Dr. David Manuel will retire as Drury University president in May 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 29, 2015 — Dr. David Manuel has announced that he will retire as President of Drury University in May at the end of his contractual commitment.

In letters to faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni sent today, Manuel thanked the entire Drury community for the opportunity to lead the institution. The decision comes after reflecting on a long career in higher education as a faculty member, administrator and chancellor/president.

“For several months, I have been considering my future personal and professional plans in light of completing nearly 41 years in higher education. During its regular fall meeting this morning, I informed the Board of Trustees that I will retire as president of Drury University on May 31, 2016,” Manuel said. “I have enjoyed working with all of Drury’s constituent groups and have come to deeply admire this great American university, as well as the entire Springfield community. We have an outstanding leadership team, and I am confident they will be able to move the university forward. Between now and May 31, I will work diligently to assist Drury as it achieves new successes and will partner with you, the Board and the administration in the upcoming transition.”

“We appreciate Dr. David and Betty Coe Manuel’s service to Drury and the community,” said Lyle Reed, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “We look forward to working together toward a smooth transition.”


Annual education conference to focus on mindfulness in the classroom

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 28, 2015 — Drury University will partner with Springfield Public Schools on Friday, Nov. 6, to present the 15th annual Developing Success in Youth conference on the DU campus.

With the theme “The Emotional Art of Teaching,” the conference will focus on the concept of mindfulness and how it can help teachers and students reduce stress in the classroom. Mindfulness is defined as being highly self-aware of one’s consciousness from moment to moment.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Patricia Jennings, associate professor of education at the Curry School of Education at University of Virginia, who will lead four sessions throughout the day.

Dr. Patricia Jennings

Dr. Patricia Jennings

The social and emotional dynamics of the classroom play a key role in promoting student learning and fostering pro-social behavior. Drawing upon research in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and education, Jennings will provide information about how mindfulness-based approaches can help teachers manage the stressful demands of the classroom, cultivate an exceptional learning environment, and revitalize teaching and learning. In addition to the research behind these approaches, participants will learn some simple awareness practices for managing stress and promoting wellbeing.

The material will be relevant to all K-12 educators and administrators. The full cost is $150, and groups of 5 or more from the same school are $125 per individual.

Nearly 100 educators from across Missouri have already registered to attend. For more information and to register online, go to: www.drury.edu/dsy, or contact Dr. Kristofor Wiley, assistant professor of education, at (417) 873-6397 or kwiley002@drury.edu.


Cabaret Tickets Available November 2

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 26, 2015 — Performances of the musical Cabaret will take place at Drury’s Wilhoit Theatre on Wednesday, November 11 through Saturday, November 14. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. each evening with an additional matinee on Saturday, November 14 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are available beginning Monday, November 2, and they can be purchased online by visiting the Drury website at www.drury.edu/BoxOffice or by calling the box office at (417) 873-7255 which is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are: $14 for adults, $7 for senior adults, $7 for non-Drury students, $3 for children, and $3 for Drury faculty, staff and students. Credit cards and checks are accepted for payment.

The musical Cabaret is set in the tumultuous Berlin of 1930. A struggling American writer is drawn into the seedy underworld of the Kit Kat Klub—a haven from political turmoil and the rise of the Nazis. With an unforgettable score, Cabaret is arguably Kander and Ebb’s most powerful musical.

For more information regarding the performances, please call the Drury Theatre Department at (417) 873-6832.

Supreme Court expert Jeffery Toobin speaks at Drury on Oct. 28

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 23, 2015 — Noted legal analyst and Supreme Court expert Jeffery Toobin will speak at Drury University next week as the L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship’s inaugural guest lecturer.

The longtime New Yorker staff writer and CNN analyst will speak on the topic “Inside the World of the Supreme Court” at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28 at Clara Thompson Hall. The event is free and open to the public. The speech kicks off the Meador Center’s 2015-16 theme “Created Equal: Civil Rights, Liberties & Citizenship.”

Jeffrey Toobin_headshot 1

Toobin has covered all the major legal stories of the last two decades, ranging from the nomination of four Supreme Court Justices to the trials of Michael Jackson and George Zimmerman. He has provided legal analysis on the nation’s most provocative and high profile cases, including the O.J. Simpson civil trial and the Kenneth Starr investigation of the Clinton White House. His most recent book, The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, was a New York Times best-seller, as was his previous book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, which received the 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Prize for Nonfiction.

“Toobin has spent decades reporting and analyzing the Court and its place in our political system,” says Dr. Dan Ponder, Meador Chair of Political Science at Drury. “He is an insider who has interviewed the justices but he has done so with the independence and discernment of a journalist.”

About the Meador Center

Dedicated to the academic inquiry of political engagement, the L.E. Meador Center was founded this year as a nexus for student pursuits, faculty scholarship, and thought-provoking community programming and events. The Center is named for Dr. Lewis Elbern (L.E.) Meador, a longtime professor of political science at Drury College for nearly 50 years beginning in 1913. Meador was a revered civic leader who played key roles in shaping the current Missouri Constitution and Springfield City Charter.

The Center’s inspiration for its mission comes from the words of Meador himself, who felt his students “should take a constructive and active part in trying to bring about a more democratic and more hopeful world in which future generations can live.” The Meador Center carries out that mission in two ways: an annual speaker series and financial support of student scholarship, internships and study away/abroad opportunities.


Students to launch community garden project for Make A Difference Day

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 22, 2015 — Drury University students will launch a new partnership with Springfield Community Gardens on Saturday during Make A Difference Day, the country’s largest nationally recognized day of service. DU students will also take part in a three other projects that day as they join millions around America in lending a helping hand to improve the lives of others.

The students will work to transform a greenhouse at Trustee Science Center into a space where Springfield Community Gardens can grow produce. They will also participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, assist with maintenance projects at Boyd Elementary School and organize donations at Sammy’s Window, which provides food, clothing and personal care items for foster families.

At Drury, Make a Difference Day is called the President’s Day of Service in order to honor President David Manuel and First Lady Betty Coe Manuel’s dedication to community engagement. The Manuels will be working alongside Drury students Saturday at Boyd Elementary.

The best times to catch students in action and get interviews will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Trustee Science Center greenhouse. Students will be turning soil and compost, potting plants and prepping the greenhouse and surrounding grounds for use as a community garden. The shared space will be used by Springfield Community Gardens to engage and enrich the Midtown neighborhood. It will also serve as a teaching space where students from area schools can come and learn about sustainable farming practices and how their food is produced. Trustee Science Center is located on Drury Lane just north of Chestnut Expressway.

Details on the other events:

  • Students will join Betty Coe Manuel in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk starting at 8 a.m. outside of Hammons Field downtown.
  • The Manuels and student volunteers will join with members of the Boyd PTA and Midtown Neighborhood Association for cleanup, organization and maintenance projects from 10 a.m. to noon at Boyd Elementary School, located at 1409 N. Washington Ave.
  • Student volunteers will be at Sammy’s Window, 1774 S. Grant Ave., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The students are supporting Sammy’s Window as part of this year’s All Collegiate Service Project.

“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 Drury’s Office of Community Outreach and Leadership Development. “The chance to serve alongside President and Mrs. Manuel makes the experience all the more meaningful.”

Media Contact: Ryan Gipson, Volunteer Services Coordinator. Cell: (417) 229-1451; email: rgipson@drury.edu.


Tickets for Drury’s annual Christmas Vespers available Nov. 2

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 21, 2015 — 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 Monday, November 2. Due to high demand in recent years, there will again be two Vespers performances this year at 3 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 6 in Stone Chapel.

Tickets will be available via the Drury website at www.drury.edu/music. They are free of charge; however there is a limit of four tickets per order. Tickets must be ordered online and cannot be reserved by phone. Tickets tend to go quickly, so please order early. Guests will be able to pick up their tickets at Stone Chapel one hour prior to the performance.

In-town guests are encouraged to attend the 7 p.m. performance, and 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.

Video highlights from the 2014 Vespers performance can be viewed online. For more information regarding the event, please call the Drury Music Department at (417) 873-7296.


Drury University faculty accomplishments – Fall 2015 roundup

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 21, 2015 — Drury University faculty accomplishments are numerous so far this semester. Drury professors are teacher-scholars who conduct meaningful research and engage with the community around them, giving their students a chance to participate in and benefit from their scholarly work. Here are just a few highlights of publications, research and accolades by faculty members in recent weeks.


  • Nancy Chikaraishi, Professor: Chikaraishi’s series of artworks centering on the experience of her parents and other Japanese-Americans interned at the Rohwer camp in Arkansas during WWII inspired the production of “Life Interrupted” by Core Dance. Visit www.thebackstagebeat.com for more on the production.

Art & Art History:

  • Rebecca Miller, Associate Professor: Miller’s archival pigment print Dear Alfred #18 was accepted into the special web exhibition for the 2015 Photo Review International Photography Competition.

Behavioral Science:

  • Dr. Jennifer Silva Brown, Associate Professor of Psychology: Silva Brown’s chapter “On Tornados: Storm Exposure, Coping Styles and Resilience” was included in the book Traumatic Stress and Long-Term Recovery: Coping with Disasters and Other Negative Life Events. Her chapter was based on research results related to the Joplin Impact Project.


  • Dr. Gary Holmes, Associate Professor: Holmes will attend the Society of Marketing Advances Annual Educators Conference in San Antonio, Texas to present “Millennials’ Attitudes Concerning Traditional Classroom Resources” with senior Jordan Smith and May 2015 graduate Morgan Young.


  • Dr. Curt Gilstrap, Associate Professor: Gilstrap and graduate student Brian Hendershot’s study, “E-Leaders and Uncertainty Management: A Computer-Supported Qualitative Investigation” was accepted in Qualitative Research Reports in Communication.


  • Dr. Kris Wiley, Assistant Professor: Wiley has written two chapters in the book The Social and Emotional Development of Gifted Children: What Do We Know? for the National Association for Gifted Children.


  • William Garvin, Director of the Olin Library: Garvin was named as a trustee on the Springfield-Greene County Library Board, and he will present to the Missouri Association for Museums and Archives at the annual conference this month in Columbia, Mo.

Political Science:

  • Dr. Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Professor: Ponder co-authored “Public Opinion and Democratic Party Ownership of Prosperity: The Political Legacy of the Great Depression, 1955-2013” published in one of the leading peer-reviewed American politics journals – American Politics Research.


Drury launches Master of Nonprofit & Civic Leadership degree program

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 21, 2015 — Drury University will soon begin offering a new graduate degree for professionals seeking to enhance their skill sets in the nonprofit and civic sectors.

The Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership is a unique offering in a community where nonprofit organizations employ about half of all private workers and play an integral role in tackling pressing issues such as poverty, healthcare and education. The program aims to truly enhance the quality of life in the Ozarks by preparing emerging and mid-level leaders for executive service in these key institutions.

The degree takes full advantage of Drury’s highly interdisciplinary approach to education, bringing together academic resources from across campus and drawing upon the university’s longstanding commitment to civic engagement. It also harnesses the expertise of leaders from the Ozarks’ political, economic and cultural spheres, who will act as guest lecturers and mentors as well as facilitate exclusive internship opportunities. A key element of the program will be collaborative efforts between students and Drury’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which conducts research, training and networking for nonprofits in the region under director Dan Prater.

Classes begin in January. The 30-credit-hour program (10 courses) will focus on areas such as leadership, strategic planning, advocacy, resource management and governance. Designed with working professionals in mind, courses will be offered in a format that blends online and seated evening classes.

“When all of your training is on the job, then you really lose time,” says Debi Meeds, CEO of the United Way of the Ozarks, and supporter of the program. “And it is detrimental to the organization you’re leading. It’s important that you come to an organization with a professional level of knowledge, because then you can move that organization forward.”

“I never worry about the passion,” says Brian Fogle, president/CEO of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which has supported Drury’s nonprofit training programs, conferences and studies to strengthen the sector. “But I think we can do a better job of providing that skill set that is needed.”

“There is no other graduate program in the region with a twin emphasis on effective leadership and harnessing the power of the nonprofit sector to enhance life in our community,” says Dr. Charles Taylor, professor of communication and director of the new program.

Drury is offering the first credit hour free (a $444 value) for those who enroll now. For more information, visit: www.drury.edu/ncl. To receive the discount, applicants will enter the code MNCL when completing the online application.

For more information, contact: Dr. Charles Taylor. Office: (417) 873-7391; email: ctaylor@drury.edu.


Drury University receives building donation in Monett

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 19, 2015 — The building that is the current home of Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies in Monett has been gifted to the university by Glen and Sharon Garrett.

Drury began offering classes in Monett in 2007. In 2011, the location moved to its current facility located at 400 4th Street where the university has leased a portion of the building until now. Glen and Sharon Garrett, owners of the building, are donating the entire building to Drury. This is the first CCPS location that will be fully owned by the university. The 23,000 square foot facility is valued at $522,500 by the Barry County Tax Assessor’s Office.

“This generous donation by the Garretts will provide Drury University the opportunity to expand the services we currently offer to students in the Monett area, both in terms of physical space and number of classes,” says Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “We’re thankful that Glen and Sharon share our vision for higher education in the area.”

Students at the CCPS Monett campus can fully complete associates degrees through a combination of online and evening classes in areas such as leadership studies, health science, psychology and more.

Drury will host a celebration of the gift at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the location at 400 4th Street in Monett. The event is open to the public. Announcements regarding renovation plans will be made later in the year.

Media Contact: Kristy Nelson – Director of Marketing, College of Continuing Professional Studies. Email: knelson008@drury.edu; phone: (417) 873-7313.


Drury’s humanities film series returns to Moxie Cinema for fourth season

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 19, 2015 — Drury University’s Humanities & Ethics Center has again partnered with the Moxie Cinema in downtown Springfield to host a series of screenings and open discussions at the local independent theater. The Drury Humanities & Arts Film Series is made possible by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council.

The film series returns at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 with a talk from Dr. Heidi Backes following a screening of Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth.” The partnership between Drury and the nonprofit Moxie Cinema places a spotlight on films that ask enduring questions about the human condition and adds an open, facilitated discussion to the mix. Before and after each showing, a Drury professor leads a group discussion about the movie’s themes. The post-film discussions are about 30 minutes each. Tickets are $5 and all screenings begin at 1 p.m.

Charlie Chaplin in the 1936 film "Modern Times"

Charlie Chaplin in the 1936 film “Modern Times”

“Although our series still features an eclectic mix of movies, each film connects to our 2015-16 Drury Humanities theme of power,” explains Dr. Kevin Henderson, director of the series and Assistant Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “From machinery devouring Charlie Chaplin in ‘Modern Times’ to South African teens discovering the power of empathy in ‘Tsotsi’ to Jack Nicholson uncovering the corruption of municipal powers in ‘Chinatown,’ these films offer us many ways to discuss what being powerful or powerless does to our humanity.”

2015-15 Schedule

Oct. 24 – “Pan’s Labyrinth” with Dr. Heidi Backes, assistant professor of Spanish

Nov. 7 – “Modern Times” with Dr. Chris Panza, professor of philosophy

Nov. 21 ­– “Tsotsi” with Dr. Erin Kenny, associate professor of anthropology

April 2 – “Chinatown” with Dr. Kevin Henderson, assistant professor of English

April 16 ­– “The Iron Giant” with Steve Carpenter, assistant professor of art/communication

April 23 – “Burnt by the Sun” with Dr. Ray Patton, assistant professor of history

For more information, go to Drury’s Humanities blog Human, All Too Human or www.moxiecinema.com.


Media Contact: Kevin Henderson – Director, Humanities and Arts Film Series. Office: (417) 873-7426; email: khenders@drury.edu.