Drury symphony and jazz groups to perform in Chicago this week

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 1, 2015 — Three Drury music groups are headed to the Windy City this week for public performances.

The Drury Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble I and Jazz Combo I will embark on an outreach tour to Chicago to perform at venues that include the University of Chicago, the John Hancock Building and the historic Fourth Presbyterian Church. As part of the Drury Connect initiative, the tour will help promote wider awareness of the university while connecting with alumni and prospective students in the area.

The Drury ensembles will also perform a joint concert with the Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project (ChiMOP), an organization dedicated to positive social change in young students with limited access to the arts.

“I’m delighted our wind symphony and jazz ensemble students will have this opportunity,” says Dr. Christopher Koch, director of orchestras and wind symphony at Drury. “With much of the group returning after last spring’s strong performance at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference, I wanted to give the students another opportunity to perform on a wider stage – and being able to connect with and help promote the ChiMOP will be something I know they will never forget.”

“Our jazz students will share the stage with the Wind Symphony and also hold some of their own performances,” says Dr. Tina Claussen, director of jazz studies at Drury. “The majority of the program is ‘new,’ featuring cutting edge works and arrangements of lesser-known jazz standards as well as original compositions written by myself and our students.”

The Wind Symphony will also play recently composed music and will host at least one of the composers, Nebojsa Macura, at their events. The group will perform Macura’s work, “Chochek Rhapsody,” while in Chicago.

“This tour demonstrates and celebrates the strong support for a robust arts program here at Drury,” says Dr. Allin Sorenson, chair of rine and performing arts. “The arts help to bring any community together, and in a complex world we need them more than ever.”


“Putting a Face to Veteran Homelessness” opens Dec. 4 on C-Street

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 24, 2015 — The Drury on C-Street Gallery will open its December exhibition, “Springfield Strong: Putting a Face to Veteran Homelessness,” with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4.

The reception is free and open to the public, with refreshments provided. Students from Drury’s Music Therapy association, Mu Theta, will provide musical entertainment. A silent auction will be held, with proceeds benefitting The Kitchen, Inc.’s Home At Last program, which aids homeless veterans.

“Clifton” – painting by Jessica Mahan

“Clifton” – painting by Jessica Mahan

Springfield residents Trysta Herzog and Jessica Mahan began Springfield Strong as a project to spark conversation, collaboration and advocacy for veterans who are, or were, homeless. Their project was born from the question, “What can I do?” For Herzog and Mahan, the answer was to use art and other media to tell the stories for those living with this issue. The exhibit consists of paintings and photographs of veterans as well as the display of an American flag flown during World War I and World War II.

The Kitchen, Inc.’s Home At Last program helps veterans and their families gain access to housing and social services. Considering the fact that veterans are twice as likely than the general population to become chronically homeless, Herzog and Mahan decided this issue should be brought to the community as a whole with hopes for more people asking themselves, “What can I do?”

The exhibition will run Friday, Dec. 4 through Friday, Dec. 11. Gallery viewing hours after the opening reception will be 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5. The gallery is located on 233 E. Commercial Street.

For more information, call (417) 873-6359 or visit Drury on C-Street’s Facebook page at

About Drury on C-Street

The Drury on C-Street Project is an initiative by Drury University, in partnership with other local organizations, to establish a Drury Center on Commercial Street. This center includes an art gallery, a business resource center, space for weaving looms, architecture classroom and a multi-use area for additional classes and seminars. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is a professional, student-run gallery featuring emerging and established artists. Drury University’s Drury on C-Street Gallery provides arts administration majors the experience of promoting the work of local artists. The gallery connects the community to new and relevant art in an accessible and welcoming environment.

Media Contact: Leah Hamilton, Arts Administration Program Director. Office: (417) 873-6359; mobile: (417) 224-1018; email:


Ceramic mugs by art department faculty & alumni on sale next week

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 23, 2015 — Ceramic mugs created by three Drury alumni and faculty artists will be available for sale as part of fundraising efforts to install a new kiln on campus.

Mugs by artists David Cogorno ’06, Mari Moore-Mosby ’12, and James Walley ’13 are available for monetary gifts of $30 or more. The mugs will be available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Nov. 30 through Dec. 3 at the Pool Art Center, 940 N. Clay Ave., or by appointment. Contact David Cogorno at (314) 265-9688 or for more information.


Proceeds will help fund the purchase of a new gas kiln for making ceramic art as well as a new exterior structure to house it. The new structure will be designed and built by students from Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture.

Direct donations for the project can also be sent to:

Drury University

The Pool Art Center: Kiln Project

900 N. Benton Ave.

Springfield, MO 65802


Thursday service at Stone Chapel to honor victims of terrorist attacks 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 18, 2015 — Drury University will hold service to honor and memorialize the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut at 11 a.m., Thursday, in the Stone Chapel sanctuary. The service is open to the public and media are welcome to cover it.

Drury’s Chamber Choir will perform two selections. Dr. Cathy Blunk, professor of French, will speak about the events in Paris. Elio Challita, a Drury student from Lebanon studying economics and biochemistry, will speak about the attacks in Beirut that occurred on Thursday and claimed more than 40 lives.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families and friends as well as to the people of both France and Lebanon at this difficult time,” says University Chaplain Dr. Peter Browning, who will lead the service. “We also wish to lift up the international students from these two countries who study at Drury. We will gather Thursday to acknowledge the loss, pray for those most deeply affected, and focus ourselves on the task of working to create a world where all may live in peace.”


Drury, SBU raise more than $32,000 during CatFight Giving Challenge

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 18, 2015 — Alumni and supporters of Drury and Southwest Baptist universities raised a total of $32,542.50 during the second annual Highway 13 CatFight Giving Challenge, which ended Tuesday. SBU came out on top in the competition, raising $18,955 to Drury’s $13,587.50.

The fundraising event is an offshoot of 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 Tuesday night’s CatFight double-header at SBU.

“The CatFight Giving Challenge was again a great complement to the CatFight basketball games,” says Andrea Battaglia, Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations at Drury. “We’re proud to participate in the Giving Challenge this year and know that this friendly rivalry between our schools benefits students and supports both universities. We look forward to competing with SBU again next year.”

Money raised by Drury supports students through the Drury Fund, which advances all aspects of the campus experience, including scholarships and academic support. Money raised by SBU goes to the university’s annual scholarship fund.

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

Contact: Andrea Battaglia, Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations. Office: (417) 873-7353; email:


Paul Sunderland Recreation Field dedication to be held Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 17, 2015 — A dedication ceremony for the newly renamed and upgraded Paul Sunderland Recreation Field will take place at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19. The field is located on Benton Avenue between Clara Thompson Hall and Sunderland Hall. A reception will be held afterward in the Martin Alumni Center across Benton Avenue. The ceremony will be held at the Alumni Center in case of inclement weather.

Drury students have used this recreational field for decades for intramural sports, campus events or simply as a place to relax or play Frisbee. Its importance to student life took on added significance after the O’Reilly Family Event Center was built on the site of Drury’s official intramural field in 2010. Following about $140,000 in improvements during the last two months, Sunderland Field now boasts LED lighting for nighttime use, bleacher seating, a scoreboard, signage, soccer goals and other new amenities. The field is among the first in the region to be fully lit with LED lights.

Paul Sunderland Recreation Field under newly installed LED lights.

Sunderland Field under newly installed LED lights.

Sunderland Field was nicknamed for adjacent Sunderland Hall, itself named for Drury Trustee Paul Sunderland, who served on the Board from 1952 to 1983. Now the space will receive an official designation as Paul Sunderland Recreation Field following a $65,000 grant from the Sunderland Foundation to help pay for the improvements. Drury’s Student Government Association voted to allocate an additional $50,000 to the project.

“The Sunderland Foundation is proud to assist in the completion of Paul Sunderland Recreation Field,” said Kent Sunderland, president of the Sunderland Foundation and Paul Sunderland’s grandson. “My grandfather was a longtime Trustee of Drury University and a civic leader for many years in the Springfield area. The Sunderland Foundation looks forward to seeing many Drury students enjoying their time on this field and adding to their overall educational experience at this fine university.”

Drury's Ultimate Frisbee team on Sunderland Field.

Drury’s Ultimate Frisbee team on Sunderland Field.


Drury photography students offer free family portraits to veterans

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 9, 2015 — Commercial photography students at Drury University are doing their part to thank those who have served our country by offering free portraits to military veterans and their families. The project, now in its fifth year, is led by Rebecca Miller, associate professor of Art & Art History and coordinator of the photography program at Drury.

The service is open to the first 50 families who reserve a time slot. Slots remain open at the following times and dates:

  • 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 10
  • 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 12
  • 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 14

To make an appointment, contact Rebecca Miller at (417) 873-6337 or

“We are so thankful for the service and sacrifices our veterans and their family members have given in support of our country and its citizens,” Miller says. “We are humbled to offer these photographs of celebration and thanks, which also provide our students with an engaged and personalized classroom experience.”

Media outlets interested in covering this project may also contact Miller to discuss the best times and dates to do so.


Media Contact: Rebecca Miller, Photography Program Coordinator. Office: (417) 873-6337; email:

Drury’s 2015 VidCon conference and competition begins today

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., November 6, 2015 — Drury University’s 2015 VidCon conference and competition takes place this weekend. VidCon is a regional conference for high school video producers and teachers from the Midwest and Southwest. More than 200 students will be participating from 16 schools.

This two-day competition and instructional event is designed to help students and teachers improve skills individually and as a team. Professional video producers will be on hand to critique students’ work and lead workshops on common production issues.

The event is held in the Shewmaker Communication Center located at the southwest corner of Drury Lane and Central Street.

The competition portion will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 7, as student teams will begin producing their videos for the spot feature and the commercial contests. From 1 to 2:30 p.m. student broadcasters will compete in both an anchor and live shot contest. Winners will be announced at 6 p.m. in Clara Thompson Hall.

Contact: Brian Shipman, Instructor of Communication. Office: (417) 873-7850; email:


Drury University revamps Honors Program & welcomes new class

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 6, 2015 — Drury University is proud to welcome 20 new students into its Honors Program for 2015-16. These exceptionally talented individuals are part of a fresh wave of students coming in at an exciting time for the program under new director Dr. Richard Schur.

Today’s honors students are looking for “hands on” courses that allow them to take ownership over their education, Schur says. Students also want to take these courses as part of their regular degree program rather than as separate classes, he says.

After a comprehensive review of its curricula, Drury has identified more than 70 honors courses that emphasize student-directed learning. In these classes, students pose solutions to scientific, social, and cultural problems, engage in service learning projects throughout the region, complete research projects, and dig deeply into scholarly literature. Drury’s program spans a student’s entire academic career and caps off with an in-depth senior project of their own choosing. Throughout, students can expect close mentorship from faculty members as they explore their academic interests and passions.

Rather than relying solely on past academic performance, the best candidates for the revamped Honors Program are those students who exhibit character traits that lead to long-term success.

“We want students who are ambitious, independent, hardworking, curious, and socially engaged with the world around them,” Schur says. “We believe that those are the attributes that both help a person succeed in the Honors Program and succeed in life.”

Drury has also focused on improving the student experience for honors students. Upperclassmen have founded a new Honors Student Association. The group hosts regular dinners for honors students, plans weekend trips, and comes together to attend local theatre shows and films. Honors students can also live together on campus in Living-Learning Communities during their freshmen year.

Admission into the program is competitive and selective. For this year’s class, the average ACT score for admitted students was a 30, with an average high school GPA over 4.0. The 2015-16 Honors Program class includes the following students (note: one student opted not to be named in this release).

  • Laura Brasier an English and secondary education major from Plano, Texas and graduate of Plano High School.
  • Mason Coble an economics major from Nixa, Mo. and graduate of Nixa High School
  • Miriam Colligan a biochemistry major from Farmington, Mo. and graduate of Farmington High School
  • Haley Davis an advertising and public relations major from Nashville, Tenn. and graduate from Hillsboro High School
  • Victoria Deren an undecided major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Grace Classical Academy
  • Rachel DeWeerd a biochemistry major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Glendale High School
  • Michelle Herman a psychology and criminology major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Central High School
  • Alaina Hoover a biochemistry and pre-med major from Troy, Ill. and graduate of Triad High School
  • Morgan Lamkin an undecided major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Glendale High School
  • Miranda Maverick a psychology, sociology and criminology major from Tunas, Mo. and graduate of Buffalo High School
  • Natalie Maxson a philosophy and religion major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Kickapoo High School
  • Savannah McCauley a psychology major from Rogers, Ark. and graduate of Rogers High School
  • Isabella Melena a biochemistry and pre-med major from Arvada, Colo. and graduate of Ralston Valley High
  • Abby Mercer a music therapy major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Grace Classical Academy
  • Ethan Miktish a biochemistry and pre-med major from Springfield, Mo. and graduate of Central High School
  • Kris Rose a sociology, history and secondary education major from Liberty, Mo. and graduate of Kearney High School
  • Alex Scott a behavioral neuroscience major from Chesterfield, Mo. and graduate of Lafayette High School
  • Ashley Simpson a history major from Sparta, Mo. and graduate of Ozark High School
  • Nolan Woodman a political science and philosophy major from Billings, Mo. and graduate of Marionville High School

Visit for more information about the program and the students and alumni involved.

Contact: Dr. Richard Schur, Honors Program Director & Professor of English. Office: (417) 873-6834; email:


Drury University named a 2016 Military Friendly School by Victory Media

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., November 5, 2015 — For the fifth year in a row, Victory Media has recognized Drury University as a Military Friendly School. The 2016 Military Friendly Schools list honors the colleges, universities and trade schools doing the most to embrace America’s military service members, veterans and their spouses as students.

“Institutions earning the 2016 Military Friendly Schools award have exceptionally strong programs for transitioning service members, veterans and their families,” says Daniel Nichols of Victory Media and Navy Reserve veteran. “Military Friendly Schools align their military programs and services with employers to help students translate military experience, skills and training into successful careers after graduation.”

The Military Friendly Schools website features interactive lists and search tools to help military students find the best school to suit their unique needs and preferences. Those selected by Victory Media exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience.


Drury has a 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 10 branch locations is at Fort Leonard Wood. Drury is also a supporter school of the Order of the Purple Heart. 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.

“Being in the service can give a person the feelings of a fast-paced and stressful environment,” says Katelyn Vernon, a member of the Drury chapter of Student Veterans of America. “But the thought of changing your path in life and returning to school is almost more stressful. Luckily, Drury is there with you every step of the way. I am proud that I had the opportunity to attend Drury and was able to share and influence other students with my experiences in the service.”

Victory Media’s annual Guide to Military Friendly Schools will be distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel.

For more information on how Drury helps veterans find academic and career success, go to