May 9, 2013
Former Price Is Right host donates three of his broadcasting awards to his alma mater along with a surprise, six-figure cash donation
SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 9, 2013 — A special permanent exhibit on former Price Is Right host Bob Barker was unveiled at his alma mater Drury University in Springfield, Mo., today, May 9, 2013. It includes several awards Barker earned during his broadcasting career, including his Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame award, one of his 19 Emmy Awards, and the plaque commemorating his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, among other items.
“Drury University holds a special place in my heart. I’m honored and delighted that the university has offered to house some of the awards I have received over the years,” Barker said at the dedication of the exhibit, which is housed in the Shewmaker Communication Center at Drury.
At the ceremony, Barker surprised Drury President Todd Parnell with a check for $100,000 to fund scholarships for students pursuing a minor in Animal Studies.
“As I’ve said before, when Bob Barker comes to campus good things happen,” Parnell said. “This scholarship donation was a total surprise, and I can’t thank Bob enough for the support he’s given Drury over the years.”
Over the last five years, Barker, considered one of the university’s most famous graduates, has donated $2 million to Drury to establish the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights and the Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professorship of Animal Rights, named in honor of Barker’s late wife. Dr. Patricia McEachern holds the endowed professorship position. Dr. McEachern has also established a minor at Drury in Barker’s honor in the rapidly emerging field of Animal Studies, taught by eight faculty members, it is the first such undergraduate course offered in the United States.
“There are no words to adequately express our gratitude to Bob for his kindness, his generosity, and his unwavering support for our Animal Studies Minor and Drury University,” Dr. McEachern said. “Bob Barker is my hero, and he is a hero to countless animal lovers all over the world.”
Drury awarded Barker with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2007, and, in the fall of 2008, the university re-named a street on campus “Bob Barker Boulevard.”
Barker graduated from Drury in 1947 with a degree in economics. During his time at Drury he got his start in broadcasting at Springfield radio station KTTS. Upon graduation, he continued his radio career with The Bob Barker Show; he moved to television and hosted Truth or Consequences from 1956–75. He debuted as host of what was then called The New Price Is Right in September 1972 and remained the host until his retirement in 2007.
Prior to the ceremony, Barker, a former Drury basketball player, met with Drury’s NCAA-II Men’s National Championship Basketball team. The team gave him a signed poster featuring Drury’s three national championship teams: men’s basketball and men’s and women’s swimming and diving.
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