A native Kansan who was secretary of defense under two U.S. presidents will be the first person to receive an honorary doctorate from Kansas State University.


     A native Kansan who was secretary of defense under two U.S. presidents will be the first person to receive an honorary doctorate from Kansas State University.
     Robert M. Gates will receive the degree during graduation from the Kansas State Graduate School on May 11. He will also be the commencement speaker at the ceremony.
     The Kansas Board of Regents approved awarding of the honorary degree to Gates at its meeting Thursday.
     The board changed its policy in 2010 to allow state universities to confer honorary degrees.
     Gates, a native of Wichita, was secretary of defense for both President George W. Bush and Barack Obama before stepping down in 2011.
     Before serving in that capacity, Gates had a 27-year career in the national intelligence field and was president of Texas A&M.