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Six pre-med students gain peace of mind through early acceptance

A group of six Drury pre-med students received some good news this fall about their future. They already know they’re accepted into the Saint Louis University School of Medicine, thanks to a longstanding program that fast-tracks outstanding students who know they want to be physicians.


Drury’s Pre-Medical Scholars Program is a set of partnerships with five universities throughout Missouri that offers undergraduate students a chance to be pre-accepted into medical school, typically at the beginning of their junior year.

Besides Saint Louis University, the other four medical schools are Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Altogether there are about a dozen Drury students currently pre-accepted to one of these schools with additional students awaiting decisions for this year’s pre-acceptance interviews.

The newest group headed to SLU is something of a bumper crop.

“This is the first time in the last 10 years that we’ve had so many students accepted into one pre-acceptance program in one year,” said Dr. Mark Wood[cq], a chemistry professor and head of Drury’s pre-health sciences program.

The six students – Kayla Whorton, Trey Hufham, Joshua Kimrey, Alex Flanagan, Kerri Raleigh and Breanna Stirewalt – are all undergraduates double majoring in some combination of biochemistry, biology or chemistry.

Each was required to have an ACT score of at least 30, maintain a 3.5 GPA throughout their undergraduate career, complete at least 135 hours of professional shadowing and ace an interview. In return, they will have no minimum MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) score requirement and don’t have to go through a series of grueling interviews at multiple medical schools.

“It’s a huge stress relief. Instead of spending $2,000-$3,000 on an MCAT prep program we get to save all that money,” says Kimrey, a junior who is actually triple majoring in biology, chemistry and philosophy. “And instead of spending 40 hours a week studying for that test, we can focus on our classes. It means the world.”

While each medical school has its own set of requirements for early acceptance, all are geared toward students who have demonstrated an early interest in going to medical school.

Senior Alex Flanagan said having “a lot of volunteer work in a variety of settings,” was a great help in the application and interview process.

“Getting into these medical school programs now requires more than just a GPA,” Wood said. “That is still a part of it, but it’s becoming a smaller one. What they’re looking for now is, ‘Have you done extensive shadowing? Have you done volunteer work that demonstrates that you care for other human beings?’ Yeah, they can do the academics, but what medical schools are really concerned with is if students truly want to do these jobs.”

To that end, Drury has a popular program that allows pre-health sciences students to volunteer and shadow doctors and other medical professionals at Jordan Valley Community Health Center.

The extra piece of mind and free time these students now have will allow them more opportunities to focus on the present during a pivotal time in their lives.

“You get to focus a lot more on enjoying learning rather than making yourself look good on paper,” said Hufham. 

Story by Chaniqua Crook, student writer in Drury’s marketing and communication department.

Drury Winter Commencement cancelled due to winter weather alert

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 13, 2013 – Due to a severe winter weather alert, the 2014 Drury University Winter Commencement at the O’Reilly Family Event Center, scheduled for 10:00 AM on Saturday, December 14, 2013 has been rescheduled for a later date.  All graduates and their families will be notified of alternate arrangements and timing as soon as they are finalized.  We apologize for any inconveniences this may have created and we wish everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season.


Happy Holidays from Drury University

Drury University names new Media Relations Director

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 10, 2013 – Mike Brothers has accepted the position of Media Relations Director for Drury University. Brothers will replace Mark Miller who left in October.

Brothers served as the public health information officer for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department for two years. Prior to that, he worked for the City of Springfield as well as the Springfield News-Leader. Brothers is a native of Hannibal, Mo. and a graduate of Missouri State University.

“Mike has worked extensively with Springfield leadership,” says David Manuel, Drury president. “His commitment to professionalism, coupled with his background in strategic communications will make him a highly valued asset at Drury.”

Brothers will begin serving as Drury’s Media Relations Director on Mon., Dec. 16.


Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice to speak at Drury’s December commencement ceremony

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 5, 2013 – Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice Mary R. Russell will serve as the keynote speaker for Drury University’s December commencement to be held Saturday, December 14 at 10 a.m. in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. During the commencement, 336 students will receive undergraduate degrees and 71 will receive master’s degrees.

Serving as chief justice since July, Russell was appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri in 2004. She previously served on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, and served as its chief judge from July 1999 through June2000. Prior to that, she was engaged in the private practice of law in Hannibal, Missouri. She is a member of The Missouri Bar, the American Bar Association, and numerous local and county bar organizations throughout thestate. Russell is a past recipient of the Women’s Justice Award from the St. Louis Daily Record, was named Citizen of the Year in Kirksville, Missouri, in 2002 and was named Woman of the Year by the Women Lawyers Association of St. Louis in 2003.

“Drury University is very pleased to host Chief Justice Russell at the 2013 WinterCommencement,” says Dr. David Manuel, Drury president. “Our graduates will have a wonderful opportunity to hear from one of the great leaders of Missouri.  She epitomizes the qualities that we hope all Drury graduates will emulate – outstanding professional contributions, abiding commitment to her family and faith, and a singular dedication to her community.”

A seventh-generation Missourian, Russell was one of five children raised on a dairy farm in Ralls County, Missouri. The valedictorian of her high school graduating class in Hannibal, Russell earned bachelor’s degrees, summa cum laude, in communications and print media in 1980 fromTruman State University. She earned her law degree in 1983 from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she was on the dean’s list.

Media: Members of the news media are invited to photograph or videotape the graduation. In addition, Chief Justice Russell will be available for interviews following the commencement ceremony given advance notice.


Day School: John Taylor, (417) 873-6356, jtaylor3@drury.edu

CCPS: Salia Manis, (417) 873-7543, smanis@drury.edu


6th Annual Drury Women’s Symposium to honor top female entrepreneurs

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 5, 2013 — Drury University’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship will recognize the top female entrepreneurs in the region during its sixth annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium (WES) to be held at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Sat., Feb. 8. This will be the second year that the WES has given awards to top female entrepreneurs.

Awards will be given in the following categories:

  • Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Woman Start-Up of the Year

To qualify for an award, a woman must own at least 51 percent of a business and operate within 30 miles of Springfield. The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year nominees must have been in business for at least five years, and the Woman Start-Up of the Year nominees should have been in business for less than two years.

Nominees for these awards may be sent to Tammy Rogers at tammy@drury.edu by Dec. 20, 2013. Nominees will be sent a full application form, which is due by Jan. 20, 2014. An independent panel of judges will select the winners. Award winnerswill receive a plaque, be honored at the annual WES event and have their stories posted on Drury’s website.

The WES event provides women entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of owning a business, network with other entrepreneurs and visit with a wide range of exhibitors. New this year, the exhibit area will offer a women-owned business showcase.

The event is $25, which includes breakfast and lunch. Registration will begin on December 16 at www.drury.edu/ejc/wes.


Drury ranks 3rd in the Midwest among Best Regional Colleges for Veterans

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 5, 2013 – Drury University is ranked 3rd among Best Regional Colleges for Veterans in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings can be viewed at Best Colleges for Veterans.

U.S. News & World Report established the rankings to help veterans pursue a college education under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Schools reported on their veteran benefits as part of the broader survey and data collection of undergraduate schools by U.S. News during spring 2013. In total, there are 234 ranked schools. Drury is the highest ranked university in Missouri.

“I wasn’t surprised to hear that Drury ranked high,” said Army Veteran and Drury student, Brent Wilkinson.  “I can’t give the staff at Drury enough kudos – the knowledge they have is incredible. Tammie (Drury advisor) has helped so many veterans come into the school and she made surethat everything I did was in line with the VA (Veteran’s Affairs).”

Earlier this year, Drury was ranked 8th among Midwest Regional Universities in the publication U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2014.


Drury University welcomes former colonel to Board of Trustees

Reggie WilliamsSPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 21, 2013 — Drury University’s Board of Trustees welcomed Clarence R. (Reggie) Williams to the board on October 25, 2013.

Williams is retired from his position as the president/CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation, where he helped facilitate tremendous asset growth, community outreach and programmatic initiatives for community improvement. Prior to the San Antonio Area Foundation, Williams served as senior vice president of information systems operations at USAA, and in the United States Air Force, where he achieved colonel ranking.

“Reggie Williams brings an enormous amount of experience and energy to the Drury University Board of Trustees,” says Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “The university stands to gain an important asset that will help it break new academic ground.”

“I can see that the future is very, very bright for Drury University,” Williams says. “The opportunity to be a part of that is something I’m very excited about.”


Smart Mob builds butterfly garden in Joplin


Drury to commemorate Veteran’s Day Celebration

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 7, 2013 — On Monday, Nov. 11, Drury University will honor veterans with a celebration on campus at 11 a.m. at the Armed Forces Plaza outside of the O’Reilly Family Event Center.  This event is free and open to the public.

The celebration is organized by the newly founded student organization, Drury Student Veterans of America (SVA).  Dr. Peter Browning, Dr. David Manuel, TSgt Brad Ray, and OSI Randy Snodgrass will speak at the event.  The ceremony will also include a flag presentation by the Ozark High School junior ROTC, and music by both the Drury Chamber Choir and the 135th Army Band.

Dr. Allin Sorenson, director of the Drury Chamber Choir, has been involved with the celebrationalmost every year that it has been observed at the university.  Sorenson said, “It reminds people of the importance of the day and how we feel about America.  It’s usually a very moving event with several current military members and veterans present…It always makes me proud that, in some small way, we can honor who they are and what they stand for.”

Tammy Nilsen, co-advisor of the Drury SVA group, said, “It can be easy to forget that so many people have family or friends in the military, so this celebration is a great time to celebrate those who’ve fought or are still fighting for the freedoms we enjoy.”

For more information about this event, contact Tammy Nilsen at (417) 873-7215 or email tnilsen@drury.edu.