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.


David J. Hinson named Executive Vice President, COO and CIO

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 22, 2016 — Drury University is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. David J. Hinson to the position of Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Information Officer. Hinson will report to President Timothy Cloyd.

In his role, Hinson will be responsible for the strategic vision, leadership, planning and management of all information infrastructure and software systems throughout the university, including institutional business support, enrollment management and classroom technology, and online delivery of education and instructional innovation. All operations and facilities services will report to Hinson as well.


Hinson comes to Drury from the Yeshivah of Flatbush, located in Brooklyn, NY, the largest independent Jewish Day School in North America, where he served as Director of Technology Services. Prior to that, Hinson was the Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Hendrix College, where he worked with then President Cloyd.

During his time at Flatbush, Hinson led the planning and implementation of a 1:1 iPad program, a technology update in the high school’s graphic arts lab, implementation of single sign-in for network access and library resources, and the planning and implementation of a new student information system, accounting system and development office system.

While at Hendrix, he advised the President of the College on matters of information infrastructure, instructional technology, and institutional business support and research. Hinson and his team implemented a $450,000 technology refresh across every teaching space on campus, including the standardization of computing and control platforms in each classroom, as well as a ten-fold increase in internet capacity, and the design and implementation of a Makerspace, which featured design and production spaces for 3D printing.

“We are committed to providing our students with a learning experience that sets them on the path for success, and that most certainly includes the intelligent integration of technology,” said Cloyd. “David’s visionary leadership in technology infrastructure will be critical to delivering on our commitment to providing students with a distinctive, best-in-class liberal arts education. We are pleased to have him on board.”

“In service to Drury, it is my sincerest hope to be an exemplar of the spirit of liberalis, as put forth by President Cloyd in his initial address to campus,” said Hinson. “I look forward to meeting my new friends and colleagues, in the days and weeks ahead.”

Hinson received his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from Tennessee Technological University and graduated cum laude. Prior to Hendrix, Hinson was CEO of Sumner Systems Management for 16 years.


Drury’s annual summer camps for gifted students now underway

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 13, 2016 — Gifted students from across the area are keeping their minds in shape over the summer break during camps organized by Drury University’s Center for Gifted Education, in partnership with Springfield Public Schools.

Drury provides summer experiences for gifted students from pre-K through the 11th grade. The younger age groups are in half-day camps at Sunshine Elementary School, while older students have a residential experience on the Drury campus. Each summer, more than 700 total students attend these camps.

Elementary School Students

The camps for younger students (called Summer Pals for ages pre-K through grade 1, and Summer Quest for grades 2 through 5) are taking place from each weekday 8:15 to 11:30 a.m. at Sunshine Elementary School, 421 E. Sunshine Street, now through Friday, July 22. The hands-on, activity-oriented courses feature an array of interesting experiences geared specifically toward gifted students. Summer Quest and Summer Pals give students a chance to interact with peers of similar academic abilities and interests, while encouraging them to use their intellectual and creative side.

VIDEO: Gifted Education Students Convene for Summer Camps

“It gives them a sense of self and a sense of community,” says Mary Potthoff, Director of the Center for Gifted Education at Drury. “And it builds on what they’ve learned in the classroom during the school year, keeping their minds engaged during the summer break.”

Media are invited to cover the Summer Quest and Summer Pals camps. Opportunities for coverage are available each day of the camps, including classes on robotics, dinosaurs, toy box physics, veterinarians, “grossology,” astronauts and more.

Middle & High School Students

The camps for older students – called Summerscape for middle schoolers and Drury Leadership Academy (DLA) for high schoolers – allow students to take two weeks of in-depth classes and go hands-on in areas that interest them such as robotics, photography and videography, improv comedy, bio-ethics, world culture and much more. They are considered “pre-college” camps in that students live on campus and participate in activities ranging from games to lectures in the evenings. DLA students can potentially earn college credit for completion.

“The camps not only give this particular group of students the kind of enrichment they crave, but they also provide them with a sense of community and give them a taste of what life is like on a college campus,” Potthoff says.

About the Center for Gifted Education

Drury has been a national leader in providing education and enrichment programs for academically gifted students more than 30 years. The Drury Center for Gifted Education is the most complete center for gifted education in the state of Missouri, and is one of less than 20 complete gifted education centers in the United States. Visit Drury Gifted Education for more information.


Media Contact: Mary Potthoff, Director of the Center for Gifted Education: (417) 873-7386 or


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.”


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.

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 1.38.01 PM


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


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

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.


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

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.”



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, 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 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-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:


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.