Current People: President Emeritus Darrell Krueger


By Andrea Mikkelsen

A campus beautification effort that transformed Winona State University into an oasis in the center of the city. A laptop program that established WSU as a national leader in technology. A 108,000-square-foot library named in his honor. Sixteen years of stable enrollments, increased retention rates, and national recognition for academics and athletics. But President Emeritus Darrell W. Krueger’s proudest legacy is the sense of community.

“It’s always been about the people,” said Krueger. “The earliest history of Winona State goes back to those wonderful folks and their hopes for this university. It shows from the earliest time how deep the commitment was to the university.”

That tradition of community has not diminished over the years. Warrior pride is visible in the purple banners that line the streets of the city. It’s evident in the continued close relationship between WSU and the community. It’s tucked away in every corner of the world, including Coronado Island in California, where a proud alumnus recently struck up a conversation with Krueger because of his Winona State t-shirt.

In the years since his retirement from WSU in 2005, Krueger has remained connected to the world of higher education. He spent 20 months filling in as president at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, a position now occupied by Troy Paino, former WSU dean of Liberal Arts. He’s performed consulting work for Southern Utah University and is helping lay the groundwork for a school of osteopathic medicine in his hometown of Cedar City, Utah.

But he’s also savoring the more typical pleasures of retirement, visiting with his children and grandchildren, enjoying time outdoors in the garden and hiking, and crafting furniture, toys, and other keepsakes in his woodshop.

As WSU embarks on a new era with new president Scott R. Olson, Krueger hearkens back to his early days as president of Winona State, when he posed his own question about hopes and dreams for the future of the university.

“The overall problem back then was people didn’t have hopes and dreams,” he said. “We have experienced incredible growth since then. We have been empowered to define our own destiny.”

For WSU’s thirteenth president, the destiny for the university includes continued collaboration with the community; strong relationships among faculty, staff and administrators; challenging students to their limits to help them contribute significantly to improving the world; and continued excellence in all that WSU undertakes. Krueger believes Olson is up for the challenge. “I think he will do great things for Winona State.”

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About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive public university with more than 8,500 students. The oldest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, Winona State offers 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate, and doctorate programs on its three campuses: the original Main Campus in Winona, the West Campus in Winona, and Winona State University-Rochester.

View all posts by Winona State University


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