Solar Decathlon team sets sights on 2015 national competition, fundraising

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 7, 2014 — The race is on for the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team. In less than a year, the student-led team of more than 50 undergraduates will be in Irvine, Calif., competing against groups from Yale, Vanderbilt, Missouri S&T and more in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2015.

The competition challenges collegiate teams to design, engineer, market and construct solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. While all teams will be building homes that are “green,” the Crowder-Drury team has self-imposed the additional challenge of making its home disaster resilient following the devastation of the 2011 Joplin tornado.

The Department of Energy requires teams to take a multi-disciplinary approach, which has drawn students from a variety of majors. Students from Crowder College’s Alternative Energy Program have teamed up with peers at Drury’s Hammons School of Architecture for the concept and design phases. They’re joined by business, communication and art students who are tasked with helping market the project. The team’s website is now live.

Team seeks funding

The team has also secured several crucial gifts and in-kind donations to help make the project a reality. While the Dept. of Energy provides a stipend for some aspects of the competition, the teams themselves need to raise approximately $250,000 for materials and construction, as well as transportation of the team and house itself to California. Right now, the Crowder-Drury total is approximately $115,000, or about 46 percent of the overall goal.

Major gifts so far include:

  • Springfield-based transportation company TCSI Transland, Inc., has donated the use of three semi-trucks to haul the materials to California – a value of approximately $24,000. TCSI CEO Mark Walker ’79 is a Drury University alumnus and has participated in four Solar Decathlons in the past.
  • An anonymous gift of $20,000.
  • Community Bank and Trust in Neosho has donated $10,000.
  • Drury’s Student Government Association has directed $30,000 for use by the team.

“The Solar Decathlon is one of the best forms of applied learning I’ve seen,” says TCSI Transland CEO Walker. “It also increases public awareness of the importance and practicality of using renewable natural resources in public housing. All of us at Transland are excited about the responsibility of safely transporting the Crowder-Drury Team house to Irvine.”

Those interested in supporting the project with a gift or in-kind donation can contact Traci Sooter, associate professor of architecture, at (417) 873-7416.

The public can follow updates from the Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team on Facebook and Twitter, in addition to the


Drury, SPS partner to offer Developing Success in Youth conference for educators

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 7, 2014 — Drury University will partner with Springfield Public Schools this Tuesday, November 11, to present the 14th annual Developing Success in Youth conference on the DU campus.

This year’s keynote speaker is Jay McTighe, a national presenter and published author on increasing understanding and retention in the classroom. McTighe, who is known for authoring the book “Understanding by Design,” will address the difference between educational standards and district curricula, emphasizing the role of the teacher in connecting the two.

In addition, Drury faculty will conduct afternoon breakout sessions on topics ranging from the Common Core State Standards to the use of Virtual Reality in the classroom.

The material will be relevant to all K-12 educators and administrators. The full cost is $150. A discounted rate of $125 per individual is offered for groups of five or more from a given school, and university students are welcome at $25.

More than one hundred educators from across Missouri have already registered to attend. Information on the conference and online registration can be found at, or by contacting Dr. Kristofor Wiley, assistant professor of education, at (417) 873-6397 or


Drury & Student Veterans of America to hold Veterans Day ceremony

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 6, 2014 — Drury University and the Drury chapter of Student Veterans of America will hold a public Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 11 at the Armed Forces Plaza outside of the O’Reilly Family Event Center. The event will be held inside the OFEC in case of inclement weather.

The featured speaker will be Bryce Lockwood, Senior Vice Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Lockwood is a retired U.S. Marine and survivor of the attack on the USS Liberty during the Six Day War of 1967. The ceremony will include a presentation of the colors by the Ozark High School ROTC Color Guard and patriotic music performed by the Bear Brass 135th Army Band and the Drury Chamber Choir.

Lockwood will present a proclamation designating Drury University an official supporter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. This symbolic designation embodies Drury’s 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.

The commitment continues today. Earlier this fall, Drury was named a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media and was ranked No. 3 in the Midwest on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges for Veterans” list. These independent rankings affirm Drury’s commitment to supporting higher education opportunities for active duty and veteran service members. Drury supports federal initiatives that help veterans and active-duty service members apply for, pay for and complete their degrees and has designated staff in Springfield and at branch locations to help coordinate these services.

Media contact: Kristy Nelson, Director of Marketing – College of Continuing Professional Studies at (417) 873-7317 or


Exhibit features artwork gifts made possible by Sam & June Hamra

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 5, 2014 — Drury University will hold an opening reception for the exhibition of six works of art that were given to the university earlier this year, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7 at the Pool Art Center Gallery, 940 N. Clay Ave.

Drury was one of eight institutions to receive a surprise gift of works from a group of artists represented by the Harmon-Meek Gallery in Naples, Florida. Springfield attorney and businessman Sam F. Hamra and his wife, June, who have been friends with gallery owner Bill Meek for many years, made the gift possible.

“These are all very fine artists who have been collected widely by major museums in the United States and abroad,” says Jacqueline Tygart, Drury’s Art Collection Curator.

"Monsoon" by Hunt Slonem

“Monsoon” by Hunt Slonem

Among the most notable is Hunt Slonem, whose work has been widely exhibited in hundreds of galleries worldwide and who has had more than 70 solo exhibitions. His works are in the permanent collections of dozens of museums including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum, all in New York City. Slonem’s neo-expressionist style often depicts tropical birds and other wild animals. Slonem’s painting “Monsoon,” depicts two such birds in his signature hatchmark style.

Other works and artists included in the gift to Drury are: “Hats Off #2,” a painting by Philip Morsberger; “Homage to Degas,” a pastel by Richard Segalman; “Ristorante tre Sorelle, Positano,” a painting by Bob Kane; “Squirrel,” a painting by Don Nice; and “The Missouri River,” a lithograph by Adolf Dehn.

For more information about the exhibit and the gifts, contact: Jacqueline Tygart, Art Collection Curator, (417) 873-7496. Images of the works can be viewed online at


Area architecture featured in November exhibit at Drury on C-Street Gallery

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 4, 2014 — Exceptional architecture in the Springfield area, as recognized by the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects, will be featured Nov. 7 through 22  at the Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial St.

The exhibit is titled “Design Matters SGF” and it will open with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7. The reception will include live music by the Drury Jazz Combo, a cash bar and food by Café Cusco. Viewing hours at the gallery after the opening reception will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on two Saturdays, November 8 and 22.

Every two years the Springfield Chapter of the AIA holds a reception and design awards program to recognize exceptional architecture in the community. Promoting the role and value of exceptional architecture to the public is part of AIA Springfield’s mission. A jury of architectural professionals and a separate public jury choose the honorees.

The 2014 professional jury was headed by Carlos Jiménez, a distinguished Architect and Professor at Rice University. The public jury consisted of Nancy Chickaraishi, Drury Hammons School of Architecture;  Jonathan Gano, City of Springfield Public Works; Nick Nelson, Springfield Art Museum Director; Chris Rozier, Chamber of Commerce; Ryan Allison, Convention and Visitors Bureau; and Jason Graf, Crowdit, Inc.

A closing reception will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 20, and will feature a Creative Conversation focusing on advancing design in the Springfield area. The facilitator will be Robert Weddle, Professor and Interim Director at Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture.

The exhibition is presented by AIA Springfield, the Hammons School of Architecture and the Drury on C-Street Gallery. For more information, call (417) 873-6359 or visit Drury on C-Street’s Facebook page at

Photo Credit: Dewey Short Visitor Center in Branson, by Mike Hughes Architects

Photo Credit: Dewey Short Visitor Center in Branson, by Mike Hughes Architects

Media Contacts: Leah Hamilton – Director, Arts Administration program | Office: (417) 873-6359 | Email:, and Bruce Adib-Yazdi, AIA – Design & Construction Manager, The Vecino Group | Cell: (417) 848-6001 | Email: 

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. The Gallery aims to inspire and enrich the community through a diverse, quality experience; and strives to create and maintain strong local partnerships.


From Trash to Treasure: panel will highlight economic value of waste

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 24, 2014 — The 5th Annual Ecopreneurship Panel will be held at Drury on Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Co-sponsored by the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship and the Environmental Sciences Department at Drury, the annual event spotlights trends in the job market and global community. This year’s theme is “From Trash to Treasure” and features speakers Dr. Don Rollins and Luke Westerman. The two entrepreneurs will describe joining the green economy with businesses that use waste to create value.

The program will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Oct. 29, at Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center. The Center is located on Drury Lane just north of Chestnut Expressway. Check-in begins at 5 p.m. Food and refreshments will be available.

Registration is FREE for Drury students, and $15 for the public. Register by email at, or call (417) 873-6357 for more information.

About the panelists

Dr. Don Rollins’ career as a veterinarian began in Mountain Grove. He relocated to Springfield in 1976 and assumed the position of Technical Veterinary Advisor to the milk marketing cooperative Mid-American Dairymen, Inc. From 1995 to 2009, he owned and operated Animal Health and Nutrition Services, LLC, providing large dairies and feedlots with field research and the development of value-added products using recovered resources from manufacturing byproducts and food processing plants. He retired in 2009. Dr. Rollins is a member of Drury’s Breech School of Business Administration Advisory Board.

Luke Westerman is the co-owner and general manager of Computer Recycling Center in Springfield. The Center is committed to providing a secure, responsible way for businesses and individuals to dispose of and recycle their unwanted electronic devices, appliances and universal waste. Luke and his team have improved the processes and expanded services at Computer Recycling Center, where 99 percent of the materials brought in are recycled. Luke earned a BA in Physics and an MBA from Drury University. He worked at Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. in a variety of positions, eventually becoming Director of Quality Assurance. Luke is active in the Springfield community, serving on the United Way, Rotary and other boards of directors.

Media Contact: Dr. Kelley Still, Director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, (417) 873-7458 or


Tickets for annual Christmas Vespers performance available on Nov. 7

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 24, 2014 — Fans of Christmas traditions will want to mark two upcoming dates on their calendars. Tickets for Drury’s annual Christmas Vespers choral concert will become available in two weeks, beginning Friday, Nov. 7. Due to high demand in recent years, there will again be two Vespers performances this year at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7 in Stone Chapel.

Vespers candles

Tickets will be available via the Drury website at Tickets are free of charge; however, there is a limit of four per order. Tickets must be ordered online and cannot be reserved by phone. Guests will need to print their tickets and bring them to the concert for admission. In-town guests are encouraged to attend the 7 p.m. performance; out-of-town guests, such as parents of Drury students, are encouraged to attend the 3 p.m. performance. Vespers is a celebration of classic carols such as “Silent Night” and “O, Come All Ye Faithful,” and has taken place at Drury for more than 60 years.

“Vespers is a wonderful opportunity for Drury to give something back to the community at this special time of year,” says Dr. Allin Sorenson, music department chair. “We are honored to be part of such a long standing and respected tradition.”

Doors will open 30 minutes before the performances and guests are encouraged to arrive early to get the best seats.

Video highlights from the 2013 Vespers performance can be viewed online. For more information regarding the event, call the Drury Music Department at (417) 873-7296.


Drury students will lend a hand for Make A Difference Day

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 24, 2014 — Approximately 50 Drury University students will work on three community projects this Saturday, Oct. 25 during Make A Difference Day, the country’s largest nationally recognized day of service. DU students will join millions of others around America in lending a helping hand to improve the lives of others.

Additionally, as part of Make A Difference Day, Drury students have collected more than 1,000 pairs of shoes to contribute to Stomp Out Hunger. Drury joins Missouri State University, Evangel, OTC and SBU in this annual shoe drive. On the final day of the drive today, Drury won the Golden Boot Award for collecting the most shoes per capita amongst the five local colleges.

At Drury, Make a Difference Day is called the President’s Day of Service, and President David Manuel and First Lady Betty Coe Manuel will be working alongside Drury students at two project sites.

Dr. Manuel and about 15 students will be painting red Christmas kettles for the Salvation Army from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Salvation Army Harbor House, 636 N. Boonville Ave. The Harbor House is a shelter and rehabilitation facility for homeless men. Some of the Harbor House residents will also be painting kettles. The media contact for this event is Emily Journagan, public relations and events coordinator for the Salvation Army, (417) 763-1357.

The other two projects are:

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K – Betty Coe Manuel and DU students will assist organizers along the route and support runners and walkers during the race. The event takes places from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Jordan Valley Park. Mrs. Manuel will join the Harbor House team after the race.

Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park Fall Fest – Students will assist with children’s activities from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The farm park is located at 3825 W Farm Road 146.

“Being a part of the largest national day of service is exciting and the students truly enjoy opportunities to engage in the Springfield community,” says Courtney Swan, director of community outreach and leadership development. “The chance to serve alongside President and Mrs. Manuel makes the experience all the more meaningful.”


Solar Decathlon team gearing up for 2015 national competition

Rising gas prices and climate change are hot-topic issues that are drawing attention to the need for alternative energy sources. Drury University and Crowder College hope to be a part of this energy solution — they are designing, building, and operating an off-the-grid home as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2015 competition.

The Solar Decathlon is a “green” home building competition among colleges that apply and are selected by the Department of Energy. It is meant to educate students and the public about the benefits, affordability and availability of renewable energy.

Crowder approached Drury to join forces on the project last year. Crowder offers programs in renewable energy and competed in the Decathlon in 2002 and 2005. Recognizing the strength of Drury’s architecture program, the Crowder team thought both colleges could benefit from each other’s expertise in order to design a top-notch home. They’re now competing against teams from Yale, Vanderbilt and Missouri S&T, among others.

Members of the Solar Decathlon team examine plans for the project.

Members of the Solar Decathlon team examine plans for the project.

At Drury, this project has attracted about 50 students from architecture, communication, economics, finance, and other majors. This interdisciplinary approach is actually a requirement of the Decathlon, making Drury a great fit.

“I’m extremely excited to be involved in such an interdisciplinary project that allows me to utilize all the liberal arts informed skills I’ve picked up while studying at Drury,” said Alaa Al-Radwan, a fifth-year architecture student at Drury. “Seeing so many students from so many different areas of study come together to work on one project is a humbling experience.”

Students from both schools are working hard to design a one-of-a-kind, solar-powered home that exceeds the competition’s requirements in 10 categories. The home must run appliances and even power an electric car, produce as much or more energy than it uses, and remain cost-effective.

To set their project apart, the Drury/Crowder team has added another element to their project: storm resistance. Inspired by the devastation from the Joplin tornado, Drury/Crowder recognized the importance of providing relief shelter to individuals affected by natural disaster.

They call it ShelteR3, which is based on three R’s: respond, recover and resist. The home will require minimal assembly at the destination, provide a comfortable living space for families, and withstand high-speed winds. Drury and Crowder students want to use this competition to show how people can protect themselves from unpredictable storms and have an affordable, stylish home that runs “off the grid.”

“As the effects of climate change become more and more obvious, the necessity for alternate forms of energy is becoming a self-evident reality,” said Evan Melgren, a senior advertising and public relations major. “I’m proud to be a part of such a large competitio that works towards a solution.”

The Solar Decathlon will be held in Irvine, California in October 2015. For more information on the Solar Decathlon, visit For more information on Drury and Crowder’s project, visit If you would like to support the project with a gift or in-kind donation, contact Traci Sooter at (417) 873-7416.


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


Artwork by Drury alumni from across the globe on exhibit

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 15, 2013 — An art exhibit featuring works by six Drury alumni is now open for public viewing at the Pool Art Center through Oct 31. The exhibit, curated by Art Department Chair Todd Lowery, is titled “Drury/New York/San Francisco/Berlin” and showcases artists who got their start at Drury but are now based in major urban centers.

painting by Julie Feldman Algiere

Painting by Julie Feldman Algiere

The exhibition highlights a wide variety of media, including fiber sculpture/wall hangings, sheet foam sculptural wall pieces, paintings, and even microwave photograms.

Featured artists include Doug Johnston, Eric Clinton Anderson and Ben Bunch, all of whom live in New York; Ryan Thayer and Sarrita Hunn of Berlin; and Julie Feldman Algiere of San Francisco. Bunch graduated from Drury in 2000; Hunn in 2001; Johnston, Anderson and Thayer in 2002; and Algiere in 2007.

Fiber sculpture by Doug Johnson

Fiber sculpture by Doug Johnston

Theses artists’ works have been featured in major publications such as the The New York Times and Vogue, and have been displayed in galleries all over the world.

Pool Art Center is located at 940 N. Clay Ave. Regular hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on Thursday.

Media Contact: Todd Lowery – Chair, Department of Art & Art History | Office: (417) 873-6977 | Email: