School Dean Ryan Crocker noted that the early support of Ed Kruse and his family was critical to the establishment of the School.
“The fact that the Kruse family indicated their confidence in the future of the Bush School from the very beginning helped others to see the value of this new academic enterprise,” said Crocker. “We are honored to have known such a fine man as Ed Kruse, and will forever be grateful for his many contributions to the Bush School and Texas A&M University.”