Alumnus Faulkner to speak, lead discussion on race & diversity

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 21, 2016 — Drury University will hold a campus- and community-wide discussion about race and cultural diversity on Jan. 28. The public is invited to attend.

The event will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 28 at the Diversity Center (the former Washington Avenue Baptist Church) on Drury Lane. It will be led by Rev. Darren Faulkner of Kansas City, a Drury graduate with more than 20 years experience in counseling, prison ministry, and nonprofit management.

“Drury University is a very welcoming and inclusive community,” says President Dr. David Manuel. “Nevertheless, our perspectives of diversity and inclusion can always broaden and become more thoughtful. Those perspectives are interrelated with the issues Rev. Faulkner will raise, and I am confident that his insights will help us deepen Drury’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

Faulkner will speak about the connections between the issues of race relations, economic dignity and cultural diversity. He will then lead a discussion session with Drury students, faculty, staff and members of the public. The President’s Council on Inclusion organized the event.

Rev. Darren Faulkner

Rev. Darren Faulkner

“We have come a long way since Jim Crow and the 1960s, however there are several things that occur today that would make the average person question just how far we have come,” Faulkner says. “I will be addressing these issues and making the argument that there is a correlation that cannot be denied.”

Faulkner received degrees in criminal justice and political science while at Drury and has been an ordained minister since 1993. He serves on the advisory board of the PBS affiliate KCPT, and is a member of the Heartland Community Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas City NAACP.


Media Contact: Greg Booker, Assistant Professor of Art & Inclusion Council Chair. Office: (417) 873-7203; email:

Mr. Melgren goes to Washington: Grad takes part in Congressional briefing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 15, 2016 — Recent Drury graduate Evan Melgren will take part in a Congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Jan. 19, as part of panel hosted by the New American Colleges & Universities (NAC&U). Melgren will describe how his experience on Drury’s Solar Decathlon team contributed to his education and career success.

The panel is part of a series of events hosted next week by the NAC&U, which is a national consortium of selective, independent colleges and universities dedicated to the integration of liberal arts education, professional studies, and civic engagement. Drury is one of 25 member schools.

Evan Melgren

The briefing will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Rayburn Office Building. Melgren and two other students will share their experiences of how their integrative education, including undergraduate research, business consulting, and multidisciplinary team projects improved the quality of their college experiences and prepared them with real-world skills.

“Not only was the multidisciplinary aspect of the Decathlon a perfect challenge for a liberal arts student like myself, it was also a perfect model of an advanced professional endeavor,” Melgren says. “It necessitated teamwork and the inclusion of multiple perspectives to create a home that worked in all regards.”

Melgren is a 2014 Drury graduate with a degree in advertising and public relations. He was the communication chair for the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon team, which spent 18 months designing, building and marketing a solar-powered and storm-resistant home for the national contest sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. About 140 teams from around the world applied and only 20 were accepted, of which only 14 successfully made it to the competition site. The Crowder-Drury team placed 8th overall. The experience led directly to a job with Killian Construction Company, where Melgren is a market research analyst.

“I feel honored to have been selected by our professors to take this important message to such a powerful forum,” he says. “A liberal arts education is an excellent route to a deeper appreciation for life, but it’s also more than that. It’s an excellent option for anyone looking to obtain an education that will prepare them for whatever life throws at them, and I can’t wait to take that message to our nation’s capitol.”

More information about the slate of events, including a similar briefing at the National Press Club on Wednesday, can be found in the NAC&U’s full news release.

Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations: (417) 873-7390 or For information about NAC&U, contact Michelle Apuzzio at


Drury co-sponsors Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 15, 2016 — Drury University is partnering with the Springfield branch of the NAACP to co-sponsor the annual Martin Luther King Day Unity March thanks to a grant from the Corporation for National & Community Service and Campus Compact.

The grant of just over $1,000 will be used to assist the NAACP with costs associated with the event, which takes place on Monday, Jan. 18. The march begins at Mediacom Ice Park and ends at the Gillioz Theater. Doors at the Ice Park open at 8 a.m.; the march begins at 9.

Drury’s office of Community Outreach & Leadership Development is committing student volunteers to help with event coordination and the University also will encourage students to participate in the march.

“This march is our annual event as we strive to continue to be consistent with King’s life and his work towards economic and social justice,” says Cheryl Clay, President of the Springfield NAACP. “We are thrilled to partner with Drury University in promoting a service project to benefit those in our community.”

In conjunction with the march, there will be a collection drive for non-perishable food items and new socks for Home At Last, a program of The Kitchen, Inc., which provides support services to veterans in the Ozarks.


Media Contact: Hannah Minchow-Proffitt, Office of Community Outreach & Leadership Development; (417) 873-7617 or

Feb. 15 event caters to students interested in transferring to Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 13, 2016 — Students interested in transferring to Drury University will get a chance to hear directly from professors, admission staff and financial aid experts during a Transfer/Dual Credit Fair from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 15 at the Trustee Science Center.

Prospective students will have their questions answered in person, meet faculty members from each academic department, discuss financial aid packages and transcripts with staff, and tour the campus. Representatives from Drury’s first year experience team, veterans services, counseling and disability services, and the College of Graduate Studies will also be available.

There is no fee to attend, but RSVP is required for prospective transfer students. Students may register online; the deadline to RSVP is Monday, Feb. 8.

Whether coming from another four-year institution or a two-year school, transfer students often find a “home” at Drury, thanks to a close-knit atmosphere and personalized attention from faculty.

“Drury is the third university I have attended, and I wish I would’ve just started here,” says Jenny Cornelius, junior biology major. “It really is like no other school. The professors and staff are exceptional.”

For more information about transfers, visit: or contact Kelli Roberts, (417) 873-6349 or


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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 12, 2016 — Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has again included Drury University on its list of the country’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 third year in a row Drury has made the private universities list. Drury is ranked 40th, up from 41st last year. Drury also ranks in the top half of the combined list of 300 schools.

The complete rankings are available online at and in the current issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

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 $29 million in financial assistance each year.

Drury is consistently recognized for providing outstanding educational value for students and families. Drury is the top-ranked school in Missouri on the U.S. News & World Report 2016 “Best Value Schools” Midwest region list. Drury is No. 3 on that list, which includes both public and private schools.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations; (417) 873-7390 or

Drury accounting students to provide free income tax preparation assistance 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 11, 2016 — Drury University students 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 service accepts walk-in clients only. 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. 6 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 8 – 4 to 8 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 13 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 15 – 4 to 8 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 22 – 4 to 8 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 29 – 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.

Taxpayers are required to bring photo ID, 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 2014 state and federal tax returns to help speed up the filing process.

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.

Information phone line: (417) 873-7522.


Drury partners with Gillioz for concerts; Nelson & Haggard play OFEC April 8

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 11, 2015 — Drury University’s O’Reilly Family Event Center and the Gillioz Theater are forming a strategic partnership with the aim of boosting Springfield’s profile on the national concert tour scene and bringing more live music to the Ozarks.

Under the new framework, Geoff Steele, executive director of the Gillioz, will book concerts and handle all day-of operations for shows at the OFEC. The move pairs the booking, promoting and customer service expertise of the Gillioz with Drury’s state-of-the-art mid-sized concert venue. It also leverages the two venues’ sizes (1,100 seats and 3,000 seats respectively) for booking. The partnership does not affect athletic events at OFEC.

Willie Nelson on stage with Merle Haggard.

Willie Nelson on stage with Merle Haggard.

The first concert to fall under the new framework is being announced today: Willie Nelson, together in concert with Merle Haggard, will perform on Friday, April 8 at the OFEC. Tickets start at $64 and are available starting at 10 a.m., Friday, Jan. 15 at or by calling (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OFEC box office, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

Nelson and Haggard are true legends of American music. Both are Country Music Hall of Famers who have combined to release more than 200 singles and topped the Billboard Country Singles Chart more than 50 times. Beyond their chart success, Nelson and Haggard have influenced countless songwriters and performers over the decades. Their 2015 record “Django and Jimmie” is the sixth album collaboration between the two singers, and debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Album Charts.

About the Partnership

Officials at the Gillioz and Drury say the partnership is a win-win-win for both institutions and local music fans.

The Gillioz has experienced high growth in ticket sales and a steady increase in the frequency and quality of acts on its stage over the last decade, Steele says. The OFEC has seen several hit shows in the last several years, including the Avett Brothers, Kelly Clarkson, and the Steve Miller Band.

“We are both positioning ourselves to enhance life in the Ozarks and enhance Springfield’s standing as a destination for tours,” Steele says. “When promoters inquire with us, I’ll have the ability to offer them both venues as an option for their artists.”

The Gillioz’s strong social media presence and track record of customer service will serve OFEC patrons well, says Rob Fridge, Drury’s chief financial officer and director of the OFEC’s entertainment programming.

“Drury excels in academics and athletics,” Fridge says. “We want to excel when it comes to delivering live entertainment to the community in this fantastic venue, and we’re partnering with one of the best to help us do just that. This takes our recent track record of success to a new level going forward.”


Recent grad thrives, finds her path during time at Drury

The new year looks bright for Emily Cline, one of more than 280 December Drury graduates.

A Springfield native who majored in biology and Spanish while also playing on the women’s soccer team, Cline is headed for a career in physical therapy. She’ll begin work on her doctorate this fall. A 4.0 student, she’s already been accepted to Washington University in St. Louis and has interviews at several other top-flight schools such as the University of Colorado and Northern Arizona.

Dr. Kevin Jansen, professor of biology and one of Cline’s faculty advisors, says he won’t be surprised if Cline is among the top in her class no matter where she chooses to pursue her advanced degree.

“She’s excellent at critically evaluating what’s in front of her, whether it’s a defense on the soccer field, a question on an exam or a patient’s needs,” Jansen says.

Emily Cline at Trustee Science Center

Evaluating her career at Drury, Cline says it’s been a time of growth and self-discovery. She chose Drury because it was a place where she could pursue both athletics and academics in “a place where I wouldn’t be just a number.” She finished knowing more about her path in life.

Studying Spanish opened her eyes to other cultures, especially after a semester abroad in Spain. Beyond getting to know the people and the language better, the time spent in an unfamiliar setting taught her something important about herself.

“I’ve never felt great about making mistakes,” she admits. “My time abroad put me in situations where I felt a little unsure at times, but I started to feel OK with that. I learned to navigate places I’ve never been before and that gave me confidence to do other things. I became more independent.”

Cline currently lives in Drury’s Foreign Languages House, an on-campus residence that is also a gathering place for foreign language club events and international student dinners. Living on campus has also taught her a lot, she says, beginning with having freshman year roommates she’d never previously met.

“That was the start of opening up to more people and being more receptive to different ways of life,” she says.

But it was her time in Drury’s rigorous science curriculum and multiple physical therapy internships that revealed a career path to Cline. She wants to specialize in neurologic physical therapy, where she will be able to form very close one-on-one relationships with patients who need direct care to fight diseases like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis.

Emily Cline soccer goal

“When I came to Drury it was because I wanted to be able to get to know my professors, and later in life I want to have that kind of relationship with my patients, too,” she says.

Jansen says Cline’s combination of intellect and people skills will serve her well in the field. Like many Drury students, Cline is exceptionally accomplished but knows she still has so much to learn, he says.

“That combination of intelligence and gratitude for the opportunities to reach higher goals is what makes our students special,” Jansen says.


Drury to freeze housing costs & amend housing policy for local residents

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 21, 2015 — Drury University is making changes to its housing policy in order to enhance accessibility and affordability for students.

Beginning next fall, costs for most on-campus residences will be either reduced or frozen in price for the 2016-17 academic year. Drury will continue to award residential grants to incoming students, based on need, to help offset the costs of room and board.

Additionally, students whose primary family residence is within 30 miles of the campus may live at home with a parent.

“We firmly believe in a residential college experience, and our current students and alumni can attest to the difference it makes in one’s college career,” says Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “But we also want to ensure a continued focus on access and affordability, particularly for students here in the Springfield area.”

The university will continue to encourage students to live on campus. National data and data collected by Drury have long shown that students who live on campus have higher retention and graduation rates, higher levels of satisfaction with their experience, better grades and greater participation in co-curricular and social activities.

With more than 100 student organizations, a large Greek population, specialized housing based on academic interests and a history of meaningful faculty mentorship, Drury’s community spirit runs deep. That’s why many students, including many local students, choose to live on campus; some do so throughout their entire college career. In fact, there are currently 80 juniors and seniors living on campus who attended local high schools.

The revised policy will go into effect in fall 2016. For more information about housing or residence life, visit

Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations. Office: (417) 873-7390; email:


Drury offers live Christmas tree collection January 4 & 8

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 18, 2015 — Drury University is offering center city residents an easy and environmentally friendly option for disposal of live Christmas trees.

The collection, sponsored by Drury’s Facilities Services Department, will be open to the Drury community, the Midtown and Rountree neighborhoods, and downtown Springfield residents. Facilities Services staff kindly asks that only residents in these areas participate.

The tree collection will be held on Monday, January 4 and Friday, January 8, 2016, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All decorations must be removed and the live trees may be dropped at the Law Enforcement Academy building located on Bob Barker Boulevard, east of the Hammons School of Architecture (building 38 on the campus map).

The Christmas trees will be chipped by All About Trees and Drury’s Grounds staff. The mulch generated will be reused in various areas on the Drury campus.

Media Contact: Joe Fearn, Assistant Director of Grounds. Office: (417) 873-7414; email: