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Third annual “531 Challenge” boosts participation rate, dollar amount raised

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 23, 2016 — Drury University’s third annual “531 Challenge” fundraising campaign exceeded its participation goal with 644 total donors, a 5 percent increase over last year.

The 531 Challenge began in April with the goal of 531 donors giving at any level before the last day of May – 5/31 on the calendar. Drury alumna Bobbi Springer ’49 committed to a challenge gift of $50,000 if the participation goal was met. In all, the challenge raised more than $212,000 – a 15 percent increase over last year’s total. The funds will help build academic success, support student engagement, and provide student scholarships.

“We were delighted with the energy surrounding this year’s challenge and are thankful for our alumni and friends who helped Drury exceed this important goal,” said Andrea Battaglia, Director of Annual Giving. “The 531 event encouraged participation rather than a specific dollar amount, and we know that our alumni and friends care deeply about supporting the experiences of Drury students today and in the future.”

“We were thrilled that Drury alumna Bobbi Springer provided the challenge gift this year in honor of her husband Wallace (Wally) Springer ’47, who served Drury as a Trustee from 1978 to 2004 and served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees,” said Judy Thompson, Counsel to the President for Stewardship and Major Gifts. “Bobbi is so proud of her Drury ties and said it was an honor to provide this challenge gift.”

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Drury study reveals impact of volunteers in the Springfield area

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 16, 2016 — Drury University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership will unveil the results of a new study examining volunteerism in the Springfield area during a news conference at 9 a.m., Tuesday, June 21 at Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center.

The study provides an in-depth look at volunteers in Greene and Christian counties, their service, and how they help organizations accomplish their missions. The 30-page report highlights trends in volunteerism, motives for giving time, and how organizations manage volunteers. One major finding: formal volunteerism (service documented by area nonprofits and institutions) has an economic impact of almost $45 million per year in the two counties.

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The study is a follow-up to the Center’s 2014 Nonprofit Impact Report, the first such report ever conducted in Springfield. The Impact Report revealed the sweeping scope of nonprofits in the area, including the fact that about half of all private employees in Springfield work for a nonprofit of some kind.

“Notably absent from our 2014 Impact Report was any significant data on volunteers and how their work supports nonprofits,” says Dan Prater, Director of Center for Nonprofit Leadership. “The new study gives us valuable insight into what is essentially the lifeblood of the nonprofit sector – and it provides clues as to how volunteerism can be strengthened and amplified in our community.”

The study was conducted over a period of two years and tracks a wide spectrum of formal volunteerism, from small organizations that exist almost solely as volunteer endeavors to large organizations such as hospitals that rely on platoons of volunteers for small but crucial tasks. It breaks down volunteerism data by ZIP codes, age, race, gender, education level, and income as well as the number of hours given and types of causes each group is most likely to gravitate toward. This information could help local nonprofits identify ways to better engage different constituencies such as minority groups, millennials or low-income families.

Hard copies of the report will be made available at the news conference. For information on the Center, go to www.drury.edu/nonprofit.

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Media Contact: Dan Prater, Director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership: (417) 873-7443 or dprater@drury.edu.

Carl Bernstein & P.J. O’Rourke to speak at Drury University in September

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 16, 2016 — Drury University’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship will bring two of the most renowned political writers of the past 50 years to campus this fall for an insightful and thought-provoking look at Washington and the state of national politics.

Carl Bernstein and P.J. O’Rourke will appear together at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 12 at Clara Thompson Hall. Their program, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House,” is the first event of the Meador Center’s 2016-17 theme “45” – an examination of the 2016 presidential election and the administration of the 45th President of the United States.

The event is free and open to the public.

P.J. O'Rourke (left) and Carl Bernstein

P.J. O’Rourke (left) and Carl Bernstein

O’Rourke, a conservative, is a research fellow at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute, and is a widely recognized political commentator. He is the author of 20 books, and has written for Rolling Stone, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Weekly Standard. He is currently a weekly columnist for The Daily Beast. Bernstein, a liberal, pursued and broke the Watergate story along with fellow reporter Bob Woodward, and co-wrote the best-selling book “All the President’s Men,” which was later adapted into a classic film of the same name. He has also written books on subjects such as Pope John Paul II and Hillary Clinton. He has worked for a number of outlets including The Washington Post and CNN.

The evening will include remarks and observations from the two writers on relevant political and economic developments, followed by a moderated discussion and audience Q&A.

“American politics is so polarized today that it is often beyond comprehension that people can have a civil discussion from different sides of the political divide,” says Dr. Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Endowed Chair of Political Science. “Bernstein and O’Rourke will bring their playful, yet powerful and serious message, to Drury and the community to illuminate points of agreement as well as division.”

About the L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship

Dr. Lewis Elbern (L.E.) Meador taught political science at Drury College for nearly 50 years beginning in 1913 and was a revered civic leader who played key roles in shaping the Missouri Constitution and Springfield City Charter. Inspiration for the center’s mission comes from the words of Meador himself, who felt his students “should take a constructive and active part in trying to bring about a more democratic and more hopeful world in which future generations can live.” The Center carries out that mission through financial support of student scholarship and an annual speaker series addressing a range of pressing political and civic issues.

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Media Contact: Dr. Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Endowed Chair of Political Science: (417) 873-7394 or deponder@drury.edu.

Drury student earns prestigious AAF national internship

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 10, 2016 — For the eighth time in 11 years, a Drury University student has been named to the prestigious American Advertising Federation (AAF) Vance L. Stickell Memorial Internship Program. The program recognizes the top 20 AAF students in the nation.

Samantha Behen, an advertising and public relations major from Gladstone, Missouri, is the latest recipient. She will spend the summer in Kansas City working with the team at Global Prairie, a digital marketing and advertising agency focused on clients whose products and services create a healthier world.

“I could not be more excited about working for Global Prairie through the Stickell Internship program this summer,” Behen says. “One of the coolest aspects of Global Prairie is their passion for philanthropy. Not only does the agency donate 10 percent of its profits to charitable organizations, but employees are also encouraged to engage in local nonprofit organizations by volunteering and serving on boards.”

Samantha Behen

Samantha Behen

Each year, a handful of outstanding students from across the country are selected for 10-week Stickell internships at U.S. media organizations, advertising agencies and client and supplier companies. The internship, established in 1989 in honor of Vance L. Stickell (1925-1987), former Executive Vice President, Marketing, for The Los Angeles Times, is intended to raise awareness and understanding of advertising processes and business ethics among future advertising professionals.

Previous Stickell interns from Drury have worked with companies such as Whole Foods, Urban Decay, The Los Angeles Times and IBM. Each has since established successful careers in the industry following graduation.

“Samantha is precisely the kind of person we want to see entering a career path in advertising.,” says Dr. Regina Waters, professor of communication at Drury. “She is smart, reflective, tenacious, committed, approachable, determined, curious and collaborative. It’s exciting and gratifying to see Drury add yet another student to the elite AAF list of top advertising students in the country.”

 

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Survey says Drury University is among the most-loved schools on Twitter

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 9, 2016 — Drury University is getting lots of love on social media these days. That’s according to CollegeStats.org, which collected and analyzed 100,000 tweets mentioning universities’ Twitter handles during March and April of this year to find out which schools have the most positive and negative sentiments in the Twitterverse.

Drury topped the list of universities with the “most positive words per tweet” according to the analysis, with 1.89 positive words per tweet. Some of the most common positive words found across all tweets were: great, like, love, work, recommend and happy. Others schools on the list include Gonzaga University, St. Lawrence University and Bradley University. Schools with the highest average Twitter sentiment included Duke, Wake Forest, Villanova, Syracuse and Temple.

“Universities are no strangers to social media – and their students definitely aren’t either,” the report says. “Tweets directed at these schools take all forms. Not only can prospective students log in to Twitter to see the general vibe of a school, college staff and administrators can tune in to either address concerns or revel in praise.”

The CollegeStats.org survey was picked up today by U.S New & World Report, which regularly covers higher education.

Drury is on Twitter under the handle @DruryUniversity. Links to all of Drury’s social media accounts can be found at Drury.edu.

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Drury-led conference helps nonprofits bolster their long-term viability

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 9, 2016 — Hundreds of nonprofit professionals from across Missouri and the Midwest are gathering today to help ensure the long-term viability of their organizations at the 2016 Nonprofit Sustainability Conference. The event takes place at the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks.

Organized by Drury University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership and presented by the Roy W. Slusher Foundation, this one-day event for nonprofit professionals and leaders is focused on fundraising, financial stability and growth. Speakers and panelists will generate practical ideas on fundraising, management, and other important issues that help bring about a strong, sustainable organization.

Dan Prater

Dan Prater

“The recession has had a crippling impact on many community organizations and on the people who give to them,” says Dan Prater, director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership. “This conference focuses on strengthening and supporting leaders, helping them find sustainable solutions for their organizations.”

More than 200 professionals from Missouri, Kanas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois and New York will attend. The conference doors open at 8 a.m. Sessions begin at 9 a.m. For more information about the event and schedule visit: http://www.drury.edu/nonprofit/2016-nonprofit-sustainability-conference.

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Drury joins local patriotic groups to celebrate Flag Day’s 100th anniversary

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 8, 2016 — Drury University will host a Flag Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 14 in Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center. The event is free and open to the public. Trustee Science Center is located on Drury Lane, just north of Chestnut Expressway.

The local chapters of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution will join Drury for this special 100th anniversary celebration of our nation’s colors. Local Boy Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Drury student and U.S. Air Force veteran Matthew Overcast will be recognized by the university for his military service and classroom leadership.

US Flag backlit

President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring June 14 as Flag Day in 1916 and in 1949 an act of Congress solidified this national day of observance. June 14 is the day the flag of the United States was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1777.

Drury’s tradition of serving those who have served our country dates to the days following World War II, when buses brought soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood to classes held on the Springfield campus. Today, one of Drury’s branch locations is at Fort Leonard Wood.

The commitment continues today, as Drury has been named a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media. Drury is also a supporter school of the Order of the Purple Heart and is a Yellow Ribbon School. Drury supports federal initiatives that help veterans and active-duty service members apply for, pay for and complete their degrees and has designated staff to help coordinate these services.

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Drury Athletics taps Ed Beach to lead media relations and marketing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 3, 2016 — Drury University’s Athletics Department has named Ed Beach its new Assistant Athletic Director-Media Relations/Marketing. Beach begins his duties at Drury on June 14. He will oversee all sports information, media relations and athletics marketing duties for Drury’s tradition-rich NCAA D-II programs.

Beach earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Drury and is currently the Director of Communications at the Evangel University Athletics Department, where he as worked since 2002. Prior to that, Beach spent seven years in sports broadcasting media relations and sponsorship sales for professional minor league baseball, basketball and hockey teams in the Midwest. He has also been a radio sports reporter and has extensive experience broadcasting play-by-play at all levels of competition.

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“We are excited to have Ed on the Drury Athletics team,” said Mark Fisher, Director of Athletics at Drury. “His deep experience and familiarity with Drury will be great assets for all of our teams, coaches and student-athletes.”

“I’m honored and humbled by this opportunity,” said Beach. “I grew up on this campus watching Drury teams compete and this institution prepared me for the professional world as I earned college degrees here. My predecessors in this role established a high standard of excellence and I’m looking forward to the challenge of maintaining and building on what they accomplished.”

Beach graduated from Drury in 1992 with bachelor’s degrees in communication and English. He earned a master’s degree in communication from Drury in 2005. He made his broadcast debut at age 17 and made his professional sports broadcast debut at age 23. Beach’s professional broadcasting career included stints with minor league baseball affiliates of the Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays.

While at Evangel, Beach handled all play-by-play duties for EU football, basketball and women’s basketball games, and oversaw marketing budgets, all printed and online content and developed promotional partnerships. He also negotiated the school’s first ever multi-year broadcast agreement.

Beach has been a board member of the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame since 2009 and is currently the board’s president-elect. He is also an executive committee member of the Springfield Quarterback and Tipoff Clubs.

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Outstanding Drury seniors ready for next phase in life

Each year, Drury faculty and staff choose two people from the graduating senior class to honor as the Outstanding Senior Man and Woman of the Year. This annual tradition recognizes leadership ability, scholastic achievement, campus involvement and community involvement. The 2016 honorees are sociology and criminology major Allison Hebert and criminology major Austin Ross.

The pair answered a few questions about this honor before moving on to the next big phase of their lives.

Hebert and Ross 2

What does this recognition mean to you?

Ross: “To me this recognition means that I have lived the Drury experience; an experience that has let me be fully involved in my college experience and build lasting relationships with those I shared it with.”

Hebert: “It means a lot to me that the university I spent four years giving my time energy and life to has seen fit to give this back to me. It’s the culmination of the all the hard work over the years. I also know I’m not the only one deserving of the honor.”

How would you describe the class of 2016? Were you more studious or more fun loving?

Hebert: “I think most people would agree we balanced both aspects of life pretty well. We have some amazing people in our class who are going to go on and do incredible things, but we also have a class that knows how to have fun. We are capable of having memorable experiences outside the classroom even though we worked really hard in the classroom, too.”

What does it say about Drury that faculty and staff vote on this award each year?

Hebert: “Being at a college small enough that faculty and staff across campus know your name and what you do in the community is one of Drury’s biggest strengths, and I think that’s really demonstrated through this award.”

How do you feel about your time at Drury now that it’s over?

Ross: “It’s strange to think that the best four years of my life have come to an end. I’m sad to think I’ll never have the same experience again but I’d like to think that I will be involved with Drury and possibly other institutions of higher education in the future, using the tools Drury gave me to support those types of experiences for others.”

What is the biggest lesson or memory you’ll take with you?

Ross: “I learned a lot about how dedication and service reward those who work hard, especially when put towards the benefit of others. I will always regard my experiences with residence life, student organizations, the instrumental ensembles, and our Ultimate Frisbee team as the best times of my life.”

What’s next for you?

Ross: “I’m waiting to hear back on a job offer, but I will be working in Springfield for some time and keeping connected with the university while I begin to develop a career here. I would love to work for a government agency.”

Hebert: “I will move to Washington, D.C. in August to get my masters in justice, law and criminology at the American University School of Public Affairs. I want to get a J.D. or Ph.D. and pursue policy or research work in the criminal justice system.”

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Breech School of Business maintains prestigious AACSB Accreditation

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 31, 2016 — Drury University has maintained its business accreditation by AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools for Business. An honor that only 5% of the world’s business programs hold, AACSB accreditation is the hallmark of excellence and it signifies that Drury has made a long-term commitment to providing the best in business education.

After obtaining accreditation, all member schools are reviewed on a five-year cycle. The process is rigorous and focuses on quality and relevance of the academic programs. “We are obviously pleased that AACSB has once again evaluated our program and found it to be worthy of accreditation. Most important is what this says about the ability of the Breech School of Business to provide our students with a quality business education that will prepare them for leadership positions in a global business community.” said Dr. Robin Sronce, dean of the Breech School of Business.

For over 50 years Drury’s Breech School of Business has been preparing students to be ethical leaders in the global business economy. Breech offers specialized undergraduate majors in accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing, as well as a minor in business administration. Students may also pursue a general business administration degree online.