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Officials at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) announced Mr. Dean Kruithof as the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Alumnus from the School of Liberal Arts. Kruithof will be formally honored during the Alumni Awards luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 7, at noon in the Calcagno Family Ballroom. All alumni and friends of the college are invited to attend. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under, and may be purchased by contacting the NEO Development Foundation office at 918-540-6115. NEO’s “Peace, Love, and Homecoming” festivities will take place on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. A native of Miami, Okla., Kruithof graduated from NEO in 1977 with an Associate of Arts in Political Science. While at NEO, Kruithof discovered an affinity for public service and later transferred to Oklahoma State University on a recommendation from Bruce Lehman, Kruithof’s counsellor at NEO. At OSU, he completed a bachelor and master’s program in public administration with emphasis on business management. Kruithof also met his future wife Cynthia Allen while at NEO. After graduating from Oklahoma State University, Kruithof began his career in Wichita, Kan., as a member of the Community Development Block Grant neighborhood development program before returning to Stillwater, Okla., to serve as the assistant city manager.

During the next three decades, Kruithof developed an impressive resume of city management in Pittsburg, Kansas; DeKalb, Illinois; Fort Smith, Arkansas; and Branson, Missouri. When Kruithof’s wife Cynthia was offered a promotion to the assistant director for human resources for the Arvest Bank group in Bentonville, Ark., he decided to retire from Branson in 2013 as she furthered her career. Kruithof re-entered the administration sphere when, in 2014, he became the city manager of Miami, Okla. Over the past few years, he has worked with community leaders to make Miami an active partner with NEO, the Miami Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tribal and County governments, and others partners to improve economic development opportunities in the region.

Kruithof and his wife Cynthia travel between Miami and Bentonville. They are the parents of a son, Marshall, living in Chicago, and a late son, Ross. “It is an honor to recognize Dean Kruithof as this year’s Outstanding Alumnus for the School of Liberal Arts,” said Jennifer Walker, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation. “Dean has successfully dedicated his career to civic leadership and service and has made the cities he worked for better places to live, work and play. The City of Miami is fortunate to have his leadership today.” For more information, contact Jordan Adams at Jordan.m.adams@neo.edu.

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