Dan Wenk, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, will receive an honorary doctorate degree in letters from Montana State University during the university’s fall commencement on Dec. 16 at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.
Wenk has been superintendent of Yellowstone National Park since February 2011 where he manages more than 2.2 million acres, millions of visitors, a staff of 800 and an annual base budget of more than $36 million.
“Through his support of research endeavors and student access to the park, Superintendent Wenk has reinforced the long-standing ties between Yellowstone National Park and our university, strengthening MSU’s status as the ‘University of the Yellowstone,’” said MSU President Waded Cruzado in a press release. “Not only is Superintendent Wenk a fierce believer in the vital role of land-grant universities, he is an advocate for access of the park to all Americans. He is extremely deserving of this award, the highest recognition that MSU can bestow.”
A native of Michigan, Wenk has a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from Michigan State University. He joined the National Park Service in 1975 as a landscape architect at the Denver Service Center and was the landscape architect for Yellowstone National Park from 1979-1984. Prior to being named superintendent of Yellowstone, Wenk was deputy director of operations for the National Park Service from 2007-2011.