Students present vision for Hazelwood Cemetery ahead of 150th anniversary

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 5, 2017 — A team of Drury architecture students is helping the City of Springfield envision the future of the largest municipally owned cemetery in the state of Missouri.

Hazelwood Cemetery will celebrate its 150th anniversary in October. As part of the city’s celebration of this event, the Springfield Public Works Department asked the Center for Community Studies at Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture to assist in a community-based visioning process to identify a long-term master plan for the cemetery.

The public is invited to a meeting at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, at the Schweitzer Brentwood Branch Library to hear recommendations that have resulted from a community input process.

A group of eight third-year architecture students have spent the past several months working closely with city staff and a citizen advisory committee to assess current conditions and challenges, research cultural practices and trends in the funeral industry, and identify the community’s wants and needs. A few of the recommendations that will be discussed are: consideration of a new main entry off Sunset Street, a new cemetery office/maintenance complex, a “Celebration of Life Center,” development of columbarium and sprinkle-gardens, and establishment of a commemorative monument for the cemetery’s 150th anniversary.

The Drury team will use presentation boards, videos, and models to help illustrate these recommendations. The architecture students were supervised by Professor Jay Garrott, director of the Center for Community Studies, with the assistance of Jeff Barber, environmental design state specialist with the University of Missouri-Extension.

The citizen advisory committee and city staff will continue to oversee development of the plan for throughout the summer with the intent of presenting the final vision at the October celebration of the cemetery’s 150th anniversary.


Media Contact: Jay Garrott, Professor of Architecture & Director of the Center for Community Studies: (417) 873-7371 or

Cybersecurity workshop for small businesses to be held Thursday at Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 2, 2017 — Drury professor Dr. Shannon McMurtrey and several of his graduate-level students in the Breech School of Business will offer a free workshop on “Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small Businesses” from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 4, in Room 200 in the Breech building.

Information security is a top priority for anyone who owns or manages a business. The session will cover steps today’s small business leaders can take to protect their operations and their customers’ data. Dr. McMurtrey, an award-winning cybersecurity expert, will facilitate the session. There will be time for Q&A at the end, and light refreshments will be provided.

“One of the most pressing concerns for many small businesses owners today is protecting their systems and data from hackers,” McMurtrey says. “Graduate students in the Drury Cybersecurity Leadership program will share their research in areas important to small businesses, including information security policy, social engineering attack vectors, and cyber-warfare.”

For more information or to RSVP for the event, call (417) 873-7508.

About the Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate program

Today’s employers are seeking leaders who understand how to protect, detect, defend, and respond to cybersecurity attacks. That is why Drury now offers a graduate-level certificate in cybersecurity leadership. The new Cybersecurity Leadership coursework can be completed in one year and is designed to serve students of all backgrounds. In addition to gaining knowledge of the fundamentals of information security, students also acquire a strong foundation in risk and risk management.

For more information, visit:


Media Contact: Dr. Shannon McMurtrey, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems: (417) 873-7242 or

Jack Prim & Bill Prince to address Drury spring graduates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 2, 2017 — Jack Henry & Associates Executive Chairman Jack Prim and Greene County Family Court Administrator Bill Prince will deliver the keynote addresses to graduates at Drury University’s two commencement ceremonies next week.

Bill Prince will speak at the ceremony for the College of Continuing Professional Studies and the College of Graduate Studies at 6:30 p.m., Friday, May 12. Jack Prim will address graduates of Drury’s traditional residential college at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 13. Both events will be held at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.


Jack Prim became executive chairman for Jack Henry & Associates in 2016. The Monett-based company is a leading provider of computer systems and electronic payment solutions for the financial services industry. Prim began his career in the financial industry in 1977 as a sales representative and joined Jack Henry in 1995. He was appointed chief operating officer in 2001, where he focused the company’s operations on customer satisfaction and consistent growth. He was named president in 2003, CEO in 2004, and chairman of the board in 2012. Prim holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Queens University. He serves on the boards of CoxHealth in Springfield and the YMCA in Monett, where he lives.



Bill Prince has been the family court administrator and chief juvenile officer for Greene County since August 2015. He is responsible for overseeing the division’s day-to-day operations and long-range strategy, as well as coordinating with judges, attorneys, and outside agencies to meet the community’s juvenile and family justice needs. Prior to assuming the administrator role, Prince served as senior legal counsel for 17 years, addressing matters related to abuse and neglect, parental rights, delinquency, and juvenile offenses in the courtroom. Prince is an adjunct instructor for Drury’s Breech School of Business, teaching courses in corporate policy and responsibility, international business and society, and law. He is also an instructor with Drury’s Law Enforcement Academy. Prince holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Denver, and a J.D. from the University of Missouri. He serves on the Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Combatting Human Trafficking, is a past president of the board for Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, and is a past fellow with the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.


Annual 531 Challenge offers an opportunity to invest in Drury students

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 26, 2017 — Drury University alumni and friends have an opportunity to make their support for tomorrow’s leaders go even further during the annual 531 Challenge during the month of May.

Now in its fourth year, the 531 Challenge is an intense month of fundraising before the end of the fiscal year on May 31. All donations made to Drury during May count toward the 531 Challenge, which does not have a specific dollar goal but rather seeks to boost participation amongst donors. Donations support the Annual Drury Experience Fund, which provides money for student scholarships and financial aid.

The 531 Challenge once again features a generous matching gift, this time from Walter and Susan George and the George Family Foundation. Susan is a 1980 Drury graduate. Walter earned a Drury degree in 1979 and is a member of Drury’s Board of Trustees. The Foundation will make a gift of $50,000 if at least 531 people give, regardless of the amount, during the Challenge.

“We feel like this challenge is a great way for all Drury alumni to participate in the future of the university, and to invest in the transformational power of a Drury degree,” Walter and Susan George say. “It affords all of us who have benefited from a Drury education an opportunity to lead by example, and to make the future just that much brighter for the students who will be tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.”


For more information about giving, go to or call the Office of University Advancement at (417) 873-7353.


Media Contact: Andrea Battaglia – Director, Annual Fund & Alumni Relations: (417) 873-7353 or

Meador Center invites leading experts to weigh in on “Trump at 100 Days”

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 25, 2017 — Drury’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship will bring five leading scholars and observers of American politics to campus Thursday for a panel discussion titled “Trump at 100 Days.” The discussion is the final event of the Meador Center’s “45 Series: Conversations on the 2016 Presidential Election and the New Administration.”

The panel will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 27, in the Diversity Center (the former Washington Avenue Church) on Drury Lane. The event is free and open to the public. The panelists will offer some reflections on the progress of the new administration and then engage in conversation.

“This group will bring a variety of viewpoints to the table Thursday,” says Dr. Daniel Ponder, L.E. Meador Chair of Political Science and director of the Meador Center. “Their expertise ranges from party politics to the inner workings of the White House to Congress. We’re living through a somewhat unusual moment with respect to all of those institutions right now, and it’s important for citizens to have a keen grasp of how they’re all interacting with one another as the country moves ahead.”

The five guests have published numerous books, articles, and essays, are considered go-to experts in their field for political analysis. Three of the five have won the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) Neustadt Prize honoring the best book on the presidency, and several write for national blogs.

The panelists include:

azariJulia Azari, associate professor of political science at Marquette University. Azari is the author of the 2014 book “Delivering the People’s Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate” and is a regular contributor at the political science blog The Mischiefs of Faction, as well as at and Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog and in Politico.



hultKaren M. Hult, chair of the department of political science at Virginia Tech University. Recognized as one of the foremost experts on the inner workings of the White House, Hult is co-author (with Charles Walcott, another panelist) of “Governing the White House: From Hoover Through LBJ,” which won the 1996 Neustadt Prize honoring the best book on the presidency.



leeFrances E. Lee, professor of government at the University of Maryland. Lee is widely considered one of the leading experts on congressional politics and has received numerous accolades and honors in the field, including the American Political Science Association’s Richard F. Fenno Award for the best book on legislative politics in 2009. She has been a Fellow at the Brookings Institution and served as a Congressional Fellow.



rudalevigeAndrew Rudalevige, professor of government at Bowdoin College in Maine. Rudalevige has published numerous articles, essays, and book chapters, and has contributed to the Monkey Cage blog. His book “Managing the President’s Program: Presidential Leadership and Legislative Policy Formulation” won the 2003 Neustadt Prize. His most recent book is “The New Imperial Presidency: Renewing Presidential Power after Watergate” and he is currently engaged in a large-scale study of unilateral powers in the presidency.



walcottCharles E. Walcott, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech. Walcott has won several teaching and research awards, including the Neustadt Prize. His research and writings have been published in a variety of outlets including the American Journal of Political Science, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere. He has served as President of the Presidency and Executive Politics organized section of APSA, and was co-editor of the journal Congress and the Presidency.



The Meador Center panel event is also part of CHASS Week, celebrating Drury’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the week, visit the CHASS page at


Arbor Day celebration to be held at Drury University on Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 20, 2017 — Drury University will celebrate Arbor Day and its designation as a Tree Campus USA during a public event at 2 p.m. Friday in the Hoblit Suite in Freeman Hall. The event is part of Drury’s Earth Day celebration.

The Arbor Day Foundation has designated Drury a “Tree Campus USA” for the third year in a row. Cindy Garner of the Missouri Department of Conservation will discuss the history of Arbor Day and Drury Head Groundskeeper Joe Fearn will give an update on the urban forest across the campus. Russell Hinnah, with the MDC and National Arbor Day Foundation State Coordinator, will present the Tree Campus award. Drury students will perform original poetry and music, and Drury Trustee Lyle Reed will also give remarks. A proclamation from City of Springfield declaring the day “Drury ArborDay 2017” will be presented as well.

Drury’s urban forest accounts for more than $1.2 million in capital assets. There are more than 1,000 trees and 90 species on campus.


Media Contact: Joe Fearn, Assistant Director – Grounds: (417) 873-7414 or

Seven foreign language students receive C.W. Titus Foundation Scholarships

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 18, 2017 — Seven Drury students have been selected to receive $2,000 scholarships from the C.W. Titus Foundation to study French over the summer at the Institut de Touraine in Tours, France. Each student will live with a French host family and must study 22.5 hours of French per week for four weeks.

Since 2008, the C.W. Titus Foundation has supported 60 Drury students studying foreign language abroad for a total of $135,000. This year’s recipients include Erica Cervantes, Charles Terrana, Lindsay Duede, Grace Elbon, Madeline Smith, Mallory Pinson, and Christina Faoro. The average GPA of the recipients is 3.8.

The students will talk about their experiences abroad during presentations next fall at the Schweitzer Brentwood Branch Library as part of the library’s Travelogue series.

For more information about the Department of Languages and Literature visit:

Left to right: Erica Cervantes, Charles Terrana, Lindsay Duede, Grace Elbon, Michael Davison (center), Madeline Smith, and Mallory Pinson. Not pictured: Christina Faoro.

Left to right: Erica Cervantes, Charles Terrana, Lindsay Duede, Grace Elbon, Michael Davison (center), Madeline Smith, and Mallory Pinson. Not pictured: Christina Faoro.


Contact: Dr. Patrick Moser, Professor of French: (417) 873-6957 or

Phi Kappa Phi installation ceremony to be held at Drury on April 23

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 18, 2017 — The Drury University chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi will hold its initiation ceremony at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, in Stone Chapel. This year’s class of initiates includes 51 students and eight faculty and staff.

Membership in Phi Kappa Phi is by invitation only to the top 7.5 percent of juniors and the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students based on GPA, along with faculty, professional staff, and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction. Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society, founded in 1897 at the University of Maine.

Phi Kappa Phi awards $1.4 million each biennium to qualifying students and members through graduate fellowships, undergraduate study abroad grants, member and chapter awards, and grants for local and national literacy initiatives.

More than 1.25 million members have been initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Some of the organization’s more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, novelist David Baldacci, and YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley.


Drury to add shotgun shooting to competitive athletics lineup next year

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 18, 2017 — Drury University will introduce shooting sports to its lineup of non-NCAA sports next year. Coed shotgun shooting will become the school’s fifth non-NCAA sport starting in fall 2017.

The shotgun team will compete in skeet, trap and clay. Shotgun shooting will primarily be a spring sport, though some competitions will take place in the fall as well. Scholarships are available. Prospective students interested in learning more about the shotgun team can contact the Drury Admissions Office at (417) 873-7205 and, or visit

Ruck shooting

Bass Pro Shops will offer support for the new program by allowing the Drury team practice time at its Bass Pro Shops Shooting Academy facility at Big Cedar Lodge.

Tom Ruck will serve as head coach for Drury’s shooting sports program. Ruck is from Chesterfield, Missouri, and has more than 40 years experience as an instructor and competitor. He was a member of USA Shooting’s international skeet shooting team and been a medalist at the state, regional and national level in several disciplines of shooting competitions.

“The opportunity to start at the ground-floor and build this program is one of the things that made this an attractive opportunity,” said Ruck. “With the support of Drury’s athletics department, it has the chance to be very successful. I’ve always enjoyed working with young people and I’m looking forward to teaching people the things that have taken me 40 years to learn in this sport.”

Ruck has earned multiple All-American honors in skeet shooting, and sporting clays and is a certified instructor with the National Sporting Clays Association, the National Skeet Shooting Association and FITACS, the international form of sporting clays. Ruck has spent his professional career in the printing industry and is currently the president of Office Systems, Inc., in the St. Louis area.

Tom Ruck

Tom Ruck

Shotgun joins other recent additions of non-NCAA programs at Drury such as bass fishing, bowling, triathlon and stunt. Non-NCAA sports allow students to participate in a wider variety of intercollegiate competition beyond mainline athletics. The expansion continues Drury’s tradition of providing a wide range of outlets for students’ interests beyond the classroom, and will give current and incoming students even more options to consider.

“We’re excited to continue to expand our competitive athletics offerings at Drury,” said Director of Athletics Mark Fisher. “The Ozarks has a rich tradition of outdoor sports like hunting and fishing. This is a great fit for Drury and for our culture here in southwest Missouri and across the Midwest.”

Shooting sports at the collegiate level are growing in popularity. Similar schools in Missouri with shooting programs include Lindenwood University, Missouri S&T, the University of Central Missouri, and Columbia College – though not all of those programs are under their school’s athletics department umbrella, as will be the case at Drury.


Four of five finalists for SPS Teacher of the Year are Drury graduates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 17, 2017 — Drury University’s commitment to outstanding teacher education will be evident as Springfield Public Schools prepares to name its 2017 Teacher of the Year at a banquet tonight. That’s because four of the five finalists for Teacher of the Year are Drury graduates.

Three of the finalists earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Drury, while a fourth earned a graduate degree. The four teachers are:

Betsy Cannella, an art teacher at Glendale High School. Cannella earned a B.Arch. in Architecture from Drury in 2006 and Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2008.

Jenny Talburt, a fourth grade teacher at Pershing Elementary School. Talburt earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from Drury in 2001 and Master of Education in Special Reading in 2008.

Gretchen Teague, a communication arts teacher at Central High School. Teague earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Drury in 2006.

Kevin Zimmerman, an art teacher at Harrison Elementary School. Zimmerman earned a B.A. in Fine Arts and Secondary Education from Drury in 2007 and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in 2010.

_w3a9062-editTeague and Cannella remain connected to Drury, as they are currently involved with the longstanding annual summer camps hosted by Drury’s Center for Gifted Education. Talburt is an adjunct instructor at Drury.

“We are so incredibly proud of what these teachers have accomplished in the classroom this year, and throughout their careers,” says Laurie Edmondson, dean of Drury’s School of Education and Child Development. “It’s a testament to Drury to see the kind of impact they are making in the lives of the students. This is exactly why we do what we do each day.”

Vocal music teacher Daniel Gutierrez is the fifth finalist. The finalists were selected from a pool of 77 nominations, according to SPS, and the winner will be eligible to compete at the regional level. Nominated teachers submit an essay describing their philosophy of teaching, which a selection committee uses to choose candidates to participate in face-to-face interviews with the committee. To be eligible, a teacher must have worked for at least four years as a teacher at SPS.

The annual awards banquet is hosted by the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools.

For more information about undergraduate and graduate education programs at Drury, visit:

UPDATE: Congratulations to Daniel Gutierrez on taking home Teacher of the Year honors.