Kiplinger’s again ranks Drury as one of America’s best value schools

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., January 19, 2017 — Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has again included Drury University on its list of the nation’s best values in higher education.

Kiplinger’s annual list ranks the Top 100 schools in three categories: private universities, public universities and liberal arts colleges. This is the fourth year in a row Drury has made the private universities list, at No. 49. Drury is No. 153 on Kiplinger’s combined list of 300 schools.

The complete rankings are available online at kiplinger.com/links/college and in the current issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

“Year after year, objective researchers and publications tell the nation what Drury students, families and alumni already know: Drury provides an outstanding value to our graduates,” says Kevin Kropf, executive vice president of enrollment management at Drury.

Kiplinger’s assesses value using measurable standards of academic quality and affordability. Quality measures include admission rates, percentage of students who return for sophomore year, student-faculty ratio and four-year graduation rate. Cost criteria include “sticker” price, financial aid and average debt at graduation. Drury’s average student debt upon graduation is below the state, regional and national averages; and 97 percent of Drury students receive a portion of over $30 million in financial assistance each year.

Drury is consistently recognized for providing outstanding educational value for students and families. Drury was recognized as a Top 20 “Best Value School” in the Midwest (at No. 18) by U.S. News & World Report earlier this year, and Washington Monthly named Drury a “Best Bang for the Buck” school in its 2016 college guide.

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Drury accounting students to provide free income tax preparation assistance

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 10, 2017 — Drury University students again will provide free tax preparation through an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site. The annual tax preparation service is open to the public and is designed to benefit low-income and senior taxpayers.

The Drury tax clinic is primarily a walk-in service. This site calls its last client on each date one hour prior to closing. VITA clinics are held at the Breech School of Business Administration building, on the northeast corner of Central Street and Drury Lane. The clinics will be held at the following times:

Saturday, Feb. 4 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 6 – 4 to 8 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 10 – 4 to 9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 11 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 13 – 4 to 8 p.m.

All returns will be filed electronically unless the IRS requires a manual return. All taxpayers must be available to sign the appropriate forms in the case of joint returns.

VITA tax clinic 2015

Taxpayers are required to bring photo ID and Social Security cards for themselves and dependents, as well as any tax documentation which they have received, including all W-2 forms, 1099 forms, and statements issued by brokerage firms. Clients are also asked to bring a copy of their 2015 state and federal tax returns to help speed up the filing process. The Drury VITA site is located in the Breech School of Business Administration at the corner of Central Street and Drury Lane.

Due to limitations set by the federal government, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance programs are unable to help taxpayers who have declared bankruptcy or incurred insolvency during the tax year, have rental property, have a self-owned business with inventory, depreciable property, or which had an overall loss for the year, and certain situations in which a taxpayer has received a forgiveness of debt.

VIDEO: VITA tax preparation clinic

Drury grad turns passion for design, business and travel into career

By Jessie Roller

A master’s degree in business, another master’s degree in architecture, plus a passion for travel led 2013 Drury graduate Danny Collins to become a successful entrepreneur, launching his new company, Project Latitude, at age 28.

While at Drury, the Springfield native earned his undergraduate degree and both master’s degrees all in six years – no easy task given the rigorous nature of the programs. He recently returned to Drury to speak to business and architecture students about his ever-changing career path.

After graduation, Collins landed a job at an architecture firm in New York City. After working there three years, he realized the corporate world of architecture just wasn’t for him and he began forming the idea of combining the two passions in his life, architecture and travel, into what became Project Latitude.

Collins in Guatemala with the Waxpi duffle bag.

Collins in Guatemala with the Waxpi duffle bag.

“I’ve always been a person that desired to be a larger part of something small rather than a small part of something large,” Collins says. “I am a firm believer in passion in the workplace and the concept of living to work not simply working to live.”

Collins founded Project Latitude with his partner and friend, Javier Roig. Its products fund needed improvements in small towns and communities within Latin America, and potentially around the world. Each unique product is solely created in these communities, with earnings going back into the communities funding needs such as infrastructure improvements. Volunteers who travel to the community do much of the physical work.

Project Latitude has seen initial success with its first project and product: the Chaski backpack made in Ecuador. It began as a crowd-funded project on Kickstarter. A second product, the Waxpi duffle bag, is also made in Ecuador.

Collins describes the brand identity as “the urban adventurer.”

Danny Collins

“These will be items for the person who has an office job from 9-to-5, but also likes to get out and do some exploring,” he says. The products will continue to be made and produce revenue for its community even after the Project Latitude team of volunteers complete their improvements.

Collins attributes much of his success to Drury. “The liberal arts program was very fitting for someone like me,” he says, “where I could learn what it was that I wanted to do, but I didn’t have to go straight in having no other choices than the degree I had chosen.”

In addition to tackling two master’s degrees while in school, Collins was also a member of the men’s soccer team and was involved in the vibrant everyday life Drury offers. He says that intense blend of opportunities led to his desire to combine many different concepts into one career — which was really the underlying idea of the company.

During his recent talk with Drury students, Collins encouraged them not to settle for just any job, but instead to go out and find what they truly love and then make it into a career.

He also advocated for all students, and people, to study business in some way.

“The world is a business and everything we do is a business, in some fashion or another,” he says.

The Chaski backpack

The Chaski backpack

Collins says his MBA has helped him immensely with his business, and in his personal life. His business knowledge has been helpful to him with issues such as mortgage agreements, for example, which is why he believes business education can benefit everyone, no matter their career.

Collins and Roig have big dreams for their company. They hope to one day have their own Project Latitude storefront, but for now they are working on placing products into existing retail stores, such as 5 Pound Apparel in Springfield (a boutique business started by another Drury graduate, Bryan Simpson). The goal is to sell about 50 percent of their products at retail and the other 50 percent on their own online platform.

But the true endgame is about more than sales.

“The goal for Project Latitude would never be to just sell products,” Collins says. “We want it to be a lifestyle brand and a lifestyle in a community of people who just want to do cool things and do some good while they’re doing it.”

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“Life Interrupted” explores history of WWII camps through dance & art

 

Xenophobia and perseverance. Isolation and equality.

Fear. Hope. Humanity.

Those are a few of the themes that will be explored through a rich mixture of panel discussions, an interactive art installation, and a dance performance as Drury University hosts the “Life Interrupted” program on campus and at the Drury on C-Street Gallery in early February.

“Life Interrupted” tells the story of the internment camps set up by the U.S. government to hold Japanese-Americans in the days and years following the 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and the nation’s subsequent entry into World War II. It explores themes that are as relevant today as they were seven decades ago as it examines the lives of those who were interned in the camps – including one not far from the Ozarks in Rohwer, Arkansas.

The project makes its way to Drury February 2 through 7, and will include public panel discussions, an interactive art installation by Drury students and a theatrical dance performance by the award winning CORE Performance Company of Atlanta and Houston at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 4. (Tickets are free but must be claimed – click here to do so.)

smaller-lynn-lane-2015-3

It’s a personal story for Drury architecture professor Nancy Chikaraishi, whose parents were interned in Rohwer as young adults after being forced to move from their homes in California. Chikaraishi’s artwork is digitally projected during the performance and she is the visual arts collaborator on the project. She was instrumental in bringing “Life Interrupted” to Drury and is the lead organizer for the series of events.

“It’s a personal story because my parents experienced it, and my grandparents experienced it,” she says. “And I still meet people who have never heard of the camps, especially the ones in Arkansas. People don’t know it happened, and when they find out they’re really surprised. Surprised, then shocked that Americans did this to other Americans.”

The surprise and shock continues to resonate, Chikaraishi says, when we consider the historical parallels to today as issues such as a Muslim registry and ethnic profiling make headlines.

“It’s 75 years past and we’re still grappling with the same issues – fear of people we don’t know, fear of people who look different from us,” she says.

Chikaraishi first became involved with the “Life Interrupted” dance project through the WWII Japanese American Internment Museum in Rohwer, in rural southeast Arkansas. Her original artwork, which was inspired by the stories her parents told her about the camps, was exhibited by the museum and caught the attention of Sue Schroeder, CORE’s artistic director. The dance performance is the project’s centerpiece and CORE has performed “Gaman,” the precursor to “Life Interrupted,” at the University of Central Arkansas and at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in northwest Arkansas.

Chikaraishi

Chikaraishi

“It’s a really powerful performance,” Chikaraishi says. “It’s amazing that an art form that doesn’t use words is able to process a historical event and express really deep emotions through movement and interaction.”

The series of events kicks off at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 2 with a roundtable discussion featuring community leaders from NAACP, Grupo Latinoamericano, the Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights, the Islamic Society of Joplin, and PROMO (Promoting Equality for All Missourians). On Friday, Feb. 3, CORE will conduct a dance workshop/story circle from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Drury on C-Street Gallery, followed by an art exhibit by Chikaraishi and the interactive art installation by Drury students from 6 to 8 p.m. Both exhibits will be part of the monthly First Friday Artwalk. The “Life Interrupted” dance performance is at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Wilhoit Theater on campus. Finally, a panel discussion on “Architecture, Space & Power” will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, also at the Drury on C-Street Gallery.

For Chikaraishi, the series of events will be a reminder of what her family went through those many years ago, and she hopes it will be just that – a reminder – for others as well.

“America is a place that is very open to others,” she says, “but we have to keep remembering that.”

This is project is supported in part by awards from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Arts Council, and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, Springfield Regional Arts Council and Community Foundation of the Ozarks, DoubleTree by Hilton, Nelson and Kelley Still Nichols, Colorgraphic Printing, Drury University, Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture and the L.E. Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship.

For more information, email Nancy Chikaraishi at nchikaraishi@drury.edu. You can view her artwork at www.nancychikaraishi.com. All of the events can be found on Drury’s D.Cal event calendar.

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Drury recognizes staff members for years of service, dedication

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., December 21, 2016 — Drury University recently recognized 16 staff members for milestone service anniversaries and dedication to the organization. The university also presented the annual Distinguished Staff Service Award to Ann Saunders, Director of the Southwest Region within the College of Continuing Professional Studies.

35 Years

John Jones – Custodian

30 Years

Phyllis Decker – Custodian

25 Years

Richard Hackett – Diving Coach

20 Years

Colleen Andrews – Transfer Recruiter/Advisor

Mike Porter – Director, Networking & Client Support Services

15 Years

Danny Artherton – Custodian

Cindy Jones – University Registrar

Midge McGee – Practicum Coordinator/Academic Advisor

Mitch Morrissey – Custodian

Stanley Thomas – Custodian

10 Years

Tammie Black – Coordinator, Ft. Leonard Wood campus

Shawn Claypool – Custodian

Doug Compton – HVAC Technician

Anthony Lee – Custodian

Albert Rauch – Help Desk Coordinator

Ryan Swan – Head Men’s Soccer Coach

 

2016 Distinguished Staff Award

The Distinguished Staff Service Award was presented to Ann Saunders, Director of the Southwest Region within the College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS). Saunders was recognized for her dedication to the mission of Drury and CCPS and for her tireless efforts to bolster that mission at Drury’s Monett campus.

Ann Saunders with Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd

Ann Saunders with Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd

Saunders was instrumental in landing the $1.9 million federal CAMP grant to help migrant workers and their families find educational opportunities this year; and played a key role in facilitating the donation of the Monett campus property to the university last year. She was praised for her ability to build connections, create new opportunities for growth, and mentor students and fellow employees.

The Distinguished Staff Award was established in 2006 by Drury alumni and two former employees to recognize one staff member’s exceptional accomplishments, leadership and service to the university each year. Staff members with at least two years of continuous service are eligible to be nominated for the award.

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Breech School of Business announces its Hall of Fame Class of 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., December 21, 2016 — Drury University’s Breech School of Business Administration will induct three new members into its Hall of Fame during the University’s annual homecoming weekend early next year.

The Class of 2017 includes Dr. Claudine Barrett Cox ‘63, Tommy Kellogg ‘58, and William D. (Bill) Vaughan ’74. They will join 21 other outstanding members of the Hall during a Feb. 10 induction ceremony at the Findlay Student Center Ballroom.

Cox

Cox

Dr. Claudine Barrett Cox earned a B.A. and an MBA from Drury before going on to earn a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Missouri. She taught business courses at Drury and for many years was the portfolio manager for the multiple Cox companies and for CoxHealth, the nonprofit hospital named in honor of her father-in-law, Lester E. Cox. She was a U.S. representative to UNICEF for eight years and engaged in extensive philanthropic and service work, including serving as the president of the Cox Hospital Auxiliary and on the boards of directors for Cox College, Drury University, Springfield Little Theater, and the Missouri State Chamber of Commerce, among others. She passed away in 2014 at age 90.

Tommy Kellogg is a retired executive of the W. R. Berkley Corporation where he was chairman of its subsidiary, Signet Star Holdings, Inc. Prior to joining Berkley, Kellogg retired in May 2001 after 33 years of service with General Reinsurance Corporation and General Re Corporation, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. He retired as President and Chief Operating Officer of General Reinsurance Corporation, and Executive Vice President and member of the Executive Committee of General Re Corporation, the holding company. Originally from Ava, Missouri, Kellogg earned degrees in economics and political science while at Drury. He earned a Master of Arts degree in economics and marketing from Michigan State University, and a J.D. of Law degree from DePaul University. Kellogg has been a member of the Drury Board of Trustees since 1990.

Kellogg

Kellogg

William D. (Bill) Vaughan earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and economics at Drury, and went on to the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. A fourth-generation owner of the Bank of Urbana, Vaughan took over the family business in the late 1980s. In the 1990s he expanded the business by opening branches in Buffalo and Hermitage, and did so again in 2004 in Macks Creek. Vaughan recently led a merger of Bank of Urbana with OakStar Bank, based in Springfield, and will retire in February. He has served as member of the board of directors for the Missouri Independent Bankers Association and the Ozark Bankers Association. He was an alderman for the City of Urbana and has been a Drury Trustee since 2008.

“We are thrilled to honor these individuals who have honored Drury and the Breech School of Business by leading exemplary careers and lives,” says Dr. Robin Sronce, dean of the Breech School. “Claudine, Tommy and Bill have been generous to our students and to Drury over many years, and truly represent the Breech School’s mission of preparing ethical leaders for the global business community.”

Vaughan

Vaughan

The Breech Hall of Fame was created to honor Drury alumni and faculty for outstanding professional achievement in the field of business. Inductees into the Hall must have made a significant, positive impact in the field of business through exemplary leadership, have demonstrated professional conduct consistent with the mission of the University and the Breech School of Business Administration, and have demonstrated a concern for improving their communities.

Past inductees include legendary Fortune magazine editor Carol Junge Loomis, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, Ford Motor Company CEO Ernest Breech, and O’Reilly Auto Parts executives Larry and David O’Reilly.

More information on the Breech Hall of Fame can be found online at www.drury.edu/business.

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Drury’s winter commencement ceremony to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., December 15, 2016 — Drury University will confer degrees to 266 graduates at its winter commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. The College of Continuing Professional Studies will confer 188 degrees. The College of Graduate Studies will confer 20 degrees and the traditional residential day school will confer 63 degrees.

Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones

The keynote speaker is Drury alumnus Aaron Jones, who has served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Continuing Professional Studies since 2012. He was named Chief of Staff to Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd in July, a position he will assume on a full-time basis in January 2017. This also will be the first commencement ceremony for Cloyd as Drury’s president.

Jones graduated from Drury University in 1995, where he served as Student Body President and president of Lambda Chi Alpha. He received his Juris Doctor in 1998 and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in dispute resolution in 2009 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Jones began practicing law in Springfield with Hulston, Jones & Marsh, in 1998. He is a member of the American Bar Association and a fellow in the American Bar Foundation. Jones is a member of King’s Way United Methodist Church and the Rotary Club of Springfield (Downtown). After serving as president of the Drury University Alumni Association, he was elected to the Drury Board of Trustees in 2009 and served until his appointment as Dean in 2012.

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Drury University to dedicate new campus green space on Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., December 14, 2016 — Drury University will dedicate Russell H. Keller Park, a campus green space, with a ceremony at 10 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 15. The green space itself is located on the north end of campus near the Drury fraternity quad, but the ceremony will be held indoors at Freeman Panhellenic Hall.

The space is the result of a real estate gift from Drury alumnus Russell Keller. Keller earned an MBA from Drury in 1967, and spent nearly three decades serving the public as Greene County Recorder of Deeds. Formerly the site of two adjacent single-family properties, the now open space runs along the south side of Calhoun Street between Robberson and Jefferson avenues.

“Drury University is very grateful to Mr. Keller for this gift,” says Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “Russell has been a friend and supporter of Drury for decades, and this gift will help us continue to shape the physical campus for decades yet to come.”

Speakers will include Ron Cushman, Director of Facilities, and Brian Shipman, a Drury faculty member who is a highly active volunteer with the Midtown Neighborhood Association. Remarks from Drury alumnus Larry O’Reilly, a friend and former neighbor of Mr. Keller, will also be read at the ceremony.

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Drury to launch Law Enforcement Academy in Lebanon in 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., December 9, 2016 — Ozarkers seeking a career in law enforcement will have a new option next year as Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies launches a Law Enforcement Academy in Lebanon in early summer 2017. This is the second academy site for Drury. The university’s Springfield academy has met the needs of local enforcement training and employment since 2004.

The academy will meet in the evening Monday through Thursday, and during 10 weekends, for one year. After completion, graduates receive a Class A License and meet the minimum requirements for employment with municipal, county and state law enforcement positions. Students also graduate with 24 college credit hours that can be applied to a degree program.

Drury University’s Law Enforcement Academy is approved by the state of Missouri as a Law Enforcement Training entity. Financial aid is available for those who qualify and the program meets the requirements for military education benefits.

“We look forward to expanding to the Lebanon, Camdenton and Waynesville areas and working with those local agencies to satisfy their training and employment needs,” said Tony Bowers, Director of the Law Enforcement Agency.

Defensive tactics training at the Drury Law Enforcement Academy.

Defensive tactics training at the Drury Law Enforcement Academy.

The expansion announcement has already garnered support from law enforcement leaders in the Lebanon area, including Laclede County Sheriff David Millsap.

“I have been affiliated with the Drury Academy for a number of years and appreciate their commitment to providing quality training to police recruits,” said Millsap, who is an adjunct instructor for the Academy in Springfield. “Their reputation for professional training will attract potential law enforcement officers from not only Laclede County but also the Ft. Leonard Wood area, as well as the Lake of Ozarks. The Laclede County Sheriff’s Office is excited about this training opportunity so close to home, and we look forward to working with Drury to make the Lebanon site a success.”

Informational sessions are planned for January and March in Lebanon. Those interested in more information about the Academy or the upcoming info sessions, can contact Tony Bowers at tbowers@drury.edu.

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Media Contact: Kristy Nelson, Director of Marketing – CCPS: (417) 873-7317 or knelson008@drury.edu.

Drury Scholars Program awarded $2,500 grant from U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank, through the U.S. Bank Foundation, has awarded a $2,500 grant to the Drury Scholars Program, an effort dedicated to closing the racial achievement gap by working with African-American students in Springfield Public Schools.

U.S. Bank’s community investment platform is centered on Work, Home and Play. By focusing on Work, Home and Play, U.S. Bank’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts can have a greater impact on the building blocks of thriving communities, which include stable employment opportunities, a home to call one’s own, and a community connected through culture, recreation and play.

“We are proud to support the Drury Scholars program as they provide pathways to higher learning,” said Steve Fox, U.S. Bank region president. “The work they are doing is an important investment into our community.”

U.S. Bank makes Work possible by investing in job skills training, small business development and college/career readiness.

“The grant from U.S. Bank is a generous gift that will support our mentoring, tutoring and ACT-prep initiatives designed to help college-bound African-American students get college ready,” said Dr. Peter Meidlinger, co-founder and co-director of the Drury Scholars Program.

US Bank check for Scholars

About Drury Scholars Program

Drury Scholars Program believes in providing effective diversity programs that work with the whole person and the entire community. The program provides strong academic support, including: tutoring, mentoring, personal and academic goal setting, assistance applying for college and financial aid. These activities take place within an environment that emphasizes the importance of building strong social support systems with one another, their mentors and adults in the community.

About U.S. Bank

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $438 billion in assets as of June 30, 2016, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The Company operates 3,122 banking offices in 25 states and 4,923 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.

Community Possible is the corporate giving and volunteer program at U.S. Bank, focused on the areas of Work, Home and Play. The company invests in programs that provide stable employment, a safe place to call home and a community connected through culture, recreation and play. Philanthropic support through the U.S. Bank Foundation and corporate giving program reached $53 million in 2015. Visit www.usbank.com/community.

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