Drury team awarded 3rd place in 2015 ACSA Design Competition

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., September 22, 2015 — A team comprised of two Drury students, an alumnus and a professor earned 3rd place out of more than 500 entries in an international design contest sponsored by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA).

The 2014-2015 Steel Design Student Competition challenged architecture students to design a library guided by the principles of innovation, creativity, identity, sustainability and functionality. Additionally, design proposals were to take a strong conceptual position about the changing nature of the library as a building type and as a mirror of contemporary culture.

Library exterior view

Library exterior view

Current 5th-year students Junye Zhou and Tony Tai-An Yue and 2014 Drury graduate Nicholas Fish, worked with Visiting Assistant Professor Yong Huang on their library design as an extra-curricular project in addition to their academic and professional obligations. The work, titled “Beacon – Heterotopia of Lagos’ Public Space,” is posted on the ACSA website and will be published in an upcoming book. It will also be exhibited at the ACSA National Convention in Seattle in March and at the American Institute of Architects Annual Convention in Philadelphia in May.

This is the first time Drury has placed in this national contest juried by well-known and award-winning practitioners and educators.

A reading room within the library.

A reading room within the library.

“This is a fantastic accomplishment for this talented team and the committed professor who worked closely with them in a less formal setting than the typical studio or classroom setting,” said Dr. Robert Weddle, dean of the Hammons School of Architecture. “This is the kind of experience fostered by the unique environment of Drury and the HSA where students and faculty know each other well and collaborate on projects they’re passionate about.”

All accredited architecture programs in the United States and Canada are ACSA members, and other affiliated programs bring the number of member schools to more than 250. The ACSA’s student competitions are the largest and most important annual competitions for architecture students.


Solar Decathlon house nears completion; open house Sept. 22

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 17, 2015 — A diverse team of students from Drury University and Crowder College is entering the final stretch of an 18-month-long effort to design, build and operate a cutting-edge home for the national Solar Decathlon competition.

The media and public are invited to the Crowder College campus to tour the house and help send off the team from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22. Student team members, faculty advisors and representatives from some of the project’s many sponsors will be present and available for interviews. Team members are also available in the days before and after the open house, both in Springfield and Neosho.

Outside rendering

The house will be disassembled and loaded onto trucks on Sept. 23 for the trip to the Decathlon, which takes place during the month of October in the desert outside Irvine, California.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, this international contest pits future architects, engineers, marketers and business people from the nation’s top colleges against one another, challenging them to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition will be the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

The Crowder-Drury entry accomplishes all this – and more. Dubbed ShelteR3, or “Shelter Cubed,” the house has a three-prong design philosophy of Respond, Recover and Resist. Inspired by the devastating and deadly 2011 Joplin tornado, the house is transportable so that it can be trucked to disaster areas during emergency response and recovery efforts. It can then be converted in a permanent and stylish living structure that is designed to resist the extreme winds and debris clouds of potential tornadoes.

“Students from 22 different majors here at Drury and from Crowder have poured countless hours of time and talent into this project over the last year and a half,” said Traci Sooter, project manager and a faculty advisor to the team. “It’s incredibly exciting to see the ShelteR3 house become a reality, and we cannot wait to finally stack our ideas up against the other teams.”

For much more information, including renderings, videos and more about the team’s inspiration, visit http://shelter.drury.edu. For more information about the Decathlon, including a list of other schools in the competition, visit www.solardecathlon.gov.

Media Contacts:

  • Traci Sooter, Professor of Architecture, (417) 234-6405
  • Evan Melgren, Student Communication Chair, (417) 827-1793
  • Cindy Brown, Director of Public Information, Crowder College, (417) 455-5540


Drury earns high marks in U.S. News & World Report rankings

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 9, 2015 — U.S. News & World Report has once again ranked Drury among the Midwest’s top schools for both quality and value in its “Best Colleges 2016” publication, released today.

Drury is ranked No. 11 in the Midwest on the U.S. News “Best Regional Universities” list. Drury earned outstanding marks for its ability to deliver personalized attention to students, thanks to a high percentage of classes with 20 or fewer students (69 percent) and a student-to-faculty ratio of 10 to 1. Drury’s graduation rate and alumni giving rate were also highlights.

Drury is the top-ranked school in Missouri on the U.S. News “Best Value Schools” Midwest region list – a crucial measure given today’s concerns about student debt. Drury is No. 3 on that list, which includes both public and private schools. Additionally, Drury ranked No. 11 on the 2016 “Best Universities for Veterans” list.

(Please note: U.S. News creates separate lists for regional universities and regional colleges in some categories.)

The listings continue a trend of excellence for Drury, which has been in the Top 15 of the U.S. News “Best Regional Universities” list every year for the past two decades. Drury has consistently ranked high as a “Best Value” school for more than 15 years.

The rankings can be viewed online at www.usnews.com/colleges.

“To be highly ranked by your peers and confirmed by independent data is gratifying and affirming,” said Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “It’s especially gratifying to be recognized for the incredible value Drury provides. Students today are looking closely at the return on investment when choosing where to earn their degree. The accomplishments of our faculty and the career outcomes of our graduates demonstrate that value every day.”

The U.S. News ranking comes on the heels of Drury’s selection in August as a “Best in the Midwest” college by The Princeton Review.

About the Rankings

U.S News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings include nearly 1,400 schools nationwide, and are designed to give a quick comparison of the relative quality of institutions based on such widely accepted indicators of excellence as freshman retention and graduation rates and the strength of the faculty. The ranking system uses quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, as well as the publication’s own researched view of what matters in education.


Author to speak about “Place in Fiction” at Pop-Up Writer’s Talk

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 2, 2015 — Author Andrew Bynom will give a Pop Up Writer’s Talk at Drury on Friday. Bynom, currently a teacher at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, will explore the topic “Place in Fiction” as it relates to his new novel, “The Executioner’s Race.”

The talk takes place at 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 4, in the Harwood Reading Room of Drury’s Olin Library. The event is free and open to the pubic.

This Pop Up Writer’s Talk is sponsored by Ginkgo Tree Review and the Missouri Arts Council. Ginkgo Tree Review is a literary magazine produced and published by the English Department at Drury University. It was one of a select few literary magazines in the state to receive a Missouri Arts Council grant in support of community events in the literary arts this year.

Bynom lived and worked in Istanbul for many years. “The Executioner’s Race” is the story of a female calligrapher in 19th century Ottoman Istanbul who is condemned to death and imprisoned for turning holy prayers into faces and animals – for “reassembling the word of God.” Her only chance at life – a privilege rarely granted to a woman – is to win a race against a bostanci, one of the Sultan’s guards and executioners.


SIVA student’s “Parts & Pieces” exhibition opens Friday, Sept. 4

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 2, 2015 — The Summer Institute for Visual Arts is pleased to announce James Walley as the winner of a $1,500 student production stipend in partnership with ideaXfactory, and will exhibit his work at the downtown space in September.

An opening reception for Walley’s installation, “Parts & Pieces,” will be held from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4, at the ideaXfactory, 351 N. Boonville Ave., during First Friday Art Walk.

Walley SIVA exhibit

About the installation

Walley aims to create a sculpture experience that melds the organic human form with the abstract by using wax castings made from volunteers. He held open studio hours during the month of August where visitors were invited to observe the process, ask questions, and volunteer to participate in the casting process. The body parts were then transformed from the wax molds into clay and incorporated into the final installation that will be on view during the First Friday Art Walk.

Funding for the award was made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works grant, which was given to the Springfield Regional Arts Council specifically for ideaXfactory. It is the first NEA Art Works grant award made to a Springfield organization. The ideaXfactory launched in October 2012 as a contemporary art space to sponsor site-specific art installations and non-traditional art projects that would be difficult or impossible to create otherwise.

Walley SIVA exhibit 2

About SIVA

The Summer Institute for Visual Arts (SIVA) at Drury University provides an intensive two-month period each summer to focus on artistic development in a critically driven environment while earning graduate level course credit toward a Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory degree.

(Photo credits: Russ RuBert)


The Princeton Review names Drury a “Best in the Midwest” college

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 31, 2015 — Drury University has again been named one of the best colleges in the Midwest by The Princeton Review. The education services company included Drury in its online listing for “2016 Best Colleges: Region by Region.”

In its profile on Drury, The Princeton Review highlighted Drury’s academic rigor, the school’s personalized approach to learning and teaching, and its beautiful campus. Other factors included a strong focus on sustainability and global awareness, and – in the words of one of the students interviewed by The Princeton Review – Drury’s “mission to give students the opportunity to fight for what they believe in, but to understand the views of others as well.”

“We chose Drury University and the other outstanding institutions on this list primarily for their excellent academics,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Senior VP-Publisher.

Editors made selections based on data the company collected from its survey of administrators at several hundred colleges in each region, as well as its staff visits to schools over the years, and the perspectives of college counselors and advisors whose opinions the company solicits. They also gave careful consideration to what students enrolled at the schools reported about their campus experiences on its independent student survey designed to include the same types of questions prospective students might ask on a campus visit.

“Only schools at which we see a strong level of satisfaction among their enrolled students make it to our final slate of regional best college selections,” Franek said.

“The voices of our satisfied students are powerful validation for us,” said Drury president Dr. David Manuel. “Drury’s focus on mentorship, high academics standards and engaged learning are all recognized by our students as keys to their success in life after college.”

There are 159 colleges in 12 Midwestern states on the “Best in the Midwest” list for 2016. Overall, the 649 colleges listed in the North, South, Midwest and West regions constitute about 25 percent of the nation’s 2,500 four-year colleges and universities.

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. For more information, visit www.princetonreview.com.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations. Office: (417) 873-7390; email: mikebrothers@drury.edu.

Drury ukulele players take tiny instruments on big trip to Japan

Anyone who has been to Big Momma’s Coffee and Espresso Bar on Tuesdays between 4:30 and 6 p.m. has heard the cheerful sounds of Drury students strumming their ukuleles and singing. These students are part of a club at called DUkes, and this summer they took a break from their normal coffee house venue and played three shows in Isesaki, Japan.

The opportunity was thanks to the Springfield Sister Cities Association. Each year, SSCA chooses a group from Springfield to play at the Isesaki Music Festival in August, and this year the DUkes were the guests of honor.

Members of the DUkes during an Isesaki street parade.

Members of the DUkes take part in an Isesaki street parade.

“It was such an amazing opportunity to represent Drury and Springfield,” says senior Kelsey Pressnall. “Everyone was so welcoming and hospitable during our time in Isesaki.”

The DUkes performed at a local hospital, a welcome dinner, and on the main stage at the festival.

“We found that people loved to clap along to the songs, even if they weren’t ones you’d normally clap to,” Pressnall says. “We’d be singing the folk song ‘500 Miles’ and they would be dutifully clapping. Our audiences were very engaged.”

Mitch Barrett, a senior theatre and education major, says the trip was “the perfect way to begin my senior year.”

Members of the DUkes performing on stage in Isesaki, Japan.

Members of the DUkes performing on stage in Isesaki.

While in Japan, students stayed with a host family to fully immerse themselves in the culture. For many, this was their favorite part.

“My host mom, brother and sister came to see me off when we left Isesaki,” Pressnall says. “I have to admit, I cried a little knowing I might never see them again. And I wasn’t the only DUkes member to do so!”

Led by professor of communication Dr. Rick Maxson, the DUkes have come a long way in their short life as a club – from a small group playing a few local gigs into international travelers representing all of Springfield.

“This was the trip of a lifetime,” Pressnall says. “I couldn’t have imagined a better experience.”

For more photos from the trip, check out the group’s Facebook page. DUkes plays the Japanese Fall Festival in Springfield on Sept. 12 & 13. The festival takes place at the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden in Nathaniel Greene/Close Memorial Park.


 Story by Trevor Cobb, sophomore writing major at Drury. 

Architecture students to demonstrate VR, 3D printing at Ozarks Maker Faire

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 28, 2015 — Drury University students from the Hammons School of Architecture will provide interactive demonstrations on 3D computer modeling, 3D printing and virtual reality at the inaugural Ozarks Mini Maker Faire on Saturday.

The field of architecture is rapidly changing with the evolution and application of advanced technology that is enhancing the way professionals design and build spaces and objects. Students and faculty from the school of architecture will provide a chance to see how 3D computer models can be quickly fabricated into real objects with 3D printing, and how people can be deeply immersed in 3D spaces before they are built using virtual reality technology.

VIDEO: Using Oculus Rift to View Architectural Designs

The Ozarks Mini Maker Faire is a gathering of “makers” who are tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, students and commercial exhibitors. The Faire takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Springfield Expo Center, 635 St. Louis Street, and at the Discovery Center, 438 E. St. Louis Street.


C-Street Gallery opens “The Way Things Go” exhibition Friday, Sept. 4

SPRINGFIELD, MO., Aug. 24, 2015 – The Drury on C-Street Gallery will open its September exhibition “The Way Things Go” with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, September 4. Featured artists Jessica Blackburn, Sarah Jones and Justin Gault are current students in Drury’s Summer Institute for Visual Arts (SIVA). The program allows students to earn a Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory over the course of three summers.

The Drury on C-Street Gallery is located at 233 E. Commercial St. The opening reception is a free event with food and refreshments provided.

The title of the exhibition, “The Way Things Go,” is a reference to a workshop given by SIVA visiting artist fellow Christine Laquet of Nantes, France, and a 1988 video of the same name by the Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss. Laquet’s workshop was inspired by the French term “bricolage,” a technique whereby works are constructed from various materials available on hand. “The Way Things Go” presents an imaginative and critical reflection on the everyday, wither it’s through Blackburn’s colloquial phrases painted on found images, Jones’ exploration of costume and role playing in video and painting, or Gault’s generative online performances.

Scene from a video by SIVA student Sarah Jones.

Scene from a video by SIVA student Sarah Jones

This exhibition featuring these three SIVA students will run September 4 through 25. Gallery viewing hours after the opening reception will be from 1 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on two Saturdays, September 12 and 19.

For more information, call (417) 873-6359 or visit Drury on C-Street’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DruryCStreet. 

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; Director, Arts Administration program. Office: (417) 873-6359; mobile: (417) 224-1018. Email: lhamilton@drury.edu.

Ferrell-Duncan Clinic, Drury partner to enhance pre-med scholarship programs

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 24, 2015 — A generous new long-term financial commitment from Ferrell-Duncan Clinic will create three new programs supporting Drury University undergraduates seeking careers in the medical field.

The agreement strengthens the longtime connection between the clinic and the university, furthering both organizations’ mutual goal of enhancing the state of the healthcare industry in southwest Missouri. The deal is a win-win, bolstering Drury’s historically strong pre-med program while adding a valuable physician recruitment channel for the clinic.

The connections between Drury and Ferrell-Duncan run deep: Ferrell-Duncan co-founder Dr. Thomas Ferrell was a Drury alumnus; Dr. Loren Broaddus is a Life Trustee; and 10 Drury alumni currently serve as physicians at the clinic. The clinic is in partnership with CoxHealth, whose CEO Steve Edwards is a Drury alumnus and a current member of the Board of Trustees.

The five-year agreement provides a total of $30,000 annually for the following programs:

Loren Broaddus Medical Service Scholars – This initiative will build upon the Drury Health Services Corps (DHSC), which sends pre-med students to Jordan Valley Health Clinic for a structured volunteer experience. Drury will now expand that program and send students who have been through the first year of the DHSC to other medical facilities following their work at Jordan Valley. This is important because medical and other health professional schools value undergraduate volunteer experiences that focus on direct interactions with individuals seeking healthcare services.

Thomas Ferrell Medical Relief Travel Grants – These grants will provide funding for travel associated with participation in medical relief programs. Such efforts offer valuable opportunities for students to work with medical professionals providing healthcare to underserved populations. Students in these settings acquire professional experience in healthcare while gaining perspective with populations from varied socio-economic backgrounds.

Douglas Duncan Research Experience in the Natural Sciences (RENS) Fellowship – This program will provide summer funding for students in biomedical research under the direction of a member of the natural sciences faculty. Faculty members serve as mentors and advisors, and individual projects support the goals of a research program that is of scientific merit yet is appropriate for undergraduate students.

An additional portion of the agreement will place a practicing physician from Ferrell-Duncan Clinic in a fellowship position in Drury’s Department of Biology. The physician fellow will teach an annual course in clinical medicine, with lecture and clinical rotation experiences through Ferrell-Duncan, to third- and fourth-year pre-health sciences students.

Members of the Ferrell, Duncan and Broaddus families, along with leaders from CoxHealth, Ferrell-Duncan Clinic and Drury, gathered Thursday to celebrate the agreement.

Members of the Ferrell, Duncan and Broaddus families, along with leaders from CoxHealth, Ferrell-Duncan Clinic and Drury, gathered Thursday to celebrate the agreement.

“CoxHealth and Ferrell-Duncan Clinic are honored to establish this scholarship plan with the faculty, staff and students of Drury University,” said Steve Edwards, CEO and President of CoxHealth. “This legacy scholarship is a key component as these three institutions work cooperatively to prepare future healthcare professionals who will one day add their skills and talents to the Springfield area medical community.”

“I am extremely grateful to Ferrell-Duncan Clinic and the CoxHealth Board of Directors for their support of our pre-health sciences programs,” said Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “This agreement elevates a historical relationship into a true partnership. Coming together as community leaders in healthcare education and delivery offers a multi-dimensional opportunity to expand resources and recruitment for both Ferrell-Duncan and Drury.”

About Drury’s Pre-Health Sciences Programs

Drury has an outstanding track record in preparing students for admission into medical and other health-related professional programs. Excellence in the classroom, research opportunities, internships, and structured volunteer experiences give DU graduates a distinctive and measurable advantage. Each year, Drury sends approximately 20 students to medical school and another 20 to related health professional schools. There are more than 250 Drury graduates currently serving as healthcare professionals in southwest Missouri alone.


Media Contacts: Dr. Beth Harville, Dean, College of Natural & Mathematical Sciences. Office: (417) 873-4085; email: bharville@drury.eduDianne Johnson, Vice President of Development & Alumni Relations. Office: (417) 873-7303; email: djohnson021@drury.edu.