Drury student Bre Legan to intern in India and Italy

bre-leganSPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 26, 2016 — Students at Drury are continuously encouraged to gain a global perspective. To do this, many Drury students study abroad for a short term summer trip or an entire semester.

Drury junior, Bre Legan, from Conway, Mo., and graduate of Conway High School, has been accepted for a competitive internship program to Dharamsala, India with Cross-Cultural Solutions. Legan is a Graphic Design, Fine Arts, and Writing triple major, and she will serve as a Global Communications Intern for six weeks from June 25 to August 6 crafting video, photographs, and written narratives for their social media accounts.

“I think that there’s a lot of hesitancy for going abroad in general,” says Legan. “That’s why it is so important to correct false impressions we might have and show the world that we have more similarities than differences.”

After returning from India, Legan turns around to spend her junior year in Florence, Italy. She will leave August 24th to take classes at Santa Reparata International School of Art. After studying abroad for the year, she plans to backpack across Europe. While in Florence, she will complete a second internship for school credit.

“I hope to meet a variety of people from radically different backgrounds than mine, and learn not just about them but from them,” says Legan.

Legan will return to Drury her senior year to share her global experiences with the community.


Two outstanding honors students receive research funding from Drury

Brewer and Vega

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 26, 2016 — Drury Honors students Lexi Brewer and Rita Elisa Vega are the inaugural recipients of the White-Foster Endowed Scholarship. The merit-based scholarship supports research conducted by women in Drury’s newly revamped Honors Program.

Lexi Brewer is a junior from Camdenton, Mo. who is a double major in international political studies and Spanish, and is also pursuing a minor in biology and a minor in environment and sustainability. Brewer has accepted a position at Oregon State University as a Summer Sea Scholar, where she will develop an eco-tourist strategy for the town of Bandon, Oregon.

In January 2017, she will study abroad in Roatan, Honduras. Roatan is an internationally recognized marine protected area, and researchers on the island conduct assessments to measure the effectiveness of the reserve. By working with these researchers, Brewer hopes to gain insight to her specific academic interest: creating effective environmental policy. She plans to present her findings at a research conference the following spring.

Rita Elisa Vega is a junior from Columbia, Mo. who is majoring in history. Her goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Latin American history. She will spend five weeks this summer traveling to several cities in Bolivia in order to access the national archive and university libraries. The research will focus on the independence movement of the country and the roles of the Quechua and Aymara peoples in the fight for freedom. She plans to gather primary sources on the topic for use in her Senior Seminar and Honors Project during her senior year at Drury.

Following the trip to Bolivia, Vega will travel to Penn State University for the Undergraduate Mentoring Program, which is designed for underrepresented students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in history.

The White-Foster Scholarship will help offset the costs associated with the research these two outstanding students plan to conduct. Honors Program Director Dr. Richard Schur and the Honors Council select recipients of the scholarship. Eligibility is open to all female honors students who have completed at least their freshman year.


McEachern named a Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

Patricia McEachern

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 25, 2016 — Dr. Patricia McEachern, Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professor for the Study of Animal Rights, has been invited to be a permanent Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics at Oxford University in England. Dr. McEachern will visit the Centre to teach this summer.

The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics was launched in 2006, with the aim of pioneering ethical perspectives on animals through academic research, teaching and publication. It is a think tank for the advancement of progressive thought, with the aim of putting animals on the intellectual agenda. It seeks to be a world-class center of academic excellence and is the first center of its kind in the world.

At the heart of its work is an international and multidisciplinary network of academic Fellows who are pioneering new thinking in animal ethics. The Fellowship is a select academy composed of the most able and creative minds in the field and appointment is by nomination or invitation only.

“This is truly an enormous honor for me and for Drury,” McEachern says. “It’s gratifying for Drury’s animal studies program to be recognized by some of the top academics in the field.”

Drury’s Forum on Animal Rights is one of the few such programs in the country. The centerpiece is an interdisciplinary animal studies minor that includes courses such as animal ethics, animals and society, animal law, and social movements. It provides students with a specialized, in-depth understanding of animals’ lives and the intersection of their lives with humans. The Forum is entirely funded by the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights. McEachern serves as director of the Forum.

Barker, a 1947 Drury alumnus, television host and famed animal rights advocate, was himself honored by the Oxford Centre as its sixth Honorary Fellow in 2010.

McEachern has also been named a contributing editor to the Journal of Animal Ethics, which is published by the University of Illinois in partnership with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

For more information, visit

Professor Emeritus Michael Buono elected to AIA College of Fellows

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 24, 2016 — Drury University professor emeritus Michael Buono has been selected by the American Institute of Architects to its prestigious College of Fellows. Buono, who retired in 2015, was formally inducted last week during the AIA national meeting in Philadelphia.

The College of Fellows, founded in 1952, is composed of members of the Institute who are elected to Fellowship by a jury of their peers. Fellowship is one of the highest honors the AIA can bestow upon a member. This honor not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual, but also elevates before the public and the profession those who have made significant contributions to architecture and to society.

Michael Buono

Michael Buono

“The American Institute of Architects has over 85,000 members, and each year only around 150 AIA members are elected to the Institute’s College of Fellows,” says Dr. Robert Weddle, dean of the Hammons School of Architecture. “This news truly demonstrates Professor Buono’s caliber and dedication as an educator and is emblematic of the quality of the HSA program, which he led for over a decade.”

Buono is only the third AIA member from the southwest Missouri area to be elected an AIA Fellow. The first was Richard P. Stahl, a 1936 Drury graduate and architect of many distinguished buildings, including on the Drury campus. HSA alumnus Andrew Wells ’91 — principal of Dake Wells Architecture in Springfield — was the second.

Buono, AIA, LEED AP, served as Director of the Hammons School of Architecture from 2000 until 2012. Prior to joining Drury, he served as associate dean and also director of the architecture program at the University of Arkansas for 15 years. He has also taught at Texas Tech University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Mississippi State University. Buono has practiced architecture with firms in Atlanta and Denver, and maintains his own practice. His primary interest is in sustainable design.

For more information about the AIA College of Fellows visit:


Drury hosts Stoa national homeschool debate tournament May 22-28

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 20, 2016 — Drury University will welcome thousands of young debaters and their families to Springfield next week, as it hosts the 2016 Stoa National Invitational Tournament of Champions.

Stoa is a speech and debate organization for Christian homeschooling families. The national event is expected to bring about 3,000 high school and junior high students, parents, coaches and spectators to Springfield beginning today through May 28. The tournament’s biggest days will be Monday and Tuesday, when nearly every building and room on the Drury campus will be in use by Stoa. Central High School, located on Benton Avenue just west of Drury, will also host portions of the event.

The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau expects the city to be bustling with families staying at hotels, shopping, dining and visiting attractions when they’re not busy at the tournament. The CVB estimates spending of about $125 per person per day, which means a potential economic impact of several million dollars.

And a generous scholarship offer from Drury will make a potential impact on these students’ college education. The University is offering over $4 million dollars in potential scholarship money to participants who choose to attend Drury in the future. All participants will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Those who advance to subsequent rounds will receive $2,500 and $5,000 scholarships, and overall winners will receive a $10,000 scholarship to Drury.

“Drury is extremely pleased to host this event,” said Rob Fridge, Drury’s chief financial officer. “We’re excited to help bring this group of high-achieving students and their families to town. We can’t wait to show them what Drury and Springfield have to offer.”

An opening ceremony will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, May 22 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on the Drury campus. Competitions begin at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and continue into the early evening hours each day. NITOC features four speech categories (Interpretive, Limited Preparation, Platform and Wild Card) and three debate categories (Lincoln-Douglas, Team Policy and Parliamentary).

For more information on the tournament, visit


Media Contacts: Mike Brothers, Drury Director of Media Relations – (417) 873-7390 or; and Rob Fridge, Drury Chief Financial Officers and event co-organizer – (417) 873-7527 or

Drury hosts recognition ceremony for promising Missouri scholars Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 19, 2016 — The Drury Center for Gifted Education, in partnership with the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), will honor more than 400 of Missouri’s most promising young scholars at a recognition ceremony at 11 a.m., Friday, May 20 in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Central High School student and former Duke TIP honoree Amanda Morrison will be the keynote speaker.

To qualify for recognition, seventh-grade honorees must take the ACT or SAT and score at a level equal to or better than 50 percent of the high school juniors and seniors who took the test. Duke TIP, a nonprofit organization, has conducted an annual search for academically talented youth in the state of Missouri as well as 15 other states since its founding in 1980.

Drury University has hosted the annual statewide recognition event since 1981. Representatives from Drury, Duke TIP and Springfield Public Schools’ gifted education program will be available for comment to the media before or after the ceremony.

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. Each summer, more than 700 children from pre-K through high school attend Drury’s educational camps for gifted students. Visit Drury Gifted Education for more information.

The Center is part of Drury’s School of Education and Child Development, which is the longest continually accredited School of Education in the state of Missouri. Drury undergraduate and graduate programs in education have a decades-long record of adding value to the lives of children and youth by preparing highly effective teachers and leaders for work in schools throughout the Ozarks region and beyond.


Media Contact: Mary Potthoff, Director of the Center for Gifted Education – (417) 873-7386; (417) 885-8089 or

Drury awards more than 550 degrees during spring commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 14, 2016 — Drury University awarded degrees to 543 graduates at its spring commencement ceremonies today. There were 245 undergraduate degrees and 45 graduate degrees conferred at the traditional Day School ceremony, and 268 degrees conferred during a ceremony for the College of Continuing Professional Studies. Some students earned multiple degrees.

Economics professor Dr. Bill Rohlf, who retires this month after 44 years teaching at Drury, addressed the graduates at the day’s first ceremony. To the surprise of no one who has been a student of Rohlf’s, he began his address the same way he has begun his classes for more than 40 years: by asking the question, “Is everybody happy?”

Graduates 2

“Today, I was pretty confident as to what the answer would be,” Rohlf said.

Rohlf told the graduates that while their days of taking tests were over, their trials and challenges would not cease. “Economists love to ruin your day,” he joked.

He then urged the graduates to be diligent and work hard on improving themselves by repeating another familiar phrase: “Do your homework.” Learning is a never-ending process, he said, and every turn, every role, every success and failure has something to offer a lifelong learner. That first job may not be perfect, he said, but it’s valuable nonetheless.

Dr. Bill Rohlf

Dr. Bill Rohlf

“Every job has something to teach you if you’re willing to learn, and if you work at it and do your homework,” he said. Rohlf said today’s graduates should be confident that the skills and habits they take with them will carry them through a varied career and fulfilling life.

“The education you’ve received here at Drury is on par with the best education you can get anywhere,” he said. “I’ve talked with alums for 40 years, and they’ve all talked about how well prepared they were for the job market.”

In the second ceremony, for CCPS graduates, speaker David R. Mercer also spoke of homework. Mercer, a Drury alumnus, lawyer, humanitarian and current adjunct professor for the university, posed three questions to the graduates. “Your final homework assignment, if you will,” he said.

David Mercer

David Mercer

In the spirit of learning from the past, planning for the future and living for today, Mercer urged the graduates to ask themselves these questions daily: “Today, will I love those around me?” “Today, will I pursue a cause that is greater than myself?” And, “Today, will I be driven by a passion in my life?”

Mercer urged the graduates to find the point where their learned skills, natural talents and personal passions intersect. Aim for that point first and foremost, he told them, rather than for a lucrative salary or position of prestige.

“Each one of us has a sweet spot in which the entirety of who you are as a person comes together,” Mercer said. “Find it, and spend your days there.”

Graduates 1

Today’s ceremonies were the last for retiring president Dr. David Manuel. Lyle Reed, chair of the Board of Trustees, recognized Manuel and his wife, Betty Coe. Reed thanked both for their dedication to Drury and its students during their tenure. Banners were hung on Drury Lane designating it as “Dr. & Mrs. Manuel Lane” during commencement week.

Information about attached photos: Commencement speakers Dr. Bill Rohlf, Mr. David Mercer, and photos of Day School graduates.


Architecture students to present visions for the future of C-Street site

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 5, 2016 — The Hammons School of Architecture’s Center for Community Studies (CCS) has spent the past four months working with community partners to envision concepts for the long-term redevelopment of The Kitchen, Inc. campus on Commercial Street.

The fourth and final public forum in this process will take place from 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, May 10 at the Savoy Ballroom, 224 E. Commercial St. Students and faculty from the CCS will present and discuss potential visions for the 3.5-acre site. Media are invited to attend.

The CCS has worked in collaboration with The Kitchen Inc., Commercial Club, C-Street CID, Landmarks Board, University of Missouri-Extension, City of Springfield Planning and Development, and citizens of Springfield throughout the process.

The intent of this collaborative endeavor was not to identify or choose a specific redevelopment plan for the site. Instead, the process was a way to explore issues associated with the redevelopment of the properties, explore the viability of the various approaches, and invigorate the public discussion of the potential of the properties and surrounding Commercial Street context. Additionally, it serves as a way to document the findings in a graphic and written manner that may be used by the future redevelopment partnership.

The Kitchen is in the process of moving out of its facilities located at the Commercial Street campus and decentralizing its operations throughout the Springfield community. The campus on Commercial Street contains many diverse structures that are important to the physical integrity of the streetscape of Commercial Street, to the historical context of north Springfield, and anchor the important Benton/Commercial intersection at the east gateway to the Commercial Street district. The redevelopment of this large complex is of great importance to The Kitchen Inc., City of Springfield, Commercial Club, C-Street CID, Landmarks Board, and residents of Midtown, Commercial Street, and Woodland Heights neighborhoods.

About the Center for Community Studies

The Center for Community Studies is the interdisciplinary research and academic outreach component of the Hammons School of Architecture. The mission of the center is to assist the regional community in exploring and promoting innovative planning, design and development practices that respond to the challenges of our contemporary and future society and foster a healthier and sustainable habitat for our global community. The Center has worked with more than 60 communities across the region over the last 15 years. Visioning projects inside the City of Springfield have included the West Central Neighborhood Route 66 corridor and a center city housing study.


Media Contact: Jay Garrott, Professor of Architecture and Director of the Center for Community Studies: (417) 873-7371 or

Three Drury faculty members appointed to key academic leadership roles

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 5, 2016 — Drury University has appointed three faculty members to key leadership positions that will impact students’ classroom experience and bolster the school’s liberal arts tradition.



Rebecca Miller, associate professor of art and art history, will become the new director of Drury’s Arts Administration Program starting this fall. A Drury faculty member since 2003, Miller brings considerable and impressive credentials as a photographer and artist to the program. She also brings a commitment to creating career paths for students who want to link their love of the arts with additional interests on the administrative side of the field, such as marketing, public relations, business and strategic planning. Miller was formerly the director of the Pool Art Center Gallery for six years and will be coordinating the C-Street Gallery with arts administration students.



Dr. Karen Spence has been named the director of the Drury CORE: Engaging Our World. CORE is Drury’s general education curriculum, which emphasizes the global connections of all areas of study and prioritizes applied learning through direct engagement in communities at home and around the world. Spence is the associate dean of the Hammons School of Architecture, where she is responsible for recruitment, mentoring and advising. A strong advocate for the liberal arts, Spence has also played a key role in the university’s ongoing strategic enrollment management process during the last two years.



Dr. Ted Vaggalis has been named director of new faculty orientation. Vaggalis is an associate professor of philosophy and political science. The role will see Vaggalis leading efforts to welcome and integrate new faculty to the Drury community.


Bill Rohlf & David Mercer will address graduates at May commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 4, 2016 — Retiring economics professor Dr. Bill Rohlf and attorney and humanitarian David R. Mercer will deliver the keynote addresses to graduates at Drury University’s two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 14 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Rohlf will speak at the first ceremony, for Day School and graduate students, which will be held at 11 a.m. Mercer will speak at the second ceremony, for the College of Continuing Professional Studies, which will be held at 3 p.m.

Dr. Bill Rohlf

Dr. Bill Rohlf

Rohlf has been a faculty member at the Breech School of Business Administration since the early 1970s. He is known among Drury students and alumni for his ability to communicate and explain economic principles to undergraduates. His intense interest in explaining the economy to students eventually led to a highly successful basic economics text first published in 1988 and now in its eighth edition. Affectionately known to his students as “Dr. Lovable,” Rohlf is a caring but demanding teacher, who is highly respected for his innovative methods and teaching style.

Mr. David Mercer

Mr. David Mercer

Mercer graduated from Drury in 1984 with degrees in biology and philosophy. He earned a masters in education from Drury and a law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Following judicial clerkships in Missouri and federal appeals courts, Mercer took a hiatus from law and worked for Food for the Hungry (a non-profit Christian relief and development organization) as a journalist reporting on poverty, hunger and development in the Third World. He also spent time in Bolivia, Rawanda, Zaire, Uganda and Kenya doing humanitarian work. In 1995, Mercer returned to the United States and the practice of law. For the last 15 years, he has been an attorney for the Federal Public Defenders Office for the Western District of Missouri where he has devoted his legal practice to defending indigent clients in federal court.

Members of the news media are invited to cover the graduation ceremonies. Please contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers at (417) 873-7390 at about coverage plans or for more information about 2016 graduates.