Drury offers live Christmas tree collection January 4 & 8

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 18, 2015 — Drury University is offering center city residents an easy and environmentally friendly option for disposal of live Christmas trees.

The collection, sponsored by Drury’s Facilities Services Department, will be open to the Drury community, the Midtown and Rountree neighborhoods, and downtown Springfield residents. Facilities Services staff kindly asks that only residents in these areas participate.

The tree collection will be held on Monday, January 4 and Friday, January 8, 2016, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All decorations must be removed and the live trees may be dropped at the Law Enforcement Academy building located on Bob Barker Boulevard, east of the Hammons School of Architecture (building 38 on the campus map).

The Christmas trees will be chipped by All About Trees and Drury’s Grounds staff. The mulch generated will be reused in various areas on the Drury campus.

Media Contact: Joe Fearn, Assistant Director of Grounds. Office: (417) 873-7414; email: jfearn@drury.edu.


Drury recognizes staff members for years of service, dedication

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., December 16, 2015 — Drury University recently recognized 22 staff members for milestone service anniversaries and dedication to the university. The university also presented the annual Distinguished Staff Service Award to Marline Faherty, Director of Academic Support Services.

35 Years

Barbara Cowherd – Associate Director of Athletics

25 Years

Jean Dishman – Receptionist

Gary Swadley – Director of Technology Services

20 Years

Mary Potthoff – Director of the Center for Gifted Education

15 Years

Becky Ahrens – Director of Financial Aid

Tim Casey – Science Program Coordinator

Cori Grunwaldt – Office Assistant

Jennifer Kirtlink – Benefits Manager

Eric Pannell – Assistant Director of Sports Information

Lisa Price – Purchasing Coordinator, Trustee Science Center

Tammy Rogers – Administrative Assistant

Melody Sanders – Administrative Assistant II

Scotti Siebert – Director of Human Resources

Robin Sprenger – Registration Services Coordinator I

10 Years

Andrea Battaglia – Director, Annual Giving & Alumni Relations

Alf Bilbao – Women’s Soccer Coach

Tony Bowers – Director of Law Enforcement Academy

Galina Meyle – Administrative Assistant II

Scott Puryear – Associate Athletic Director for Marketing & Communications

Tammy Shipp – Director, Off Campus Programs-Tulsa

Summer Stewart – Assistant Athletic Trainer

Susan Williams – Office Assistant


2015 Distinguished Staff Award

The Distinguished Staff Service Award was presented to Marline Faherty, Director of Academic Affairs Support Services. Faherty has been a staff member since 2007. She was recognized as an essential member of the Drury community and praised as someone who performs high-quality work with “an amazing Zen-like approach … kind, thoughtful, pleasant, and thorough.”

Marline Fahrety

Marline Fahrety

Faherty served as Drury’s Higher Learning Commission reporting liaison in an era of ever-increasing reporting responsibilities. In preparation for Drury’s 2010 accreditation review, she initiated a collaborative process with the Technology Services Department and each of the accreditation criterion teams to develop an electronic resource hub, which contained more than 2,000 pages of documents, visual exhibits and federal compliance assurance statements. The HLC site team characterized Drury’s resource room as one of the most complete, accessible and factually compelling that they had encountered in their 75 years of combined service as evaluators.

The Distinguished Staff Award was established in 2006 by two former employees/alumni to recognize one staff member’s exceptional accomplishments, leadership and service to the university each year. Staff members with at least two years of continuous service are eligible to be nominated for this award.


Drury awards degrees to 280 graduates at winter commencement

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 12, 2015 — Drury University awarded degrees to 280 graduates at its winter commencement ceremonies today. There were 261 undergraduate degrees conferred by both the traditional Day School and the College of Continuing Professional Studies; 23 graduate degrees were conferred by the Graduate College. Some students earned multiple degrees.

Area entrepreneur and longtime agriculture business executive Ed Mareth delivered the keynote speech. He told the graduates to focus on four bedrock values that will serve them well in an ever-changing world.

First, Mareth asked the graduates to be thankful and practice gratitude in their daily lives. Mareth said that for him personally, faith is an avenue for gratitude. But he stressed that the graduates should each find their own lens through which to focus their thankfulness.

Next, he stressed the importance of service to others. He urged the graduates to think of any role they take on as a way to serve others – not just in their careers, but also in their communities and even at home with their spouse or significant other.

“Do your best to be a servant, always,” Mareth said.

Love was Mareth’s third important value. He asked the graduates to practice the kind of unconditional love that expects nothing in return. Finally, he asked the graduates to be optimistic. Not only is the world changing quickly, he said, but it can also be frightening given recent current events. Mareth told the Class of 2015 to push aside fear in favor of hope.

“I want you to be optimistic about your opportunities,” he said. “The world needs people who have hope, people who have faith that there is more good than there is evil.”


Drury appoints Dr. Justin Leinaweaver as Director of Institutional Research

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 10, 2015 — Drury University has named Justin Leinaweaver as Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness. Leinaweaver holds a Ph.D. in political science from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, and has been an assistant professor of political science at Drury since 2012. He begins his new duties January 4.

Dr. Justin Leinaweaver

Dr. Justin Leinaweaver

In his new role, Dr. Leinaweaver will take the lead in developing and implementing analytic approaches that will support enrollment efforts, inform policy decisions and improve academic programs. He will oversee the collection and interpretation of a wide range of data that will assist the Drury community in identifying and understanding internal and external trends, opportunities, and challenges.

“Dr. Leinaweaver is the ideal person for this new position,” said Provost Dr. Steven Combs. “He understands higher education from the vantage point of a faculty member and a trained social scientist. His unique skills will enable him to use data to help us frame issues, articulate strategic priorities, and generate evidence-based decisions.”

“Drury has long emphasized the importance of making decisions supported by data,” Leinaweaver said. “I’m eager to use my skills to continue this good work in order that my colleagues can focus on what they do best: serving our students and our community through teaching, research, and civic engagement.”


Entrepreneur Ed Mareth to speak at winter commencement

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 7, 2015 — Drury University will confer nearly 300 degrees to graduates during its winter commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 12 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Entrepreneur and humanitarian Ed Mareth will deliver the commencement address to graduates.

Mareth has 25 years of professional experience in business management, entrepreneurship and private capital deployment, including executive management roles at three of the nation’s top agricultural companies. Mareth has been involved in multiple startup companies and humanitarian projects around the globe specializing in agriculture, technology, medical services, manufacturing and real estate. He is currently president of Mareth Enterprises, LLC, which he founded in 2002 and has holdings in socially responsible companies serving specialized markets.

Ed Mareth

Ed Mareth

Mareth holds five corporate board seats, serves on the Purdy R-II Board of Education, and directs Project Genesis of Purdy, a community economic development company that he and his wife, Julia, founded in 2008. Mareth graduated from Missouri State University with a BS in agricultural economics. He lives in Purdy with his wife and their three children.

Media: Members of the news media are invited to photograph or videotape the graduation ceremonies. Please contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers about coverage plans or for more information about 2015 graduates.

Public contact: Dr. John Taylor, (417) 873-6356, jtaylor3@drury.edu.


The Open Table: Food for the body & spirit

On most Tuesdays, you can find an ever-changing group of Drury students, faculty and staff enjoying fellowship and food at an inter-faith gathering called The Open Table.

Dr. Peter Browning, Drury’s chaplain and a professor of philosophy and religion for more than 20 years, hosts the long running series. The main draw is the diverse array of guest speakers who address a variety of topics and ideas through a lens of faith. Prayer, a bit of worship music and free pizza are also part of the mix.

“We chose the name ‘The Open Table’ because it communicates that we’re welcoming to everyone and we’re trying to learn about one another,” Browning says.

Dr. Peter Browning (standing), leads a discussion at The Open Table.

Dr. Peter Browning (standing), leads a discussion at a recent Open Table gathering on campus.

Primarily a Christian gathering, the lunchtime events feature speakers from the campus community as well as guests from around the Ozarks. Recent topics discussed include dealing with change in one’s life and focusing on gratitude.

Though a number of faith-oriented student groups exist on campus, The Open Table in particular reflects Drury’s historical connection with the Christian faith (the school was founded by Congregationalists, now the Church of Christ, in 1873) as well as the exchange of ideas that is a natural part of a liberal arts education.

“Once or twice a year, we will invite someone from a different faith tradition,” Browning says. “Last year, we had the new rabbi in town, Dr. Barbara Block, come and teach us about Jewish prayers.”

Drury freshman Jessica Knowles is now a regular attendee and she says that the short meeting time works well with her busy schedule, but her favorite part is the sense of fellowship she feels.

“I always feel really welcomed,” she says. “I went the first week and Dr. Browning already knew my name when I came back.”

Open Table prayer

“The Open Table is something I look forward to on a weekly basis,” says Lisa Luu, a senior music therapy major from Springfield who has attended throughout her four years. “I think the Open Table shows that Drury is accepting and inclusive of people of all faiths no matter what religious or non-religious background they are from.”

Robert McGinnis is a Drury staff member who is also a part time pastor at rural church near Bolivar. He attends The Open Table somewhat regularly and has spoken on a few occasions over the last several years, including a recent presentation comparing a person of faith’s life to the singing of a song.

Open Table hands

“To me it’s an opportunity to talk to a crowd that I normally wouldn’t be able to,” says McGinnis, a locksmith on Drury’s facilities staff. “It’s always my hope that I might be able to connect with people in ways that perhaps others aren’t able to.”

McGinnis said the intimate setting of the group allows for an inviting conversation, despite the often weighty subject matter.

“I think it fits in well with the Drury idea of the liberal arts because you have broad exposure to not only other faiths but other ways of thinking,” he says.

If you’re interested in speaking at The Open Table, contact Dr. Browning at pbrowning@drury.edu or (417) 873-7231.


Story by Chaniqua Crook, student writer, and Mike Brothers, director of media relations. 

Drury symphony and jazz groups to perform in Chicago this week

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 1, 2015 — Three Drury music groups are headed to the Windy City this week for public performances.

The Drury Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble I and Jazz Combo I will embark on an outreach tour to Chicago to perform at venues that include the University of Chicago, the John Hancock Building and the historic Fourth Presbyterian Church. As part of the Drury Connect initiative, the tour will help promote wider awareness of the university while connecting with alumni and prospective students in the area.

The Drury ensembles will also perform a joint concert with the Chicago Metamorphosis Orchestra Project (ChiMOP), an organization dedicated to positive social change in young students with limited access to the arts.

“I’m delighted our wind symphony and jazz ensemble students will have this opportunity,” says Dr. Christopher Koch, director of orchestras and wind symphony at Drury. “With much of the group returning after last spring’s strong performance at the Missouri Music Educators Association Conference, I wanted to give the students another opportunity to perform on a wider stage – and being able to connect with and help promote the ChiMOP will be something I know they will never forget.”

“Our jazz students will share the stage with the Wind Symphony and also hold some of their own performances,” says Dr. Tina Claussen, director of jazz studies at Drury. “The majority of the program is ‘new,’ featuring cutting edge works and arrangements of lesser-known jazz standards as well as original compositions written by myself and our students.”

The Wind Symphony will also play recently composed music and will host at least one of the composers, Nebojsa Macura, at their events. The group will perform Macura’s work, “Chochek Rhapsody,” while in Chicago.

“This tour demonstrates and celebrates the strong support for a robust arts program here at Drury,” says Dr. Allin Sorenson, chair of rine and performing arts. “The arts help to bring any community together, and in a complex world we need them more than ever.”


“Putting a Face to Veteran Homelessness” opens Dec. 4 on C-Street

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 24, 2015 — The Drury on C-Street Gallery will open its December exhibition, “Springfield Strong: Putting a Face to Veteran Homelessness,” with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4.

The reception is free and open to the public, with refreshments provided. Students from Drury’s Music Therapy association, Mu Theta, will provide musical entertainment. A silent auction will be held, with proceeds benefitting The Kitchen, Inc.’s Home At Last program, which aids homeless veterans.

“Clifton” – painting by Jessica Mahan

“Clifton” – painting by Jessica Mahan

Springfield residents Trysta Herzog and Jessica Mahan began Springfield Strong as a project to spark conversation, collaboration and advocacy for veterans who are, or were, homeless. Their project was born from the question, “What can I do?” For Herzog and Mahan, the answer was to use art and other media to tell the stories for those living with this issue. The exhibit consists of paintings and photographs of veterans as well as the display of an American flag flown during World War I and World War II.

The Kitchen, Inc.’s Home At Last program helps veterans and their families gain access to housing and social services. Considering the fact that veterans are twice as likely than the general population to become chronically homeless, Herzog and Mahan decided this issue should be brought to the community as a whole with hopes for more people asking themselves, “What can I do?”

The exhibition will run Friday, Dec. 4 through Friday, Dec. 11. Gallery viewing hours after the opening reception will be 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5. The gallery is located on 233 E. Commercial Street.

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


Ceramic mugs by art department faculty & alumni on sale next week

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 23, 2015 — Ceramic mugs created by three Drury alumni and faculty artists will be available for sale as part of fundraising efforts to install a new kiln on campus.

Mugs by artists David Cogorno ’06, Mari Moore-Mosby ’12, and James Walley ’13 are available for monetary gifts of $30 or more. The mugs will be available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Nov. 30 through Dec. 3 at the Pool Art Center, 940 N. Clay Ave., or by appointment. Contact David Cogorno at (314) 265-9688 or dcogorno@drury.edu for more information.


Proceeds will help fund the purchase of a new gas kiln for making ceramic art as well as a new exterior structure to house it. The new structure will be designed and built by students from Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture.

Direct donations for the project can also be sent to:

Drury University

The Pool Art Center: Kiln Project

900 N. Benton Ave.

Springfield, MO 65802


Thursday service at Stone Chapel to honor victims of terrorist attacks 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 18, 2015 — Drury University will hold service to honor and memorialize the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut at 11 a.m., Thursday, in the Stone Chapel sanctuary. The service is open to the public and media are welcome to cover it.

Drury’s Chamber Choir will perform two selections. Dr. Cathy Blunk, professor of French, will speak about the events in Paris. Elio Challita, a Drury student from Lebanon studying economics and biochemistry, will speak about the attacks in Beirut that occurred on Thursday and claimed more than 40 lives.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families and friends as well as to the people of both France and Lebanon at this difficult time,” says University Chaplain Dr. Peter Browning, who will lead the service. “We also wish to lift up the international students from these two countries who study at Drury. We will gather Thursday to acknowledge the loss, pray for those most deeply affected, and focus ourselves on the task of working to create a world where all may live in peace.”