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April 28, 2020

WGU Missouri Chancellor Named as One of the “50 Missourians You Should Know” by Ingram’s Magazine

ST. LOUIS – WGU Missouri is pleased to announce that Chancellor Dr. Angie Besendorfer, has been named to Ingram’s Magazine’s “50 Missourians You Should Know” 2020 list. The honorees recognized in the publication’s annual tribute have made significant contributions to the state, their communities or their businesses, and they best exemplify what it means to be a Missourian. Dr. Besendorfer was nominated and ultimately selected because of her work in education over the past three decades, including her dedication to embracing innovative curriculum in K-12 education, as well as improving and providing access to higher education for all Missourians. 

Dr. Besendorfer has served as chancellor of WGU Missouri for more than six years, championing college attainment for working Missourians who wish to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Under her leadership, WGU has made significant strides bridging the talent gap by focusing on educating adult learners in the workforce who need bachelor’s and master’s degrees to advance their careers. Before joining WGU Missouri, she served as the assistant superintendent of Joplin Schools for eight years, leading advancement in curriculum, instruction, assessment and facilities. Her background also includes holding the positions of superintendent, director of special services, elementary school principal and teacher at Missouri schools. Besendorfer has worked in education for more than 25 years, implementing innovative and technology-focused learning strategies. She joined WGU Missouri as chancellor in 2014 when the nonprofit, fully online, competency-based university was just a year old. Under her leadership, the university has grown by 132% percent in the past six years, with more than 3,845 alumni, current enrollment over 3,336, and a staff of 187.

“I am honored to be named one of Ingram’s ‘50 Missourians You Should Know’ and appreciate the publication’s recognition of the life-changing value WGU Missouri provides to working adults who have some college but no degree,” said Dr. Besendorfer. “Improving access to affordable, high-quality, higher education for Missourians wishing to advance their careers by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree is my top priority. The work that my staff and I do at WGU is focused on breaking poverty cycles, while strengthening the work force. WGU graduates report an average increase of $18,400 in salary four years after graduation. That’s life-changing for any family and is the reason I work to promote degree attainment for individuals who are interested in furthering their education.”

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