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Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd casts a vision of opportunity at inauguration

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 26, 2017 — Dr. Tim Cloyd was formally installed as Drury University’s 18th president on Wednesday, and he used the occasion to cast a vision for the 143-year-old liberal arts institution based on the inaugural theme “Virtue & Virtuosity: Leadership for the 21st Century.”

“Virtue & virtuosity” is a phrase Cloyd has often invoked to describe Drury’s academic blend of an intellectually engaging liberal arts experience and high-caliber professional studies. From its founding, it has been in Drury’s DNA to “teach students first that there are better and worse ways to live a life” as well how to be life-long learners in the areas of technical and professional competencies.


“We know what is enduring,” Cloyd said in his address to more than 300 invited guests in historic Stone Chapel. “We know that to lead and succeed in the future people will need to be able to penetrate beyond the apparent or likely, to frame and test hypothesis, to interpret all kinds of data and information, to improvise, to see the world through another’s eyes, and to know that more than one interpretation may be right.

“In five years, we do not know where nanotechnology, genome mapping, the connection of organic and inorganic material or artificial intelligence will take us. A background in or exposure to STEM and applied fields, and pragmatic credentials for every student is critical in today’s world, but is the learning how to learn that is the most important.”

Cloyd began his duties as president of Drury in 2016, following 13 years as president of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. Under Cloyd’s leadership, Hendrix became recognized as a national liberal arts college and saw significant growth in enrollment, campus facilities, and alumni giving. At Drury, President Cloyd is following a similar playbook, with a strategic focus on boosting the university’s regional and national profile through innovative academic offerings and a new campus master plan, as well as increasing alumni engagement.

Now in his second full year at Drury and with these inter-related strategic efforts moving forward at a swift pace, Cloyd cast a vision of great opportunity for those attending the inauguration ceremony, and for Drury’s entire base of alumni and friends.

“The frame of our own destiny was set by those who went before us,” he said. “They are the giants on whose shoulders we stand today. But what we place in that frame is up to us.”


Media Contact: Mike Brothers – Executive Director of University Relations: (417) 873-7390 or mikebrothers@drury.edu.

Drury photography students to offer free portraits to veterans and families

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 26, 2017 — Drury commercial photography students are once again offering free studio portraits to local veterans and their families.

Now in its seventh year, the project presents an opportunity for Drury students to show gratitude to those who have served in our nation’s military, while also providing the students with invaluable real-world studio experience.

Rebecca Miller, an associate professor of Art & Art History and coordinator of the photography program at Drury, directs the portrait project.

“This is project is always a wonderful way for our students to both get to know, and give back to, our military veterans,” Miller says.

All veterans and active duty service members are invited to participate. Fifty slots are available. Photo sessions will last fifteen minutes and are available during the following times and dates:

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28
  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 31
  • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 2
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 4

Those interested should contact Miller by at (417) 873-6337 or at rmiller01@drury.edu.

The portrait project is part of a series of Drury events honoring the stories of U.S. veterans, which began this summer with the opening of the Veterans Views exhibit in partnership with the Springfield Art Museum (the exhibit runs through Nov. 26). It continued with a film screening and panel discussion at the Moxie theater last month, and includes an upcoming visit by acclaimed military historian Rick Atkinson on Nov. 8.


Drury student project paves the way for difficult advance care conversations

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 25, 2017 — A project organized by Drury University senior Heather Harman is challenging students to consider end-of-life care and advance healthcare directives with their friends and family, all in a comfortable dinner setting.

The “Death Over Dinner” initiative is part of Harman’s senior capstone project as a communication studies major, and is funded by a grant from the Hospice Foundation of the Ozarks. HFO plans to use lessons learned from the project to improve the way it approaches young adults about advance care planning in the future. According to a research report in the July 2017 issue of Health Affairs, two out of three U.S. adults have not completed an advance directive.

“This isn’t something we talk about a lot at this age demographic,” says Harman, who modeled her project after a successful case study. “We’re young and healthy and we don’t plan for the end of our life because we think it is years and years away, but that isn’t always the case.”

The project hopes to change this attitude by starting conversations among students about their wishes regarding the end of their life. Participants are urged to complete their own advanced healthcare directives, and are provided with resources to guide them through the next steps in such a process. The first dinner occurred Monday evening. The project will continue with two more meals on Wednesday (11 a.m. lunch in the Shewmaker Communication Center and 6:30 p.m. dinner in Drury’s Martin Alumni Center), and a final dinner with student-athletes at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Martin Alumni Center. Trained facilitators will lead the conversations.

“Hospice Foundation of the Ozarks is excited to provide funding that supports the ‘Death Over Dinner’ Project at Drury,” says HFO Executive Director Kim Morelock. “This project encourages meaningful conversations regarding end-of-life decisions in a casual environment. That is what is important – just having the conversation.”


Media Contact: Regina Waters, Ph.D. – Project Advisor and professor of communication: (417) 873-7251 or (417)-849-3641. Email: rwaters@drury.edu.

Pulitzer Prize-winning war historian Rick Atkinson to speak at Drury Nov. 8

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 24, 2017 — Renowned World War II historian and three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Atkinson will speak at Drury University on Nov. 8. Atkinson’s talk, titled “Bringing Back the Dead: History, Memory and Writing About War,” will be held at 7 p.m. at Clara Thompson Hall.

Rick Atkinson

Atkinson’s career in reporting has taken him around the world. He has served as chief of the Berlin bureau for the Washington Post, covering not only Germany and NATO, but also spending considerable time in Somalia and Bosnia. His more recent assignments have included covering the 101st Airborne during the invasion of Iraq, and writing about roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007.

Atkinson is the author of several books, including the 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning “An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942 – 1943,” the first volume in a three-part narrative history of World War II. His numerous other awards include the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for public service.

The lecture will be the first in a series of annual lectures sponsored by Drury University’s Olin Library, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month. The new Morrison Lecture series is named in honor of Drury’s first president, Nathan Morrison, a staunch supporter of the library.

Atkinson’s visit is also the next in a series of Drury events honoring the stories of U.S. veterans, which began this summer with the opening of the Veterans Views exhibit in partnership with the Springfield Art Museum (the exhibit runs through Nov. 26). It continued with a film screening and panel discussion at the Moxie theater last month. Also as a part of the series, Drury commercial photography students will be offering free family portraits to community veterans and active service members later this month and early next month to mark Veterans Day.


Inauguration ceremony for Drury president Tim Cloyd to be held Oct. 25

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 20, 2017 — Drury University will hold a formal inauguration ceremony for its 18th president, Dr. J. Timothy Cloyd at 4 p.m., Wednesday, October 25 in Stone Chapel.

The inaugural theme is “Virtue & Virtuosity: Leadership For the 21st Century.” President Cloyd has often invoked the phrase “virtue and virtuosity” in describing Drury’s academic blend of an intellectually engaging liberal arts experience and high-caliber professional studies. Cloyd will address more than 300 invited guests, including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. Dr. Holden Thorp will be a guest speaker. Thorp is the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Washington University in St. Louis, and a longtime friend of Dr. Cloyd.

Dr. Tim Cloyd began his duties as president of Drury in 2016, following 13 years as president of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. Under Cloyd’s leadership, Hendrix became recognized as a national liberal arts college and saw significant growth in enrollment and alumni giving. At Drury, President Cloyd’s strategic focus includes boosting the university’s regional and national profile through innovative academic offerings and a new campus master plan, and on increasing alumni engagement.

Media are invited to cover the inauguration and reception, but advance notice is requested. Please contact Executive Director of University Relations Mike Brothers to make arrangements for coverage.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers – Executive Director of University Relations: (417) 873-7390 mikebrothers@drury.edu.

Drury’s humanities film series returns to the Moxie with a futuristic focus

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 18, 2017 — Drury’s Humanities and Arts Film Series is returning to The Moxie Cinema for a sixth season this month with the theme, “Humanities and the Future.”

An eclectic mix of classic, foreign and documentary films will again be featured this season, with three screenings this fall and more to come in the spring. Grants from the Missouri Humanities Council, Missouri Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Humanities allow Drury to partner with the Moxie to host the films, which are followed by group discussions led by a Drury humanities and social sciences faculty member about the content and themes.

“We are especially grateful for the support of the Missouri Humanities Council, which has been a strong supporter of this series over the years, making it possible to bring the Drury experience to the public in a setting like the Moxie,” says Dr. Kevin Henderson, assistant professor of English and director of the film series.

All screenings will be held on Saturdays at 1 p.m. and are open to the public. Tickets are $5. This season’s film lineup includes:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Oct. 28

Hosted by Dr. Chris Panza, professor of philosophy

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is an acclaimed masterpiece of science-fiction and cinematography. The film, which contains minimal dialogue and little physical action, relies instead on brilliant use of symbolism and imagery to ask difficult questions about the origins, limits, and destiny of the human race. “2001” is accompanied by a brilliant musical score and is considered by many to be the best science-fiction film of all time.

Les Visiteurs (1993) – Nov. 11

Hosted by Dr. Shelley Wolbrink, professor of history                                                                 

This award-winning French film tells the story of a medieval nobleman and his squire who accidentally time travel forward into the future while attempting to break a curse. Light-hearted and even silly at times, The Visitors can be as much a joy for American audiences today as it was for French audiences when it was released.

Where Do We Go Now? (2011) – Nov. 18

Hosted by Prof. Mouhcine El-Hajjami, visiting professor of Arabic

Set in an isolated village in Lebanon marred by religious sectarianism, director Nadine Labaki’s film offers a new, critical perspective of gender dichotomy in the Arab world. The film follows Christian and Muslim women of the village who intervene to prevent a full-scale religious war. The women, sick of losing husbands and children because of interfaith confrontations, insist on coexisting under a banner of tolerance. A daring combination of comedy, drama, and fantasy, the film challenges definitions of faith, film, and culture alike.


Media Contact: Kevin Henderson – Director, Humanities and Arts Film Series: (417) 873-7426 or khenders@drury.edu.

Drury bestows six honorees with 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 13, 2017 — Drury University will again honor esteemed community and professional leaders at the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony on Saturday. The banquet is part of Drury’s annual Alumni Reunion celebration, taking place this weekend.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards were founded in 1951 to recognize individuals who have achieved professional and personal successes, who have shown their loyalty to Drury University, and have demonstrated exemplary service to their community. Nominations are taken from the Drury community and the Alumni Council selects honorees. The 2017 honorees are:

Warren Davis

Lifetime Achievement Award – Warren B. Davis ’59

Davis has spent his life making the most of the business education he began at Drury. After earning his bachelor’s in business in 1959, Davis went on to spend 31 dedicated years working for the Orval Davis Tire Company, eventually rising to become its president. After a brief retirement, he returned to the business world as an entrepreneur. In 1994 he established Davis Properties, which is today one of the largest property owners in downtown Springfield.

Gene Summers

University Engagement Award – Gail “Gene” Summers ’63

A graduate of the Breech School of Business, Summers has proven himself as a local leader, frequently demonstrating his gift for recognizing community needs. This gift inspired him to start his own insurance agency, which he successfully ran for many years. While enjoying a fulfilling career, Summers never missed an opportunity to give back to Drury and to Springfield. Alongside his wife Patsy, Summers has been involved in many programs to benefit the community, including establishing multiple scholarship funds for local students. He has served on the leadership of St. John’s United Church of Christ, the Springfield Little Theater, and the Drury Alumni Council.

David Gohn

Career Achievement Award – S. David Gohn ’64

After graduating from Drury’s Breech School of Business in 1964, Gohn entered a management-training program at Union National Bank in Springfield. Not long after, he accepted a position with the West Plains Bank and Trust Company. Fifty years later, Gohn remains at the West Plains Bank, where he now serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Gohn has always made time for Drury, serving as Trustee on the Drury University Board of Trustees from 1988 – 2009.

Raymond Hackett

Outstanding Service Award – Raymond E. Hackett ’80

When Cyclone Nargis killed 180,000 farmers in Myanmar in 2008, Hackett was inspired to found “Not Next Year, Every Year,” an organization dedicated to improving the lives of Burma’s rural poor through sustainable energy. During annual visits to the country, Hacket has helped bring improved irrigation systems, solar energy, and clean water to Myanmar villages. His organization has even helped found a rural clinic.

Lauren Holtkamp

Young Alumnus Award – Lauren Holtkamp ’03

After graduating from Drury in 2003, Holtkamp earned her Master’s of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, but she soon returned to the sport she loves. A member of the inaugural Drury women’s basketball team, Holtkamp holds a deep passion for the game. By working her way up through the organization, she has become the third woman ever to be hired as an NBA referee and is the only woman to currently hold the position.

Judy Thompson

Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award – Judy Grier Thompson ’61

Thompson’s service has been an integral part of Drury for over 43 years. A 1961 graduate, she returned to the university as Alumni Director in 1974. In 1979, she became one of the first women in a vice president role at Drury, a position which she held until her retirement in 2002. Under Judy’s leadership, over 40 percent of alumni financially supported the university and the endowment increased to more than $100 million. In 2016, she returned to Drury and currently serves as Vice President for Stewardship and Principal Gifts.


New students add to momentum of Drury’s unique Honors Program

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 10, 2017 — Drury University has welcomed 38 new students into its growing Honors Program for the 2017-18 academic year.

The program has been expanding steadily over the past few years, from a total enrolment of 54 in 2015 to 95 this year. This growth has fostered a stronger honors community that features on-campus residential honors communities for freshmen, the Honors Student Association’s peer mentoring program, and the Honors House for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

The growth of the program is second only to the growth that happens within its individual students.

Honors Director Dr. Richard Schur

Honors Director Dr. Richard Schur

“Drury’s Honors Program is focused on hands-on learning,” says Honors Program Director Dr. Richard Schur. “Honors classes involve students in research, problem-based learning, service learning, and primary source instruction, and this makes the Drury Honors Program stand apart from other honors programs across the country.”

Honors graduates are accepted into and receive scholarships to attend graduate schools around the country and the world. Last year’s seniors were admitted into graduate schools at Washington University, Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Washington, Cornell University, University of Pittsburgh, University of London, and Sussex University, among others.

This year’s incoming Honors students had an average ACT score of 30 and an average high school GPA over 4.0. However, rather than relying solely on past academic performance, the best candidates for the program are those students who exhibit curiosity, ambition, motivation, and dedication to intellectual inquiry and engagement.

The 2017-18 Honors Program class includes the following students:

  • Natalie Beck, Accounting from Ankeny, Iowa (Ankeny Centennial High School)
  • Olivia Biles, Environmental Biology from Rogersville, Missouri (Park University-Transfer)
  • Laura Blankenship, Music Therapy from Shawnee, Oklahoma (Shawnee Senior HS)
  • Sarah Buxton, Communication from Strafford, Missouri (OTC transfer)
  • Andrea Campbell, Elementary Education from Nixa, Missouri (Ozark High School)
  • Elaine Choate, Pre-Medical from Half Way, Missouri (Marion C Early High School)
  • Hayley Cobb, Advertising and Public Relations from Nixa, Missouri (Ozark High School)
  • Shaylin Dalton, Pre-Medical from Monett, Missouri (Monett High School)
  • Emma Demers, Elementary Education from Springfield, Missouri (Central High School)
  • Jessica Evans, Biochemistry from Bolivar, Missouri (Bolivar High School)
  • Esther George, undecided from Eldon, Missouri (Eldon High School)
  • Raven Graham, Biochemistry from Willard, Missouri (Desert High School)
  • Kaitlyn Greenwood, Behavioral Neuroscience from Benton, Kansas (Circle High School)
  • Cale Harper, Writing from Monett, Missouri (Monett High School)
  • Matthew Harrison, Chemistry from Walnut Grove, Missouri (Willard High School)
  • Grace Hayter, Psychology from Walnut Grove, Missouri (Walnut Grove High school)
  • D’Andre Hill, Animation from Fort Worth, Texas (Trimble Technical High School)
  • Bayler Hinz, Pre-Medical from Olathe, Kansas (Saint Thomas Aquinas High School)
  • Riley James, Pre-Medical from Springfield, Missouri (Central High school)
  • Alathia Keith, Architecture from Clever, Missouri (Clever High School)
  • Ryan Kuhl, Biology from Wichita, Kansas (Maize High School)
  • Christopher Maples, Pre-Veterinary from Clever, Missouri (Clever High School)
  • Anna Meadows, Environmental Biology from Bolivar, Missouri (Bolivar High School)
  • Sarah Merlenbach, English from Florissant, Missouri  (Hazelwood West High School)
  • Wiley Miller, Pre-Medical from Falcon, Missouri (Plato High School)
  • Victoria Monroe, Fine Arts from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (Bishop Kelley High School)
  • Paul Parrish, Biochemistry from Springfield, Missouri (Kickapoo High School)
  • Alexandria Pasternak, Behavioral Neuroscience from Raymore, Missouri (Raymore-Peculiar HS)
  • Sara Petifurd, Political Science from Pleasant Valley, Missouri (North Kansas City High School)
  • Tristen Rand, Biology from Berryton, Kansas (Shawnee Heights Sr High School)
  • Cindy Reyes, Music Therapy from St. Louis, Missouri (Lindbergh High School)
  • Allison Smith, Environmental Biology from Osage Beach, Missouri (Transfer from Hanover College)
  • Quincy Standage, Pre-Law from Springfield, Missouri (Home School)
  • Rylee Stover, Behavioral Neuroscience from Chula, Missouri (Chillicothe High School)
  • Forest Swisher, Political Science from Cabool, Missouri (Cabool High School)
  • Megan Tersteeg, Pre-Medical from Defiance, Missouri (Francis Howell High School)
  • Mariah Trujillo, Architecture from Montrose, Colorado (Montrose High School)
  • Ronnie Warren, Architecture from Nixa, Missouri (Nixa High School)


Contact: Dr. Richard Schur, Director of Honors Program: (417) 873-6834 or rchur@drury.edu.

Middle East Studies program welcomes visiting Arabic Fulbright professor

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 9, 2017 — Drury welcomed Arabic professor Mouhcine El-Hajjami to campus this year as part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship program. The prestigious State Department-run program brings visiting professors from around the world to teach on college campuses in the United States.

This year marks the twelfth consecutive year that Drury has been granted a Fulbright scholar to teach Arabic in the university’s Middle East studies program.

“Fulbright is a highly competitive national program and the fact that we have been able to get this for 12 years is a good testament to Drury’s academic programs,” says Dr. Jeff VanDenBerg, Director of Middle East Studies program.

Drury offers a Middle East studies minor, an interdisciplinary program that allows students to take classes in wide range of topics including politics, history, art, architecture, and literature.

“The ability to offer Arabic to Drury students with someone from the Arab world is really a foundation of that program,” says VanDenBerg. “Many students build strong, lasting relationships with the professors who come through this program. Those people help our students with different Arabic language programs in the Middle East.”

Previous Fulbright scholars to Drury have come from across the Middle East, including Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel.

El-Hajjami is a Moroccan native. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Studies and Masters of Arts in Cultural Studies; and is currently a doctoral researcher in the area of gender and cinema studies at Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University in Fez, Morocco. He brings experience teaching both English and Arabic to a diverse audience of students.

However, teaching Arabic is only part of what El-Hajjami hopes to accomplish during his time at Drury.

“I’m also here as a cultural ambassador,” says El-Hajjami. “Today there are a lot of clashes going on – religious, cultural, and ethnic clashes. The further you are from me, the more I will build up misconceptions about you. The closer we go, the better we know each other and we become much more likely to understand each other.”

In this way, El-Hajjami’s visit is about more than just learning a language. It is about cultural exchange, international cooperation, and Drury’s mission to educate students to be engaged global citizens.

El-Hajjami’s impact will extend beyond just students in his Arabic classes. During his time here he will also give guest lectures in English literature classes, gender studies classes, and to the Drury community as a whole. He’ll even serve as an expert commentator as part of Drury’s annual Moxie film series.

“The lessons and opportunities permeate throughout the campus,” says VanDenBerg. “It’s a good reflection on a Drury education.”


Drury University Alumni Council welcomes three new members

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 5, 2017 — Drury University has welcomed three new members to its Alumni Council, the governing body of the Drury Alumni Association.

The council serves as the voice for all Drury alumni, and encourages engagement between alumni and current students through various connection programs. This year, the council is committed to strengthening its relationship with regional alumni groups, encouraging alumni to promote Drury within their communities, and continuing to provide opportunities for alumni to mentor current students.

This year’s new members are:

Patti Callaway has spent most of her more than 20-year career in the accounting field. In 2007 she returned to school to complete her bachelor’s degree with Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies, graduating in 2009. Callaway currently serves as payroll manager for The Payroll Company. She is involved with Springfield Aquatics, as well as several international projects, including serving as board treasurer for Global Community Works.


Ron Carrier, a 1986 graduate in political science, is Associate Circuit Judge for Greene County and a member of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association. He also serves on the Advisory Board of Drury’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship, which seeks to inspire in students’ visions of a more democratic and hopeful world.


Janell Manley earned degrees in business administration and economics in 1975 and an MBA in 1978. Manley currently serves as the Administrative Director for Police Officer’s and Firefighters Retirement System for the City of Springfield. She is active with organizations involving Springfield Public Schools and animal rescue and care.


The Alumni Council meets six times a year. Alumni can apply for membership to the council in April of each year. Those selected serve four-year terms in various positions of responsibility.

More information about the Alumni Council and its members can be found at http://www.drury.edu/alumni/alumni-council.