Ribbon cutting and dedication mark the Grand Opening of the O’Reilly Family Event Center

NEWS: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SPRINGFIELD, MO., Oct. 30, 2010— Drury’s O’Reilly Family Event Center officially opened on Saturday, Oct. 30 with the cut of a giant red ribbon by Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten ’64.

The ribbon cutting and building dedication marked a culmination of a month-long celebration of the opening of the new arena on the Drury University campus. Tonight, the celebration continues when the Pointer Sisters take the stage in the Grand Opening concert at 8 p.m. The Pointer Sisters took the place of Aretha Franklin after Franklin cancelled several shows due to health reasons.

Rosalie Wooten, center, cuts the ribbon at the official grand opening of the O'Reilly Family Event Center on the Drury campus at a ceremony on Saturday morning. Mark Schiefelbein photo.

“Today, the sun shines bright on Drury University and the city of Springfield,” said Drury President Todd Parnell. “Because of the O’Reilly family’s generosity, our community has a first class, state of the art arena in which to host regional and national sporting, cultural and entertainment events.”

Friday night, Oct. 29, more than 2,000 fans packed into the O’Reilly Family Event Center for a concert featuring Lifehouse, Kris Allen and Alyssa Bernal.

Construction began on the O’Reilly Family Event Center in May 2009. Fundraising for the 3,100-seat event center began in December of 2007 with a $6 million naming gift from the O’Reilly family of Springfield.

Notable dates at the O’Reilly Family Event Center coming up in the month of November:

  • Nov. 5, Musician Darius Rucker
  • Nov. 13, Men’s and Women’s basketball home openers
  • Nov. 18, Funnyman Bill Engvall

Contact:
Myra Miller
O’Reilly Family Event Center Director
Office: (417) 873-6381
Mobile: (417) 849-0155
E-mail
: mmiller1@drury.edu
www.drurytickets.com

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Drury alumnus inducted into Springfield Public Schools Hall of Fame

Drury graduate Rabbi Walter Jacob has been inducted into the Springfield Public Schools Hall of Fame. Rabbi Walter Jacob ‘50 was one of the three inductees recognized in Springfield, Mo., Oct. 28, during an awards luncheon.

A retired rabbi, Jacob comes from a family that produced 15 generations of rabbis. He currently holds many leadership positions within the Jewish community. He is the senior scholar at Rodef Shalom congregation in Pittsburgh, Pa., president of Abraham Geiger College in Berlin, president of the Institute for Progressive Jewish Law and Ethics, and a rabbi emeritus. He helps edit and write the annual book for the Institute for Progressive Jewish Law and Ethics and has published 39 books.

The SPS Hall of Fame honors outstanding alumni who have demonstrated a commitment to giving back to their community, earned accolades in their industry, and advocated for public education.

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Drury professor pens op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Dan PonderDr. Dan Ponder, associate professor of political science at Drury, authored an opinion-editorial that appeared in the Oct. 26 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This is his second op-ed to appear in the Post-Dispatch in the last three months.

Here is a link to Ponder’s piece: “Handicapping the election — old-school style”

Here is the full text of Ponder’s article:

Democrats are in big trouble this November, but not entirely because midterm elections inevitably are a referendum on the president’s record. Republicans, especially in Missouri, will fare well in the midterm elections for other reasons.

With only three exceptions since 1862, the presidential party has lost House seats in the midterm elections. Even if we ignore Grover Cleveland’s massive 116-seat loss in 1894, the average loss is more than 30 seats in the House. The Senate is a bit easier for the presidential party, but even there the average loss is three seats.

It’s unclear why this happens. But we do know that a more likely cause for the loss than serving as a referendum on the president is the fact that when a party picks up a lot of seats in the last election cycle or two, they are likely to lose a lot of those seats in the post-presidential victory midterm elections.

The Democrats won 52 new seats in the last two cycles, many of them in conservative districts. These seats are hard to defend in a “normal” year.

It is probable that Americans will be guided by national conditions when they vote next Tuesday. Presidents with approval ratings below 50 percent in the month before the midterm averaged a 38-seat loss, just one shy of the number the Republicans need to make John Boehner of Ohio the Speaker of the House. Obama’s approval rating is 47 percent.

Here in Missouri, however, the referendum hypothesis does not extend to Missouri’s race for the U.S. Senate between U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield, and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, a Democrat. Rather, this race turns on textbook geography, math and logic.

Greene County, the third most populous voting region in the state, is Blunt’s stomping ground and is heavily Republican. Most Democrats lose in Greene County.

Blunt will draw a large voter turnout in Greene County, and simple math tells us that since the county is conservative, Democrats can win statewide only if they minimize the margin by which they lose in Greene. Sen. Claire McCaskill ran for governor in 2004 and lost. She ran for senator in 2006 and won. Both times the outcome was driven by whether she minimized her losses in Greene County.

So the Democratic strategy is to run up the score in strongholds in St. Louis city, St. Louis County and Kansas City, and minimize their losses in Greene, giving them a fighting chance. But when a Blunt is on the ballot, that’s difficult to do.

The referendum hypothesis in Missouri also defies logic. Barack Obama lost Missouri to John McCain in 2008. Moreover, retiring Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, a Republican, has held that seat since 1987. Polls predict that a Carnahan victory is increasingly unlikely, so if she were to win, that really would be an interesting story.

Missourians are faced with the prospect of sending Blunt, a Missouri political mainstay and part of the House Republican leadership for many years, or Robin Carnahan, member of a Missouri family political dynasty, to Washington, D.C.

Additionally, if Blunt wins, Missouri will continue to be one of about a quarter of all states that have ‘split delegations,” meaning they send one Democrat and one Republican to the Senate. That number is even higher if you count Vermont and Connecticut, each of which has elected an independent.

There are other places where the presidential referendum or “test” theories might play out more plausibly, such as West Virginia, Illinois, California or Wisconsin. Missouri’s race, important and coveted by both parties, just is not as interesting this year as others around the country.

Daniel Ponder is associate professor of political science at Drury University in Springfield, Mo., and author of “Good Advice: Information and Policy Making in the White House.”

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Life of German theologian is told through a one-man play

For Immediate Release: October 27

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 27, 2010 Al Staggs will perform a one-man play set in war-torn Germany on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University.

In this one-person play, minister and actor Al Staggs portrays German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, whose involvement in the 1944 plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler led to his imprisonment and execution. Set in a prison cell, Staggs presents the last hours of Bonhoeffer’s life, as he defends what he saw as his Christian obligation to directly confront the evils of Nazism, even if it involved complicity in a violent act of resistance.

Staggs, now a full-time performing artist, holds a Master of Theology from Harvard Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Drury University’s 2010-2011 convocation series The Persistence of Memory, Perspectives on the Past examines history and how it relates to our understanding of the present.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit www.drury.edu/memory or contact Theme Year Director Bill Garvin at (417) 873-7482.

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Aretha Franklin cancels concert – Pointer Sisters take her place for the O’Reilly Grand Opening

For Immediate Release: October 26

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 26, 2010 — Aretha Franklin has cancelled her show at the O’Reilly Family Event Center scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 30 for health reasons. Ms. Franklin will not perform any concerts for the rest of 2010. The Pointer Sisters will take the stage on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. for the Grand Opening concert of the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Since 1973, The Pointer Sisters have held a spot in pop music culture as a vibrant female group. “That’s a Plenty” hit the country and pop charts in the early 70s. In 1984, the album “Break Out” featured the song “Neutron Dance” which was on the soundtrack to the hit movie Beverly Hills Cop. The Pointer Sisters have won multiple Grammy Awards and American Music Awards.

“I brought the Pointer Sisters to Springfield in the 1980s and they sold out Hammons Student Center,” says local concert promoter Howard Cotner. “The Pointer Sisters put on a dynamic, high energy show that will bring people out of their seats.”

Tickets for the Pointer Sisters are between $45 and $125.

People who have purchased tickets for Aretha Franklin may use them for the Pointer Sisters’ concert, or they can get a refund at the O’Reilly Family Event Center box office until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29. To purchase tickets or get a refund, call the box office at (417) 873-6389 or contact box office manager Terrie Coulter at (417) 693-0172 or by e-mail attcoulter@drury.edu. O’Reilly Family Event Center Director Myra Miller can be contacted at (417) 849-0155 or by e-mail at mmiller1@drury.edu.

A makeup concert date for Aretha Franklin has not been determined.

Media Contact:
Myra Miller
Director of the O’Reilly Family Event Center
Office: (417) 873-6381
Mobile: (417) 849-0155
E-mail: mmiller1@drury.edu

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visitwww.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

One-of-a-kind art to help students gain a global education

For Immediate Release: October 25

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 25, 2010 — The public will have the chance to buy original pieces of art to help send Drury students on a study abroad trip on Friday, Oct. 29, from 4-7 p.m. in the Pool Art Center Gallery at Drury University. Jacqueline Warren and Todd Lowery, Professors of Art and Design at Drury and the fundraiser sponsors, will be joined by professors Greg Booker, Rebecca Miller, and Tom Russo; proceeds from the sale will be used to help fund a trip to Florence, Italy.

This is the 21st year Drury students will study abroad in Florence, Italy. Students who participate in the program are eligible to apply for Drury’s multiple study abroad scholarships.

The event is celebrating the closing of the exhibition “The Power of Beauty” by Jacqueline Warren, the October exhibition in the Pool Arts Center Gallery. The reception and sale begins at 4 p.m., but the public can begin viewing the art that morning at 9 a.m.

The Pool Art Center is located at 940 N. Clay St. on the east side of Harrison Stadium.

Contact:
Jacqueline Warren
Artist in Residence
Office: (417) 873-7512
E-mail: jwarren@drury.edu

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visitwww.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Ribbon cutting & Aretha Franklin concert mark the grand opening of the O’Reilly Family Event Center

For Immediate Release: October 21

SPRINGFIELD, MO., Oct. 21, 2010— A grand opening ribbon cutting and building dedication ceremony will mark the completion of the new O’Reilly Family Event center on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 9 a.m. The ceremony will take place in the O’Reilly Family Event Center lobby with members of the O’Reilly family, Drury President Todd Parnell and Vice President for Athletics Dr. Edsel Matthews all scheduled to speak.

That evening, the Event Center will host the grand opening finale concert with Grammy Award-winning artist Aretha Franklin at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available at www.drurytickets.com, by calling (417) 873-6389 or at the O’Reilly Family Event Center box office.

Drury University broke ground on the O’Reilly Family Event Center in May 2009. Fundraising for the 3,100-seat event center began in December of 2007 with a $6 million naming gift from the O’Reilly family of Springfield. The event center was also built to Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) specifications thanks to a $600,000 gift from the Pitt family of Springfield. LEED certification means the building will meet certain environmental standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Contact:
Myra Miller
O’Reilly Family Event Center Director
Office: (417) 873-6381
Mobile: (417) 849-0155
E-mail: mmiller1@drury.edu
www.drurytickets.com

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Drury Political Expert: Republican wins in November do not indicate a referendum on Obama

Republicans may win more seats in November, but that doesn’t mean there’s a referendum against the Democrats or President Obama, says a Drury University professor of political science.

Dan Ponder, associate professor of political science says, “With only three exceptions since 1862, the presidential party has lost House seats in the midterm. Even if we ignore Grover Cleveland’s massive 116-seat loss in 1894, the average loss is more than 30 seats in the House.  The Senate is a bit easier for presidents to get a hold on, but even there the average loss is three seats.” He adds that Democrats won 52 seats in the last two elections, many in conservative districts, and that they would be tough to defend in a “normal” year. Dr. Ponder can also discuss:

  • The Roy Blunt-Robin Carnahan Senate race in Missouri, the history of these two political power families and how a Republican victory would NOT be a referendum on the President.
  • A historical perspective on a president’s approval rating and the effect it can have on Midterm elections.
  • How Greene County, the third most populous voting region in Missouri, is the difference between winning and losing in the state.

Professor Ponder teaches courses on American politics, the presidency, Congress and Constitutional Law. He has written a book, Good Advice: Information and Policy Making in the White House. Dr. Ponder is a Missouri native and has a historical perspective on Missouri politics.

Contact:
Dan Ponder, (417) 873-7394, deponder@drury.edu, or Mark Miller, Director of Media Relations, (417) 873-7390, (417) 839-2886 (cell), markmiller@drury.edu, or Bill Johnson, Halstead Communications, (212) 734-2190 x 701, Johnson@halsteadpr.com.

Drury graduate takes first place at New York’s Vimeo Awards

For Immediate Release: October 14

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 14, 2010 — Drury graduate Chris Beckman placed first in the experimental video category at the Vimeo Awards over the weekend. Beckman’s video was chosen out of over 6500 finalists, and it was recognized at the awards show in New York City on Oct. 8 and 9.

Beckman, who graduated from Drury in May 2010 with a degree in Fine Arts in the Department of Art and Art History, originally created the piece for a class called Video Art co-taught by Drury professors Blaine Whisenhunt and Greg Booker with assistance from Brian Shipman, a Drury video instructor. “Students in the course were given an appropriation video assignment and told to sample and re-mix existing footage to create a composite,” said Whisenhunt.

Beckman created a video called oops. “I’m both surprised and honored that people took the time to view my work and recognize something so experimental and non-traditional,” said Beckman. The first place win will allow his piece to be featured on the Vimeo website where he will receive much more exposure.

View Beckman’s video submission

This was the first year for the Vimeo Awards, which aimed to transform the way online video, as a medium, can be used. An extremely accomplished panel, including documentarian Morgan Spurlock, best known for Super Size Me, Paola Antonelli, a senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art, and Academy-Award nominated director David Lynch, judged the videos.

Vimeo is a website where artists share their videos. Visit Drury’s Vimeo site

Media Contact:
Chris Beckman
Mobile: (417) 300-0486
E-mail: chriskbeckman@sbcglobal.net
Or
Blaine Whisenhunt
Assistant Professor, Sculpture
Office: (417) 873-7484
E-mail: jwhisenhunt@drury.edu

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visitwww.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

Convoy of Hope director to speak at Drury about the organization’s inspiration

For Immediate Release: October 12

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 12, 2010 — Ron Showers, U.S Outreach Director for Convoy of Hope, will share with Drury students and faculty the driving passion behind the organization on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University.

Small in its beginnings, Convoy of Hope has grown to serve over 35 million people in more than 100 countries. Convoy’s founder, Hal Donaldson, grew up in a home that experienced the effects of poverty first hand. As an adult, Hal felt the call to bring hope to the broken and suffering around the world.

Convoy of Hope has learned lessons from the past that continue to empower reaching out even more in the future. The audience will find out what inspired this organization to become one of the leaders in compassion ministry around the world, and what keeps it focused on the future.

Drury University’s 2010-2011 convocation series The Persistence of Memory, Perspectives on the Past examines history and how it relates to our understanding of the present.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit http://www.drury.edu/memory or contact Theme Year Director Bill Garvin at (417) 873-7482.

Media Contact:
Bill Garvin
Theme Year Director
Office: (417) 873-7482
E-mail: wgarvin@drury.edu

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visitwww.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.