Two Drury music ensembles will perform at statewide MMEA conference

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 21, 2014 — Two Drury ensembles, the Drury Wind Symphony and the Springfield-Drury Girls Choir, have been selected to perform at the statewide Missouri Music Educators Association’s annual conference in January. Both will hold free local performances in December.

“Being selected to perform for the Missouri Music Educators Association is one of the highest honors for ensembles in the state of Missouri,” said Dr. Allin Sorenson, chair of Drury’s music department. “It is a highly selective process that allows only the very best performing groups to be chosen.”

Drury’s Wind Symphony, led by Dr. Christopher Koch, will perform at MMEA for the second time. The Springfield-Drury Girls Choir, a new ensemble founded in 2012, will make its first appearance at MMEA under the direction of Mr. Mark Lawley.

“We are thrilled that we will be represented this year by two groups,” said Sorenson. “It is an honor to work with such gifted and talented students and faculty, and it is a great achievement for both the music department and indeed all of Drury.”

The Springfield community can see both ensembles perform this December at the groups’ annual Winter Concerts. The Drury Wind Symphony will perform at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 2 in Clara Thompson Hall. The Drury-Springfield Girls Choir will perform at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 14 in Stone Chapel. Both events are free and open to the public.


Drury hires Mark Fisher as next Director of Athletics

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 19, 2014 — Drury University has selected Mark Fisher to become its next Director of Athletics. Fisher will begin his duties at Drury on July 1, 2015. Fisher is currently the Director of Athletics for Springfield Public Schools, where he has been AD since 2003.

“We are delighted to bring Mark on board,” said Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “I like both the leadership and management qualities he brings to the table. He has a breadth of experience dealing with a wide array sports and administrations during his career. Mark has deep local and statewide connections at both the collegiate and high school levels, and a proven track record in fundraising and managing high-profile events.”

Mark Fisher

Mark Fisher

“I want to thank Dr. Manuel and the Board of Trustees for the opportunity to serve at Drury University, where academics and athletics stand for excellence,” Fisher said. “Drury has a great group of coaches and I’m excited to be able to assist them in continuing the outstanding tradition of DU athletics, and helping student athletes fulfill their goals through their academic and athletic experiences.”

Fisher’s 12-year career with SPS includes success both on and off the field. In addition to overseeing all athletic activities for Missouri’s largest public school district, he also spearheaded a $3.5 million campaign for stadium improvements and implemented systems to continually evaluate the progress of student athletes and coaches. Fisher is the director of the Bass Pro Tournament of Champions, one of the highest profile high school basketball tournaments in the nation. A former Missouri Basketball Coach of the Year, he has mentored 18 former players or assistant coaches to careers as head basketball coaches.

Beginning Jan. 5, 2015, former DU athletic director Edsel Matthews will return to campus to serve as interim AD until Fisher’s full-time arrival in July. Scott Puryear, associate athletic director for marketing and communications, has served as the interim AD for the past five months.

“I want to thank Scott for his hard work in these dual roles during the past few months,” Dr. Manuel said. “We are thrilled that Edsel can step in and fill the gap next year so Scott can return to his AAD post and lay the promotional groundwork for our slate of home basketball games and, we hope, another deep postseason run by both teams.”

Matthews was Drury’s AD from 2002 to 2010, then served in an athletics fundraising role for two years before retiring in 2012. He will return to many familiar faces in the coaching ranks and across campus.

“I’m pleased to come back and help in any way that I can,” Matthews said. “I’m certainly thrilled that Mark Fisher will take over. He’s a great hire who will do a great job. I’ll work very closely with Mark in the interim and try to set the table as best I can for what he and the University want to accomplish.”

Media Contact: Scott Puryear, Associate Director of Athletics for Marketing & Communications; (417) 873-4097 or


SBU comes out on top in inaugural CatFight Giving Challenge

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 18, 2014 — Alumni and supporters of Drury and Southwest Baptist universities raised a total of $21,535 during the inaugural Highway 13 CatFight Giving Challenge. SBU came out on top in the friendly competition, raising $13,161 to Drury’s $8,375.

The fundraising event was a new addition this year to the longstanding on-court rivalry between the Panther and Bearcat basketball teams. The schools sought to raise $13,000 each over the course of six days. The final push for donations took place during tonight’s CatFight double-header at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

“We’re excited about this new event and plan to do it again, so look for the rivalry to continue next year,” said Andrea Battaglia, director of annual giving and alumni relations at Drury. “This is a great competition between the two schools and, in the end, students at both universities will benefit.”

Money raised by Drury will support students through the Drury Fund and the athletics fund. Money raised by SBU will go to the university’s annual scholarship fund.

For more information about Development & Alumni Relations at Drury, visit


“Design Matters SGF” closing reception, panel discussion to be held Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 17, 2014 — Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture and the Springfield Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) will host a closing reception and panel discussion Thursday night for the “Design Matters SGF” exhibit, now on display at the C-Street Gallery. The exhibit recognizes exceptional architecture in the community.

The free reception runs from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 20 at the Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial St. There will be a cash bar as well as food provided by That Lebanese Place.

The “Creative Conversation” panel discussion begins at 6:30 p.m. The panel represents a range of scales at which quality design is crucial — from the scale of infrastructure and large public projects to the scale of media and graphic design. The round-table discussion will raise questions about how design can help create a more dynamic, efficient and satisfying community life — and how business owners, developers and arts patrons can help foster these values through their commitment to design quality.

The panel will be moderated by Robert Weddle, professor and interim director at the Hammons School of Architecture. The panelists will include: Katie Canada, creative director and partner, Departika; Jonathan Gano, interim co-director of public works, City of Springfield; Nick Nelson, director, Springfield Art Museum; and Matt O’Reilly, owner, Green Circle Projects.

For more information, contact: Robert Weddle, interim director at the Hammons School of Architecture, (417) 873-7450 or


Founders of Freecell Architecture will speak at Drury Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 12, 2014 —The Hammons School of Architecture’s 2014-2015 Lecture Series continues at 3 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14 at in the HSA auditorium with a lecture by Lauren Crahan and John Hartmann of Freecell Architecture of New York.

In 1999, Crahan and Hartmann founded Freecell, a design and fabrication studio for furniture and exhibition design based in Brooklyn. Their work has been displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and in New York City at the Henry Urbach Architecture Gallery, Artists Space, the Van Alen Institute and the Architectural League of New York.

Crahan and Hartmann will speak as part of the HSA “Locating Design” series, which explores the practice of critically engaging sites through the act of design.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the Hammons School of Architecture, visit


CatFight Giving Challenge adds new dimension to Drury-SBU rivalry

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 10, 2014 — Drury University in Springfield and Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar are taking their on-court basketball rivalry, the Highway 13 CatFight, to a new level this year by adding the CatFight Giving Challenge. The universities have a goal of raising $13,000 each in this fundraising contest.

The challenge begins Thursday, Nov. 13, and concludes at the end of halftime of the Drury vs. SBU men’s basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 18. The winner will be announced at the end of the men’s game.


Money raised by Drury will be split between the university’s annual fund and athletics fund.

“Drury’s annual fund supports a wide range of academic needs for our students, from classroom materials to merit scholarships. The athletics fund helps us continue to support our outstanding scholar-athletes across all sports,” says Dr. David Manuel, Drury’s president. “This fundraising competition adds a truly beneficial and meaningful component to what’s already a really fun rivalry on the court.”

Money raised by SBU will go to the university’s annual scholarship fund.

“Ninety-eight percent of our students receive some type of scholarship or financial assistance, and contributions given to this fund will make it possible for more students to attend SBU, where they will receive an education in a Christ-centered, caring academic community,” said Dr. C. Pat Taylor, president of Southwest Baptist University. “I am so thankful that Bearcats give back to our university.”

Both universities are encouraging online donations during this six-day challenge. Drury donations can be made at, and SBU donations can be made at Alumni and friends of the university are encouraged to make a donation and then challenge other alumni and friends to donate, as well.

Cash or check donations must be received by the universities before halftime of the men’s basketball game on Nov. 18 in order to count as part of the competition.

For more information, contact Andrea Battaglia, director of annual giving and alumni relations at Drury, at (417) 873-7353 or; or Megan Hibma, assistant director of annual fund at SBU, at (417) 328-1801 or


Solar Decathlon team sets sights on 2015 national competition, fundraising

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 7, 2014 — The race is on for the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team. In less than a year, the student-led team of more than 50 undergraduates will be in Irvine, Calif., competing against groups from Yale, Vanderbilt, Missouri S&T and more in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2015.

The competition challenges collegiate teams to design, engineer, market and construct solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. While all teams will be building homes that are “green,” the Crowder-Drury team has self-imposed the additional challenge of making its home disaster resilient following the devastation of the 2011 Joplin tornado.

The Department of Energy requires teams to take a multi-disciplinary approach, which has drawn students from a variety of majors. Students from Crowder College’s Alternative Energy Program have teamed up with peers at Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture for the concept and design phases. They’re joined by business, communication and art students who are tasked with helping market the project. The team’s website is now live.

Team seeks funding

The team has also secured several crucial gifts and in-kind donations to help make the project a reality. While the Dept. of Energy provides a stipend for some aspects of the competition, the teams themselves need to raise approximately $250,000 for materials and construction, as well as transportation of the team and house itself to California. Right now, the Crowder-Drury total is approximately $115,000, or about 46 percent of the overall goal.

Major gifts so far include:

  • Springfield-based transportation company TCSI Transland, Inc., has donated the use of three semi-trucks to haul the materials to California – a value of approximately $24,000. TCSI CEO Mark Walker ’79 is a Drury University alumnus and has participated in four Solar Decathlons in the past.
  • An anonymous gift of $20,000.
  • Community Bank and Trust in Neosho has donated $10,000.
  • Drury’s Student Government Association has directed $30,000 for use by the team.

“The Solar Decathlon is one of the best forms of applied learning I’ve seen,” says TCSI Transland CEO Walker. “It also increases public awareness of the importance and practicality of using renewable natural resources in public housing. All of us at Transland are excited about the responsibility of safely transporting the Crowder-Drury Team house to Irvine.”

Those interested in supporting the project with a gift or in-kind donation can contact Traci Sooter, associate professor of architecture, at (417) 873-7416.

The public can follow updates from the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to the


Drury, SPS partner to offer Developing Success in Youth conference for educators

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 7, 2014 — Drury University will partner with Springfield Public Schools this Tuesday, November 11, to present the 14th annual Developing Success in Youth conference on the DU campus.

This year’s keynote speaker is Jay McTighe, a national presenter and published author on increasing understanding and retention in the classroom. McTighe, who is known for authoring the book “Understanding by Design,” will address the difference between educational standards and district curricula, emphasizing the role of the teacher in connecting the two.

In addition, Drury faculty will conduct afternoon breakout sessions on topics ranging from the Common Core State Standards to the use of Virtual Reality in the classroom.

The material will be relevant to all K-12 educators and administrators. The full cost is $150. A discounted rate of $125 per individual is offered for groups of five or more from a given school, and university students are welcome at $25.

More than one hundred educators from across Missouri have already registered to attend. Information on the conference and online registration can be found at, or by contacting Dr. Kristofor Wiley, assistant professor of education, at (417) 873-6397 or


Drury & Student Veterans of America to hold Veterans Day ceremony

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 6, 2014 — Drury University and the Drury chapter of Student Veterans of America will hold a public Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11 at the Armed Forces Plaza outside of the O’Reilly Family Event Center. The event will be held inside the OFEC in case of inclement weather.

The featured speaker will be Bryce Lockwood, Senior Vice Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Lockwood is a retired U.S. Marine and survivor of the attack on the USS Liberty during the Six Day War of 1967. The ceremony will include a presentation of the colors by the Ozark High School ROTC Color Guard and patriotic music performed by the Bear Brass 135th Army Band and the Drury Chamber Choir.

Lockwood will present a proclamation designating Drury University an official supporter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. This symbolic designation embodies Drury’s long tradition of serving those who have served our country. In the days after World War II, buses brought soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood to classes held on the Springfield campus. Today, one of Drury’s 11 branch locations is at Fort Leonard Wood.

The commitment continues today. Earlier this fall, Drury was named a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media and was ranked No. 3 in the Midwest on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges for Veterans” list. These independent rankings affirm Drury’s commitment to supporting higher education opportunities for active duty and veteran service members. Drury supports federal initiatives that help veterans and active-duty service members apply for, pay for and complete their degrees and has designated staff in Springfield and at branch locations to help coordinate these services.

Media contact: Kristy Nelson, Director of Marketing – College of Continuing Professional Studies at (417) 873-7317 or


Exhibit features artwork gifts made possible by Sam & June Hamra

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 5, 2014 — Drury University will hold an opening reception for the exhibition of six works of art that were given to the university earlier this year, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7 at the Pool Art Center Gallery, 940 N. Clay Ave.

Drury was one of eight institutions to receive a surprise gift of works from a group of artists represented by the Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples, Florida. Springfield attorney and businessman Sam F. Hamra and his wife, June, who have been friends with gallery owner Bill Meek for many years, made the gift possible.

“These are all very fine artists who have been collected widely by major museums in the United States and abroad,” says Jacqueline Tygart, Drury’s Art Collection Curator.

"Monsoon" by Hunt Slonem

“Monsoon” by Hunt Slonem

Among the most notable is Hunt Slonem, whose work has been widely exhibited in hundreds of galleries worldwide and who has had more than 70 solo exhibitions. His works are in the permanent collections of dozens of museums including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum, all in New York City. Slonem’s neo-expressionist style often depicts tropical birds and other wild animals. Slonem’s painting “Monsoon,” depicts two such birds in his signature hatchmark style.

Other works and artists included in the gift to Drury are: “Hats Off #2,” a painting by Philip Morsberger; “Homage to Degas,” a pastel by Richard Segalman; “Ristorante tre Sorelle, Positano,” a painting by Bob Kane; “Squirrel,” a painting by Don Nice; and “The Missouri River,” a lithograph by Adolf Dehn.

For more information about the exhibit and the gifts, contact: Jacqueline Tygart, Art Collection Curator, (417) 873-7496. Images of the works can be viewed online at