Drury named a “Military Friendly School” for fourth straight year

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 23, 2014 — For the fourth year in a row, Victory Media has recognized Drury University as a Military Friendly School. The 2015 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.

“Earning the 2014-2015 Military Friendly Schools designation puts Drury University in the top 20 percent of all eligible schools approved for G.I. Bill funding, and it tells prospective military students that Drury is pre-vetted with leading programs and policies to support military students,” says Sean Collins, Vice President at Victory Media, adjudicator of Military Friendly ratings and publisher of G.I. Jobs.

The Military Friendly Schools website (www.militaryfriendly.com) 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.

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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 11 branch locations is at Fort Leonard Wood.

“Being in the service can give a person the feelings of a fast-paced and stressful environment,” says Katelyn Vernon, president 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. The staff is knowledgeable of all the requirements from the Veterans Administration, which ensures everything is processed quickly and smoothly. 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 www.drury.edu/military.

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Students & faculty celebrate Banned Books Week with readings

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 22, 2014 — Drury University will observe Banned Books Week from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 25, as students, faculty and staff will read aloud selections from books that are often in censors’ crosshairs. The readings will take place on the steps of Olin Library. Organized by the English honors society, Sigma Tau Delta, the event is open to the public.

Many American classics have been on lists of frequently challenged books, including “The Great Gatsby,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” as well as modern-day bestsellers such as “Harry Potter” and even “The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Banned books stack

“Banned Books Week isn’t so much a protest as a celebration of great books that many haven’t heard of until they are banned,” said Dr. Kevin Henderson, professor of English and advisor to Sigma Tau Delta. “We don’t read selections to be merely provocative; we read to suggest the power and complexity of literature that sometimes gets reduced to a few offending words or scenes when it is placed a banned book list.”

Banned Books Week was started in 1982 by the American Library Association to draw attention to an increasing number of book censorships and challenges seen in communities across the country. Universities and libraries nationwide now celebrate Banned Books Week each year.

“In a country that explicitly values freedom of expression, it seems ridiculous that censorship is even still an issue,” said Alexis Dutt, vice president of Sigma Tau Delta. “Banned book readings celebrate authors who took risks and the readers who demand to make their own decisions on what they want to read.”

In addition to the readings, members of Sigma Tau Delta are also promoting a book drive this year for the Little Free Library project organized by Professor Jo Van Arkels’ CORE 101 class. The public can donate new and used copies of children’s books, young adult fiction and nonfiction, and literary classics during the event. The recently constructed Little Library will also be on display.

For more information, contact Dr. Kevin Henderson.

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Music professor wins statewide award for original composition

Dr. Carlyle Sharpe is both a professor and practitioner of music composition. His students have long recognized what he brings to the table as a teacher, and his peers have often recognized his talents as a composer – including a recent statewide nod.

Sharpe, professor of music composition and theory, was this summer honored with the Opus Award from the Missouri Choral Directors Association for his original composition, “Psalm 8.”

The award is presented annually to a Missouri composer with the most outstanding choral composition, nominated and voted on by members of the Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA). Sharpe’s piece was written in honor of the 75th Anniversary Convention of MMEA, and was performed by the Boys Choir of Springfield under the direction of Mark Lawley, director of music education at Drury.

Sharpe has numerous awards in choral, solo, orchestral and combination pieces, but his favorite part of composing is the creative process behind it.

“The award is icing on the cake, but the cake is the process of composing and the rehearsal of it,” he says. “You have it in your head a certain way — so what’s magical about it is when it lines up the way you envisioned it and the music comes to life.”

Carlyle Sharpe

A working composer, Sharpe teaches composition lessons, music theory and ear training courses at Drury, while he composes original music at home.

“I love teaching college students because its keeps you young and engaged,” Sharpe says. “I use the principles and theories I teach in my own work, and I think students appreciate that the person educating them is also practicing those techniques outside of the classroom.”

Every piece he composes comes with its own challenges, but Sharpe values both the Drury and Springfield communities for their continuous support and appreciation of the arts. Springfield and Drury ensembles have performed 30 of Sharpe’s works.

Dr. Allin Sorenson, professor of music and director of Drury Singers says, “There’s incredible value in having the composer directly work with the performers because he is able to provide insight into the music that is usually unavailable to musicians.”

Now entering his 15th year at Drury, Sharpe has seen the music department grow from just 17 music majors to about 100 music majors and minors — a record high.

“Seeing all the exciting potential at Drury and watching the potential come to fruition is incredible,” Sharpe says. “We are still relatively small, but we’re doing things on a big scale. We may be small, but we don’t think small.”

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and Writing major at Drury. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Humanities & Ethics Center presents #humgoespop this fall

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 19, 2014 — Drury University’s Humanities & Ethics Center has announced its fall calendar of events, including a book series, a film series in conjunction with the Moxie Cinema, and a speaker series. All activities are open to the public.

The theme for the upcoming year is #humgoespop or “Humanities Goes Pop,” which seeks to highlight how popular culture explores the study of human culture.

Now in its second year, the Humanities & Ethics Center hopes to engage students and local residents by promoting open discussions about various humanistic ideas and values. The Center’s innovative outreach efforts are in part a response to misperceptions about the field in light of a national focus on science, technology and business education during tough economic times. Discussions about values and ethics in many ways become even more essential during such times, say faculty.

“The Humanities are not mere ‘ivory tower’ issues, but the central questions of morality, memory, existence and character that ordinary people grapple with every day,” says Dr. Richard Schur, professor of English at Drury. “Attending the Center’s events makes humanities inquiry come alive and helps us understand how historical, religious, philosophical, and literary debates affect us in our everyday lives.”

“Humanities Goes Pop” Fall 2014 event calendar

Sept. 23, noon – Book Discussion Series – Harwood Reading Room, Olin Library

“Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” by Burt Royal

Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m. – Humanities Night at the Theatre – Wilhoit Theater

“Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead”

Discussion of the play led by Dr. Peter Meidlinger (English) and Madison Spencer (Theater)

Oct. 25, 1 p.m. – Moxie Film Series – Moxie Cinema

“On The Waterfront”

Dr. Kevin Henderson (English) will lead a discussion following the film

Oct. 28, noon – Book Discussion Series – Harwood Reading Room, Olin Library

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

Nov. 6, 11 a.m. – Thinking Aloud Series – Olin Room, Olin Library

Dr. Patrick Moser, “Research in the Classroom”

Nov. 8, 1 p.m. – Moxie Film Series – Moxie Cinema

“The Spirit of the Beehive”

Dr. Heidi Backes (Spanish) will lead a discussion following the film.

Nov. 15, 1 p.m. – Moxie Film Series – Moxie Cinema

“Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”

Dr. Peter Meidlinger (English) and Jess Heugel will lead a discussion following the film

Academic programs under Drury’s humanities division include communication, English, history, languages, library science and philosophy & religion. For more information about the Humanities at Drury or upcoming events, visit the division’s web page, read the “Human, All Too Human” blog, or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

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CoxHealth CEO to speak at Founders Day convocation Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 16, 2014 — CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards, a Drury alumnus and trustee, will speak at 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 18 in Stone Chapel as part of the University’s Founders Day convocation.

Edwards will present “The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse,” a title borrowed from Walt Whitman’s poem, “O Me! O Life!” Edwards graduated from Drury in 1988 and was elected to the University’s Board of Trustees in 2012. He currently serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including: the Springfield-Greene County Health Commission, Forest Institute, Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, Cox College, Voluntary Hospitals of America, Missouri Hospital Association and Springfield Innovation, Inc.

Founders Day celebrates the tradition of giving back to Drury and honors the generosity of those who give their time, talent and resources to the University.

“The Founders Day Convocation has historically celebrated those individuals – past and present – whose generosity of spirit and support provide the foundation on which Drury’s very bright future rests,” said Dr. Charles Taylor, vice president for academic affairs. “Their commitment to Drury’s mission of providing an education of the ‘first rank’ that integrates liberal and professional learning in the service of engaged global citizenship is humbling, and it’s appropriate that we pause each year to remember and to celebrate that commitment.”

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American Bar Association past president and 1969 Drury alumnus to speak

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 11, 2014 —One of the country’s top lawyers will return to his alma mater next week to help celebrate the American government’s foundational document.

James Silkenat, a 1969 Drury graduate and immediate past president of the American Bar Association, will help the campus observe Constitution Day. He will speak at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Lay Hall Auditorium. The event is sponsored by Drury, the Springfield Bar Association and Drury’s pre-law society, Phi Alpha Delta.

Constitution Day is Sept. 17, marking the day the landmark document forming the basis of American government was ratified in 1787. Federal law requires educational institutions receiving federal funds to hold an observation of Constitution Day each year.

“Mr. Silkenat’s impressive and diverse background exemplifies the best of a liberal arts education such as that offered by Drury,” says Dr. Dan Ponder, professor of political science at Drury.

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Silkenat is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute, has served as a Fellow in the U.S. State Department Scholar/Diplomat Program and was a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. His career has focused primarily on rule of law, civil rights and international law. During his tenure as president of the ABA, Silkenat focused on access to justice, immigration, jobs for lawyers, court funding, voting rights and gun violence issues.

The following day, Ponder will give a talk comparing the two main ways the U.S. Supreme Court interprets the Constitution: original intent versus the concept of a living, evolving document. The talk will be held at noon on Sept. 17 at Findlay Student Center.

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Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra kicks off 10th season Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 9, 2014 —The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra kicks off its 10th season with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12 at Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

The season includes three performances and will feature internationally renowned pianist Anthony Padilla performing the beloved Grieg Piano Concerto, Drury’s own Stephen Bomgardner in the beautiful and rarely performed “On Wenlock Edge,” and a side-by-side performance with the Springfield Youth Symphony of the conclusion of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

“The SDCO has presented dozens of concerts for more than 18,000 patrons over the last decade and we are thrilled enter a new season this weekend,” says Dr. Christopher Koch, SDCO music director and conductor. “By bringing students from Drury and other schools together with musicians from throughout the community, the SDCO uses the arts to further Drury’s mission of community engagement.”

Tickets for Friday’s concert are available at the Hammons Hall box office by calling (417) 836-7678 or online at: hammonshall.com/ticketservices.htm. Tickets are $12 adults, $10 seniors, $6 students with ID, kids ages 11 and under free.

About the Orchestra

The SDCO is southwest Missouri’s regional community orchestra. Founded in 2005, the 90-plus-member ensemble comprises a combination of Drury students, students from other southwest Missouri regional universities, professional performers and educators, and dedicated community members. The SDCO presents multiple performances of orchestral masterworks each year. SDCO is also in the third year of its Charles R. Hall Young Artist Competition, in which gifted high school musicians from southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas compete for the opportunity to perform with the orchestra.

For more information, visitsdco.drury.eduor find SDCO on Facebookand on YouTube.

SDCO 2014-15 Season Schedule

Friday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. at Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts

  • Strauss – “Death and Transfiguration”
  • Grieg – Piano Concerto with Anthony Padilla, piano
  • Mozart – “Ah chi mi dice mai” from “Don Giovanni” with Sammi Sherron, soprano

Sunday, Nov. 2, 6 p.m. at Drury’s Clara Thompson Hall

  • Vaughn Williams – “On Wenlock Edge” with Stephen Bomgardner, tenor
  • Mozart – Symphony No. 39

Monday, May 4, 2015, 7:30 p.m. at Hammons Hall

  • Charles R. Hall Young Artist Award winner
  • Stravinsky – Symphony No. 1
  • Mussorgsky – “Pictures at an Exhibition” Finale with the Springfield Youth Symphony

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Drury is 8th in the Midwest 2015 U.S. News & World Report rankings

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 9, 2014 —U.S. News & World Report has once again ranked Drury among the Midwest’s top colleges and universities for both quality and value in its “Best Colleges 2015” publication, released today.

Drury is ranked No. 8 in the Midwest in the U.S. News “Best Regional Universities” list. This is the same position Drury held last year, after jumping up from No. 11 the prior year. Drury earned outstanding marks for its small class sizes, with the highest percentage of classes under 20 students (71 percent) and the lowest student-to-faculty ratio on the list. Drury is the highest-ranked university in the state of Missouri on this year’s list.

Additionally, Drury is ranked No. 1 in the Midwest on the U.S. News “Great Schools, Great Prices” list and is ranked No. 3 on its 2015 “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.

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,” says Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “It’s especially gratifying to be on top of the ‘Great Schools, Great Prices’ list and to be recognized for the incredible value of a Drury degree. The accomplishments of our faculty and the career outcomes of our graduates reflect the value that Drury delivers.”

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.

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Students find valuable internship experience in Washington, D.C.

Drury University’s partnership with a Washington, D.C., organization has been giving students the chance to complete high-profile internships for decades.

The Washington Center allows undergrads to live in the nation’s capital, gain professional work experience and receive class credit to stay on track for graduation. Drury has been working with The Washington Center for about 30 years and typically sends three or four students a year.

Dr. Dan Ponder, professor of political science and Drury liaison for The Washington Center, encourages all majors to consider this program.

“Students coming from a liberal arts school like Drury have great critical thinking skills, the ability to adapt, and are sensitive to the world outside their major,” Ponder says. “That serves them well for their internship. Whether you’re in theater, business, communications, political science, etc., you will be matched at an internship site that works for you and you’ll get an invaluable experience from working in a city like D.C.”

In the past, students have interned with lobbying firms, finance companies, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, nonprofits in the area, and more. Others have worked directly with members of Congress.

Students interested in The Washington Center submit an application, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and receive approval from the university’s program liaison. Students also submit an interest form to the Center, which is used to match them with potential internship sites in D.C. During the fall and spring semesters, students pay Drury tuition, housing costs, and an administrative fee, but all scholarships and loans still apply. Students room with other undergrads at the Center who come from colleges across the country.

Mai Baldwin, a senior international political studies and French major, spent Spring 2014 at the Washington Center and interned with the Wilson Center. She extended her D.C. stay and interned at the Aspen Institute over the summer.

Mai Baldwin

Mai Baldwin

During the spring, Baldwin was enrolled in 12 upper division hours through Drury. She also attended academic and leadership seminars during her stay.

Baldwin, who hopes to attend law school after graduation, focused on students’ access to higher education during her time at the Center. She even brought back a workshop to Drury that helps students study for the LSAT free of charge, a concept modeled off a nonprofit in D.C.

“After the spring, I ended up with a summer job offer because of my work during the semester,” Baldwin says. “It really shows that if you’re diligent, put yourself out there and meet new people, opportunities will come. I had a lot of personal development from being outside of my comfort zone and it gave me a different perspective of the world.”

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and Writing major at Drury.

Country singer Chris Young comes to OFEC on Nov. 22

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 2, 2014 —The O’Reilly Family Event Center and KTTS are pleased to announce country singer Chris Young, along with openers Lindsay Ell and the Mark Chapman Band, will perform at the venue on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 5 and will cost $39.50 each. Tickets are available online at www.drurytickets.com or by calling the OFEC box office at (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

The Grammy-nominated Tennessee native has just released a brand new single titled “Lonely Eyes.” It’s the third single from his latest album, “A.M.” and follows Young’s sixth No. 1 single, “Who I Am With You.” Young has had a string of other No. 1 singles since 2009, including “You,” “Tomorrow,” “Voices,” and “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song).” His last two albums have each cracked the Top 5 of the Billboard Top 200 chart.

Chris Young

Young has toured with Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley, and was chosen by George Straight to open selected dates on the country legend’s “Cowboy Rides Away” farewell tour.

For more information about Young, visit: www.chrisyoungcountry.com. For more information about Lindsay Ell, visit: http://lindsayell.com.

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