Drury’s O’Reilly Family Event Center earns Building of the Year award

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 31, 2011 — The construction of Drury’s O’Reilly Family Event Center earned Williams Construction, Inc. the 2011 Building of the Year award from American Buildings Co. The company also received an Excellence in Design award in the Recreation category for the same project.

Drury's O'Reilly Family Event Center

View the feature on the O’Reilly Family Event Center at the American Buildings Company’s website.

The 3,200 seat O’Reilly Family Event Center opened in Octobers 2010, and it serves as the home for Panther and Lady Panther basketball and volleyball. In its first year, the O’Reilly Family Event Center has hosted internationally known entertainers, such as, Sheryl Crow, The Pointer Sisters and Colbie Caillat.

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Halloween is every day at Drury’s Clara Thompson Hall

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 31, 2011 — When Drury music students are practicing alone in Clara Thompson Hall, they’re often joined by a music lover who listens quietly, but no one has ever seen this spectator or can actually say that he/she exists. The music fan is known as the ghost of Clara Thompson Hall.

Drury's Clara Thompson Hall

For years, students practicing on Clara Thompson Hall’s stage have reported that when they’ve finished playing, they’re heard one of the theatre seats rise as if someone had just stood up after sitting—but all the seats are empty. Also, students have reported hearing the rustling of a dress, sightings of an apparition in the balcony and even experiencing the feeling of an embrace. “This is some sort of benign spirit that is not threatening at all,” says Bill Garvin, Drury archivist. “It’s a spirit that enjoys music.”

Who is this spirit? Many believe the ghost could be that of the building’s namesake Clara Wallace Thompson. The former Drury music student died in September 1895, shortly after the birth of a child, at the age of 21. An obituary in Drury’s student newspaper The Mirror from October 1895 said, “She was possessed of musical talent to a marked degree and soon developed into the finest pianist in the city.”

Clara’s mother Louise Wallace made a donation to build Clara Thompson Hall as a memorial to her daughter.

Others have suggested that the ghost might be Thomas Stanley Skinner, the dean of the Drury Conservatory of Music from 1920-1950. Many question this theory because ghost stories in Clara Thompson Hall pre-date Skinner’s death.

No matter the spirit’s identity, thankfully, it seems to mean no harm. As the former head of Drury’s music department told The Mirror in 1987, “I know it is gentle and I feel like it watches over us. I believe activity, especially with music, makes it happy. For example, the only times I have heard the moaning sounds have been over breaks or weekends when the building is deserted. It was at those times I felt that maybe the ghost was lonely and unhappy.”

Lucky for the ghost, and all other living patrons, music continues to fill Clara Thompson Hall, while the mystery of its ghost continues to provide whispered tales on campus this time of year.

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Drury dedicates the Kellogg Green Space and Terrace

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.,Oct. 28, 2011 —The Drury community today celebrated the dedication of the Kellogg Green Space and Terrace with a ribbon cutting honoring donors Tom and Camille Kellogg. Their generosity funded the deconstruction of the vacant Belle and Turner Halls, and provided the funding for the green space, terrace, seating areas and garden spaces.

Camille and Tom Kellogg cut the ribbon for the Kellogg Greenspace and Terrace while Drury President Todd Parnell (left) and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Lynn Chipperfield look on.

Drury’s Extreme Makeover efforts earn media attention

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 27, 2011 — For the past week,  Drury University students, faculty and staff have helped ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition (EMHE) help transform tornado ravaged Joplin. Drury Architecture Professor Traci Sooter headed up a team of students to design and create a landscape feature that is a tribute to the more than 100,000 volunteers who helped Joplin rebuild after the May 22 tornado.

Drury students lay sod at the Joplin Volunteer Tribute

This effort has earned Drury media coverage in Joplin:

Extreme Home Makeover Home Edition built seven houses in seven days for seven families that lost their homes on May 22. Drury has granted $25,000 scholarships to the 14 children under the age of 18 who live in those homes. Also, Drury has pledged a $1,000 scholarship to any 2012 high school graduate living in the Joplin School District. The graduate can be a public school, private school or a home school student. The scholarship is contingent upon the student being admissible to Drury University.

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Professor’s research comes from the aqueducts of Rome to the faucets at Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 26, 2011 — Katherine Rinne, a professor at the California College of the Arts, will speak on Oct. 28 in the Hammons School of Architecture multi-purpose room at 1 p.m. Her speech, Pluming Rome, is a part of Drury University’s Architecture Lecture Series 2011-12. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Katherine Rinne

Rinne will present her research examining the 3,000-year history of water infrastructure and the development of Rome. She has received many awards from the National Gallery of Art and the National Science Foundation. Her book, The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains and the Birth of the Baroque City, was awarded the 2011 John Brinkerhoff Jackson Award for Landscape History.

Aside from her research and book, Rinne is also the project director for “Aquae Urbis Romae: The Waters of the City of Rome,” a web-based research project published by the University of Virginia.

For more information about the project, visit the website at: http://www3.iath.virginia.edu/waters/

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Two Edward Jones Center learning opportunities in November

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 27, 2011 — The public will have two opportunities to learn through the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship (EJC) in November.

  • On Nov. 2, join Jennifer Jackson, the publisher of The Springfield Business Journal, for a Lunch and Learn called “All in the Family” about her experiences in a family owned business. The event is in the President’s House at the corner of Benton and Calhoun. It begins at 11:45 a.m., and the $10 cost includes lunch.
  • The next session of the EJC Certificate classes begin on Nov. 2. All classes are on Wednesday nights from 6-9 p.m. This program is designed for the serious entrepreneur who is ready to start his or her business. Students that complete the four class series will earn a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Drury’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship. The educational series includes four three-hour sessions covering:
    • Feasibility Studies
    • Business Plans
    • Lender and Investor Presentations
    • Student Presentations and Wrap Up

By the end of the series, prospective entrepreneurs should be prepared to seek funding for their endeavor. Fees for the four-class series are $300. Classes meet at the President’s House and are limited to five participants to allow for one-on-one attention for each student’s proposal.

To sign up for the Lunch and Learn or enroll in the Certificate classes, contact Tammy Rogers at (417) 873-6357 or by e-mail at tammy@drury.edu. Check the website, www.drury.edu/ejc, for future series’ dates.

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Professor’s research comes from the aqueducts of Rome to the faucets at Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 26, 2011 — Katherine Rinne, a professor at the California College of the Arts, will speak on Oct. 28 in the Hammons School of Architecture multi-purpose room at 1 p.m. Her speech, Pluming Rome, is a part of Drury University’s Architecture Lecture Series 2011-12. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Rinne will present her research examining the 3,000-year history of water infrastructure and the development of Rome. She has received many awards from the National Gallery of Art and the National Science Foundation. Her book, The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains and the Birth of the Baroque City, was awarded the 2011 John Brinkerhoff Jackson Award for Landscape History.

Aside from her research and book, Rinne is also the project director for “Aquae Urbis Romae: The Waters of the City of Rome,” a web-based research project published by the University of Virginia.

For more information about the project, visit the website at: http://www3.iath.virginia.edu/waters/

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A “Nest” migration from C-Street to downtown highlights a Drury art project

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 26, 2011 — Drury students and faculty will collaborate with members of the Springfield community to construct an installation that will be paraded from Commercial Street to Park Central Square during First Friday Art Walk on Nov. 4.

Members of the Springfield community are invited to join Drury students and faculty on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 29 and 30 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. to build the installations at the Drury on C-Street Gallery at 233 E. Commercial St.

A Nest structure. Copyright Doug Johnston & Yu-Chih Hsiao, used with permission.

The installations will be Nest structures made from irrigation tubing and zip ties. There will be another construction session on the sidewalk outside of the gallery on Thursday, Nov. 3 beginning at 6 p.m.

On First Friday Art Walk on Nov. 4, one of the Nest structures will be carried and rolled to the under-construction Park Central Square where the public will be invited to interact with the object.

Artist rendering by Gerard Nadeau

The migration of the Nest structure to downtown is designed to create a symbolic connection between Commercial Street and Springfield’s downtown. There will be a reception at 6 p.m. at Drury on C-Street prior to moving the Nest downtown.

Assisting with the installation creation will be Drury alumnus and Brooklyn artist Doug Johnston. Johnston will also give a lecture called “Physical Thought” in Drury’s Pool Arts Center at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

The Nest installations and parade are a production of Art of Space, a collaboration of Drury students, faculty, alumni and members of the Springfield community to engender community through communal spatial art as a new addition to Springfield’s First Friday Art Walk

Those interested in helping with the construction are asked to sign up for a time. Contact Gerard Nadeau, gnadeau@drury.edu or at 617-501-9618.

Contact: Gerard Nadeau, AIA, LEED AP, Drury Assistant Professor of Architecture, Office: 417.873.6937, Cell: 617.501.9618

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Drury named a Best Value Private University by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Washington D.C., Oct. 25, 2011 —Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named Drury University one of the best values in private colleges and universities for 2011-12. Drury is one of only four private universities from Missouri to make the university rankings. Drury is ranked 66th out of 100 private universities from around the country. You can view Drury’s profile here.

Kiplinger ranked 100 private universities and 100 liberal arts colleges that combine outstanding education with economic value.  The annual private school report appears in Kiplinger’s December issue—on newsstands Tuesday, Nov. 8—and online now at www.kiplinger.com/links/college.

Drury 2011 Graduation

Drury University, and the other schools included in the 2011-2012 lists, represents the colleges and universities that are providing high quality academics, in addition to great cost value, even during these tough economic times.  These private schools exemplify the traits parents and students want when looking into higher education options: small class sizes, many financial aid options, high four-year graduation rates and low debt for students after graduation.

“The Drury family is proud to be recognized by Kiplinger’s. This ranking reflects a rigorous academic program, affordability and a university-wide commitment to enhance the student experience,” said Drury President Todd Parnell. “We believe the value a student gets at Drury doesn’t stop at graduation, it continues as the connection to the university enhances a student’s life and career.”

This year, Kiplinger adjusted its criteria to better reflect the issues affecting families. Now, the rankings give more weight to the four-year graduation rate—a measure of the college’s ability to deliver academic support and of the overall cost to families—and to colleges that keep student debt down. While the criteria have shifted, the overall focus on value remains the same.

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Drury Professor Studies Junk….in Outer Space

Have you ever wondered what sorts of things are orbiting the earth? It’s easy to imagine satellites and space stations, but there are also small pieces of space junk that could do serious damage to the billions of dollars of equipment in orbit, or which could take the lives of astronauts and cosmonauts. Figuring out what those small pieces of junk are and where they’re headed is a part-time job for Drury physics professor and NASA consultant Dr. Greg Ojakangas.

Dr. Greg Ojakangas

Ojakangas points out that these small objects could collide with a satellite or spacecraft at over twenty times the speed of a bullet and with several hundred times the energy. Therefore, small pieces of space debris are potentially very dangerous.

The challenge says Ojakangas, is that there are literally hundreds of thousands of pieces of space debris outside the earth’s atmosphere and they’re too small to resolve as shapes, even with strong telescopes. Ojakangas has spent parts of many summers at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston producing mathematical models of man-made space debris to help assess the hazards of collisions between these objects and spacecraft near the Earth. In September, Ojakangas was in Maui, presenting his research at a conference on space surveillance.

“The goal is to be able to look at a piece of orbiting debris, far too distant to resolve directly, and be able to tell its size, shape and probable composition just by the way it reflects light as it rotates. One day, humans will travel to Mars and getting astronauts and spacecraft safely beyond our own orbiting junkyard is a prerequisite.”

Ojakangas is a former full-time NASA scientist, and he has continued working with NASA for over 20 years creating mathematical models of man-made space debris. He has also been a finalist in the astronaut program.

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