Drury University boosts incoming class enrollment by nearly 40 percent

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 25, 2016 — Drury University has recruited its largest incoming freshman class in five years. More than 500 new students were on campus when classes began in the traditional Day School on Tuesday, putting the University on solid footing for growth in the years to come.

The Class of 2020 represents a jump in enrollment in terms of both headcount and percent growth. Year-over-year enrollment has grown by 39 percent, with 140 more freshmen, transfer and international students coming to Drury this fall than last fall (503 compared to 363). Drury’s largest-ever incoming class was 538 students in the fall of 2010.

The number of first-time domestic students rose by 107, or 42 percent. International enrollment grew by 16 students, or 55 percent. The transfer student population grew by 27 students, or 38 percent.

All data is preliminary, and is based on opening week headcounts.

“I am extremely proud of the work that has been done by our faculty and staff to bring in one of the largest classes in Drury’s history,” says Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “There is truly a demand for a Drury education, and for the kinds of engaged learning experiences and mentorship that are an integral part of the Drury experience.”

The enrollment boost is a result of a multi-faceted market expansion and faculty outreach plan, combined with new academic degree programs and new athletic programs. Enrollment is up in the Springfield area (32 percent) and in key outlying markets such as Kansas City (52 percent) and St. Louis (58 percent). In addition, this year’s increase in the number of students from Chicago now rank that city as Drury’s fourth biggest metropolitan market.

The overwhelming majority of first-time students (88 percent) are living on campus, which has helped push occupancy in Drury’s three residence halls to near maximum capacity (99 percent). Two-thirds (66 percent) of all Day School students are living on campus this semester, which breaks a previous high-water mark of 62 percent.

“National studies and our own research clearly show that students who live on campus for at least a portion of their college career have a more engaging and fulfilling experience, and are more likely to persist to graduation,” says Dr. Tijuana Julian, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

Drury’s Census Day is Friday, Sept. 9, and final enrollment totals will be available the following week.

JUST FOR FUN: Meet the Class of 2020 in their own words and through the eyes of their parents.

VIDEOS: Move-In Day and the annual Service Plunge & Kick-Off Celebration.


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

Fifty Drury graduate degrees to be conferred Sunday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 18, 2016 — A hooding and conferral ceremony will take place at 1 p.m., Sunday, August 21 at Stone Chapel to recognize 50 students earning graduate degrees from Drury University.

The College of Graduate Studies offers master’s degrees in business administration, communication, education, nonprofit & civic leadership, and studio art & theory. A graduate education provides opportunities to further one’s career and deepen ties to others in a student’s professional field.

Graduate programs at Drury feature flexibility so that students can pursue a degree in a timeframe that works best for them. Courses are offered in the evenings, online, and in alternative formats such as blended learning, weekend experiences, and 8-week or 16-week courses.

“The quality, rigor and relevance of Drury’s master’s programs set them apart,” says Dr. Regina Waters, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “Employers tell us that Drury graduates are well-prepared for their professional roles. We look forward to developing new programs in the upcoming year that allow us to serve even more individuals who seek an education that can enhance their career options.”

For more information, visit


Friday is move-in day for newest members of the Drury family

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 18, 2016 — The newest members of the Drury family arrive on campus this weekend as freshmen move into residence halls and begin to learn what it means to be a Panther.

The incoming freshman class at Drury is the largest in several years, and the three campus residence halls will be at 99 percent capacity once all of the boxes and laptops are moved and students are settled into their new homes.

Faculty, staff and upperclassmen will help the new students move their belongings into the residence halls on Friday morning. Parents and students will say their goodbyes on the Kellogg Green that afternoon, and a full weekend of orientation will follow. Orientation ends on Monday with two events that have become a Drury tradition – the community-wide Service Plunge and an on-campus celebration capped off by a fireworks show.

These four days are an excellent opportunity for local media to speak to students during their orientation experience and capture some great visuals, as seen in videos about Move-In Day and the Service Plunge & School Year Kick-Off Celebration from 2015.

Media are invited to cover any and all events throughout the weekend. Contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers for more information about the full schedule. Major highlights are below.

Friday, Aug. 19

  • 8 a.m. to noon – New students move into residence halls. The best time for photos, video and interviews is typically between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.
  • 3 p.m. – Parent & Student goodbyes at Kellogg Green. This is the point at which parents and students split up after move-in day before families attend a presentation for parents and students join their CORE classes to begin their four-day orientation.

Sunday, Aug. 21

  • 6 to 8 p.m. – Dinner and dessert at various faculty members’ homes in the nearby Midtown neighborhood. Faculty and freshman are available for interviews during this uniquely Drury event.

Monday, Aug. 22

  • 10 a.m. to noon – More than 20 Community Service Plunge projects at various locations across Springfield, including:
    • Convoy of Hope
    • Ozarks Food Harvest
    • Urban Roots Farm
    • Arc of the Ozarks
    • Rare Breed
    • The Fairbanks
    • Springfield Art Museum
  • 7 to 9 p.m. – Finale celebration at the fountains in front of Findlay Student Center. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. at adjacent Sunderland Field.

Evening classes begin at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 22. Students in the traditional Day School will begin classes on Tuesday, Aug. 23.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations: (417) 894-9064 or

Cheap Trick to play O’Reilly Family Event Center on October 22

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 18, 2016 — Fresh off of its induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in April, iconic hard rock and power pop group Cheap Trick will perform at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Saturday, October 22. Local band Paralandra will open the show.

Tickets start at $41.50 and go on sale starting at 10 a.m., Friday, August 26 at or by calling (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OFEC box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Cheap Trick is part of the very fiber of American music, inspiring and delighting generations with a unique union of massive melodies and razorblade riffs. Frontlined since 1974 by Robin Zander (vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar), and Tom Petersson (bass guitar), the band is set to impact still another era with the new album “Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello,” its 17th studio collection and first in more than five years.

The Rockford, Illinois-born band is among the most active and successful in music history, with featured appearances on over 20 movie soundtracks, more than 40 international gold and platinum certifications, myriad awards and industry honors, and total record sales well in excess of 20 million. Fan bases in the U.S., Europe, Japan and elsewhere have helped propel songs such as “Surrender,” “I Want You to Want Me,” “Dream Police” and “The Flame” to the top of the charts over the decades.

More information:


Media Contact: Geoff Steele – O’Reilly Family Event Center Venue Coordinator: (417) 863-7843 or

Grant helps Drury launch program aimed at migrant workers, families

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 16, 2016 — Migrant workers and their families in southwest Missouri will soon see improved access to higher education thanks to Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) and a five-year, $1.94 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

This College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) grant will be used to fund three full-time and three part-time staff members at Drury’s CCPS campus in Monett. The staff will be dedicated to identifying, recruiting and supporting students with the greatest need within the local Hispanic population. The grant will also fund classroom technology such as laptops, and living expenses such as childcare. A key focus of the program is leadership training, which will take place in partnership with the Monett Chamber of Commerce.

A public kick-off event to celebrate will be held from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 1 at the Drury Monett campus, 400 4th Street.

“I’m extremely excited about the confidence the Department of Education has in Drury and our Monett site,” says Ann Saunders, Monett campus director. “These resources will help us make a positive imprint on the lives of many students and their families. Staff members are rolling up their sleeves and are ready to embark on this historic journey.”

How the Program Will Work

The Drury program is called “Somos” – Spanish for “we are.” The first cohort of Somos students will begin classes this month in Monett. Spots are still available in the cohort.

“Drury’s Monett campus has a long history of providing personalized, supportive education to the area’s first generation college students and the Hispanic community,” says Dr. Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols, Professor of Spanish and Somos Project Director. “This grant provides the funding to allow the excellent advising, mentoring and educating currently going on in Monett to expand and work more efficiently. Providing specialized services to allow new first-year students to succeed at the college level will help these students proceed and persist to graduation.”

Through the Somos program, Drury faculty and staff will identify and provide outreach to qualifying students and their families. They will be able to provide access to and training on technology, provide relevant instruction in language and math, and help them earn a bachelor’s degree. In particular, the program will encourage degree completion in STEM, business and education fields. In order to lay the groundwork for a successful transition into the workforce, most second-year students will complete the Monett Chamber of Commerce Leadership Institute and complete an internship in the community.

A key component of Somos is addressing the cultural barriers that exist for students whose families may prioritize the immediacy of earning a paycheck over getting a degree. Somos includes activities that encourage families of students to be involved, and it builds a support system of peers so that students can help one another in continuing their education.

Meeting Workforce Needs

There are significant needs in the Monett area labor force for more university-educated Spanish-speaking workers, Nichols says. Local employers cite a need for Hispanic employees at management and executive levels.

Drury University at Monett is the only university in the area already integrated with the local migrant Hispanic community that serves nontraditional students and provides bachelor’s degrees in key areas such as STEM majors, business and management specialties, and elementary and secondary education. The Monett campus, under the College of Continuing Professional Studies, has grown since its 2007 inception, from six courses in 2007 to 25 courses serving approximately 150 students per semester today. Monett students choose from 15 majors and can complete their associate’s or bachelor’s degrees through a combination of seated, blended and online courses, providing a unique service in an underserved region.

The Somos program is funded entirely though the federal Department of Education CAMP grant. Drury will receive $373,047 in the grant’s first year, which does not require any local matching funds over its five-year lifespan. Drury will receive $1.94 million total over the five-year grant period.

“The CAMP program provides vital resources to help students pursue a higher education and all of the opportunities that come with it,” says U.S. Senator Roy Blunt. “I’m proud this grant award will allow the exceptional faculty and staff at Drury University to reach more students and their families, and enable them take the next step toward realizing the American Dream.”


Media Contacts:

Dr. Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols – Somos Program Director:  (417) 873-6925 or

Ann Saunders – Drury Monett Campus Director: (417) 235-2007 or

Drury launches graduate-level Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate program

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 15, 2016 — Drury University’s Breech School of Business is launching a new graduate-level certificate program in Cybersecurity Leadership this fall. Classes begin August 22. New Drury faculty member Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – a well-respected expert in the field who co-created one of the first commercial e-commerce platforms – spearheads the program.

Employers are increasingly seeking to hire business leaders who understand how to protect, detect, defend and respond to cybersecurity attacks. Employment opportunities for all types of information security professionals are growing, but the need is especially great for managers and leaders who understand how cybersecurity fits within the complex picture of today’s business environment.

“The focus on leadership sets this program apart,” says Dr. Regina Waters, dean of Drury’s College of Graduate Studies. “It combines cutting-edge technical knowledge with business acumen, and fits squarely within Drury’s liberal arts tradition.”

READ MORE: Q&A with Dr. McMurtrey about joining the DU faculty.

The Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate comprises five courses totaling 16 hours, and is designed to serve students of all backgrounds – not just CIS majors. Courses include labs and learning experiences that help prepare professionals to secure and defend information systems. In addition to gaining knowledge of the fundamentals of information security, students will also acquire a strong foundation in risk and risk management. Preparation for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) certification exam is included in the coursework.

McMurtrey, who has more than 15 years teaching experience, says the program’s focus on skills beyond the merely technical is a boon for students at any stage of their career.

“Programming languages change and technology changes,” McMurtrey says. “As soon as you learn one language it’s almost outdated. I feel it’s more important for people in our field to understand business and the need that businesses have to seek competitive advantages.”

For more information, go to:


Media Contacts: Dr. Regina Waters – Dean, College of Graduate Studies: (417) 873-7251 or; or Dr. Shannon McMurtrey – Assistant Professor, Management Information Systems: (417) 873-7242; Email:


Walmart Foundation grant moves Drury closer to LED goal

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 11, 2016 — Drury University is well on its way to its goal of an entirely LED-lit exterior campus thanks to a grant from the Walmart Foundation. The push for an LED-lit campus supports Drury’s ongoing commitment to sustainability in all areas of university operations.

Drury recently received a $2,500 Walmart Foundation Community Grant from the East Kearney Street Walmart Supercenter. The grant will fund the purchase of LED lights for Drury’s Central Street Recycling Center and the surrounding campus area. The upgrades will bring Drury to an approximately 75 percent LED-lit exterior.

“The Kearney Street Walmart Store is pleased to support Drury University’s efforts to transition to sustainable LED lighting,” store manager Kyle Roth says. “We are happy to fund LED lights for the Central Street Recycling Center, which is an important resource for Drury and the Springfield community.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED bulbs are significantly more energy efficient than incandescent lighting. A typical LED bulb uses 75 percent less electricity and emits only 10 percent of the carbon dioxide as an incandescent bulb. The projected lifespan of an LED bulb is 50,000 continuous hours, compared to just 1,200 hours for an incandescent bulb. The long lifespan of LED means that one LED bulb can save material and production of 25 or more incandescent bulbs.

The Central Street Recycling Center is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Approximately 210 tons of recyclable material passes through the center each year. The center is also used by local institutions including Ozarks Technical Community College, Missouri State University, Mercy Healthcare System, and the City of Springfield.


Media Contact: Emma Ruzicka – Manager, Corporate & Foundation Relations: (417) 873-6857 or

Drury University welcomes five new Alumni Council members

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 2, 2016 — Drury University recently welcomed five new members to its Alumni Council.

The Alumni Council is the governing body of the Drury Alumni Association and consists of 23 alumni leaders from a range of class years, a member from the Drury faculty and a member from the administrative staff. The Council plans and supports programs such as Reunion Weekend, Homecoming, the Distinguished Alumni Awards and much more. The Council members also play important roles as representatives of Drury in their communities.

The new members for 2016-2017 are:

Joel Alexander

Joel Alexander earned his communications degree from Drury in 1983. Working not far from Drury, he serves as the Manager of Communications for City Utilities of Springfield. Currently he serves on local boards of the American Red Cross and Ozark Trails Council – Boy Scouts of America, and assists with other community organizations. His wife, Lisa, is President of the CoxHealth Foundation.





Michele Boswell

Michele Duvall Boswell is a 1990 Drury graduate with a degree in communications and minors in business administration and English. She is the sales director for Collegiate Awards in Springfield, Missouri. She is one of the creators of Drury Basketball’s annual Overflow the O’ event and has volunteered for Drury in many other capacities. Michele is married to Drury graduate Dr. Craig Boswell ’91. They have three sons who attend Springfield Public Schools, where she volunteers with the Springfield Council of PTAs.



Gail Fredrick

Gail Fredrick graduated from Drury in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and economics, and received a Master in Business Administration from Drury in 1972. He received a Juris Doctor degree from University of Missouri – Kansas City in 1975. He practices law in Springfield and has been active in Drury activities, including stints as a past president of the Drury Booster Club and a member of the Sports Hall of Fame Committee. He has served as a member of the Missouri Public Defender Commission, Missouri Arts Council and currently serves on the Springfield Sports Commission and Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame board of directors.



Kaitlyn McConnell

Kaitlyn McConnell, a 2011 Drury graduate, is employed as CoxHealth’s Media Relations Coordinator. She recently returned to the Ozarks after living in Norway for nearly three years, where she worked in the subsea oil and gas excavation industry. In her spare time, she manages Ozarks Alive, a website featuring the unique people, history and culture of the region. She also serves the community through various civic organizations including the Writers Hall of Fame, Junior League of Springfield and as an ambassador for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.





Kayce Morton

Kayce Morton, D.O., earned her degrees in biology and chemistry with minors in journalism and Spanish from Drury in 1999. After completing medical school at the Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences in 2005, she attended the University of Missouri and completed her pediatric residency. She has been a pediatric hospitalist for CoxHealth since 2008. Morton has been married to her husband, Brandon, for 17 years and they have two children; Ashlyn, 11 and Cooper, 8. Kayce is involved with several area philanthropies including Care To Learn, Isabel’s House, and the Children’s Miracle Network.


SIVA showcases original artwork by students Aug. 5 at Pool Art Center

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 28, 2016 — The public can see a diverse array of artwork from Drury University’s Summer Institute for Visual Arts (SIVA) next weekend during a thesis exhibition by graduating students and an open studios event. These events offer an opportunity to view a new group of imaginative, innovative, emerging artists in the region.

The Ninth Annual Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory (MART) Thesis Exhibition and Open Studios will take place from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, August 5, at the Pool Art Center. Due to road work on Central Street, Pool Art Center is best accessible from the north on Clay Avenue.

The Thesis Exhibition is the culminating event for the program’s graduating students. Work presented in the exhibition is wide-ranging in form, material, and theme, and reflects a curriculum that supports multidisciplinary and individualized approaches. The event features the work of graduating students Felicia Ellis, Justin Gault, Sherry Iott, Sarah Jones, Eileen McCarthy, Betty Parnell, Erin Volker and James Walley.

SIVA Open Studios is an annual event that opens up the Summer Institute for Visual Arts to the public and features work from all participants. It is an exciting opportunity to meet the program’s vibrant and diverse community of artists, witness their process, and see what work has been made over that summer.

About SIVA

Since 2007, SIVA has offered students an opportunity to earn a Master of Arts degree by working alongside visiting artists in a critically driven environment. Participants study under the guidance of visiting artist fellows, faculty and staff, who provide first-hand understanding of contemporary art issues. The program – a unique model in the Midwest – allows students to earn a Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory over the course of three two-month summer sessions.

For more information visit or like SIVA on Facebook.


Media Contact: Sarrita Hunn, Director of the Summer Institute for Visual Arts –

Kevin Kropf named Executive Vice President of Enrollment Management

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 25, 2016 — Drury University is pleased to announce that Kevin Kropf has been selected as Executive Vice President of Enrollment Management, effective July 28.

Kropf comes to Drury from Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas, where he has worked since 2010. He served first as director of enrollment management and in 2012 was promoted to senior director of admissions. In this role, Kropf oversees admission operations at Baker’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Education.


During his tenure at Baker, Kropf exceeded enrollment goals for first-year students in 2013, 2014 and 2016, including increases in students of color and non-athlete students. Prior to Baker, he worked for 12 years at Albion College in Albion, Michigan and three years at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. Kropf has experience with the creation and implementation of university-wide marketing and recruitment plans, accompanied by award-winning marketing materials. He also has experience in developing award-winning campus visit programs. The revamped campus visit program Kropf spearheaded at Hendrix was featured in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education and other media outlets.

Kropf has presented at a number of admission counseling events and conferences on topics ranging from admissions data mapping and moral dilemmas in college admissions to creating a better visit experience and transforming tour guides.

“Kevin has an outstanding track record of results both as a leader of admissions teams and transforming enrollment efforts, especially campus visits,” said Drury University President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “This is a critical touch point for prospective students and their families, and with Kevin’s leadership, we have the opportunity to make our visit program the best in class.”

“My family and I are excited to be joining the Drury community and I look forward to advancing the mission of the university,” Kropf said. “There are myriad reasons why Drury is poised for growth and the long list starts with dynamic and committed people. Drury possesses a great leadership team, an experienced enrollment staff, and a campus-wide commitment to enrolling the best and brightest students possible. I am honored to be joining the university and I look forward to engaging key stakeholders in conversations on how Drury can achieve its enrollment goals.”

Kropf received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Sociology from Kenyon College, a Master of Arts in Education at Baldwin Wallace University and has been working on his Doctorate of Educational Leadership while at Baker.

Kropf succeeds Jay Fedje, who accepted a similar position at Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa this spring.