Drury Sigma Pi chapter recognized at national convention

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 9, 2016 – Drury Sigma Pi was recognized as a top chapter in North America at Sigma Pi International’s recent biennial Convocation, held in July in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The chapter received the Grand Council award for its accomplishments during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 academic years. The award is presented to the top three chapters in each of the four size divisions. This is the ninth time the Drury chapter has received the award since its founding in 1982.

Members were also presented the Grand Chapter award — given to the top 25 chapters — and received recognition for achieving silver level in the Standards of Excellence chapter evaluation system.

Read more about the chapter and member accomplishments in the inaugural edition of the Drury Sigma Pi Annual Report.


The Princeton Review again names Drury a “Best in the Midwest” college

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 8, 2016 — Drury University has again been named one of the best colleges in the Midwest by The Princeton Review. The education services company included Drury in its online listing for “2017 Best Colleges: Region by Region.”

In its profile on Drury, The Princeton Review highlighted Drury’s academic rigor, the school’s personalized approach to learning and teaching, and its beautiful campus. Other factors included a focus on sustainability and global awareness thanks in large part to the fact that about half of DU students study abroad.

The Princeton Review solicits student feedback for its college guides and Drury students spoke highly of their teachers and faculty mentors. “The relationships I’ve developed with my professors are just as important to me as the relationships I’ve developed with my peers,” one student said. “Drury professors are some of the most interesting characters I’ve ever experienced,” said another. “You never know what you’re going to get, but you’ll never be bored.” Others remarked on the variety of activities available to them and the extent to which their peers are involved in campus life.

Editors made selections based on data the company collected from its survey of administrators at several hundred colleges in each region, as well as its staff visits to schools over the years, and the perspectives of college counselors and advisors whose opinions the company solicits. They also give careful consideration to what students enrolled at the schools reported about their campus experiences on its independent student survey designed to include the same types of questions prospective students might ask on a campus visit.

The Princeton Review is a leading tutoring, test prep and college admission services company. Every year, it helps millions of college- and graduate school-bound students achieve their education and career goals through online and in person courses delivered by a network of more than 4,000 teachers and tutors, online resources, and its more than 150 print and digital books published by Penguin Random House. For more information, visit www.princetonreview.com.


Dr. Jana Neiss named as College of Continuing Professional Studies dean

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 7, 2016 — Drury University has appointed Dr. Jana Neiss as its next Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS). Neiss succeeds Aaron Jones, the continuing studies dean since 2012, who will transition to a new position: Chief of Staff to Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd.

Neiss will begin her duties in January 2017. She earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Ozark Bible College in Joplin.

Neiss has deep roots at Drury, having begun her academic career as an adjunct CCPS faculty member in 1993. She then helped start Drury’s branch campus in Rolla in 1995. In 2008 she became the Director of CCPS’s Mid-Missouri Region. She and her husband, David, have two sons, Charles and Garrett, who both graduated from Drury – one from the traditional day school and the other from CCPS.

For the past six years, Neiss has worked as the Director of the Teacher Education Program at Missouri University of Science & Technology. In that role, she oversaw the university’s teacher certification curriculum, led accreditation efforts, and facilitated key external partnerships with public schools.

Jana Neiss

“Jana brings a deep knowledge of Drury, an understanding of adult education, established relationships in our CCPS communities, and a proven track record that make her uniquely qualified for this position,” said President Cloyd.

While at S&T, Neiss was recognized for innovative programming and curriculum work, including initiation of a STEM-focused elementary teacher certification, and co-directing more than $1 million in state grants for science education and quantitative literacy. She also was recruited to serve on several state and national boards and committees, including representing Missouri at the National Summit on Teacher Education and the Common Core, and chairing the Missouri Council of Education Deans and Directors. She was tapped by Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to serve on Missouri’s Network for Transforming Educator Preparation.

“I am excited to come back to Drury and reconnect with former colleagues and create new relationships with other members of the Drury community,” Neiss said. There’s a great level of enthusiasm about Drury’s recent successes and potential for future growth, and I look forward to being part of it.”

Jones will assume chief of staff duties full time in January, where he will work with President Cloyd, Trustees, faculty and staff to enhance communication, coordination, and transparency across the university. He will be responsible for accelerating the development of long-range institutional strategy and planning for the day school, CCPS, graduate studies and athletics.

“While this is a new position for Drury, it is a crucial role at many universities,” said President Cloyd. “Aaron will be an honest broker in synthesizing, compiling and articulating the opinions of Drury’s various constituencies.”

About CCPS

Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies offers bachelor and associate degree programs primarily in the evening at the main Springfield campus and at nine branch locations across the region. Academic programs are designed to meet the needs of adult students with hectic lifestyles that make traditional degree completion impractical. Additionally, CCPS offers online courses for undergraduate and graduate programs to enhance flexibility and quality of the education experience of Drury students.

For more information, go to www.drury.edu/ccps.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations – (417) 873-7390 or mikebrothers@drury.edu.

Washington Monthly recognizes Drury as a “Best Bang for the Buck” school

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 6, 2016 — Washington Monthly magazine has recognized Drury University as one of the nation’s top values in higher education.

Drury has been named a Midwest Region “Best Bang For the Buck College” in the magazine’s 2016 college guide issue released this month. The “Best Bang for the Buck” list examines colleges that help students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices, according to Washington Monthly. Drury is No. 49 on the list. Drury was also named to Washington Monthly’s national list of best liberal arts colleges.

Drury has been recognized before for its outstanding value to students and families. U.S. News & World Report and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance both named Drury as a best value school in 2015.

Washington Monthly’s annual college guide began in 2005 as a counter balance to the dominant U.S. News & World Report Rankings, according the magazine. Washington Monthly’s lists are based “not on what (colleges) did for themselves, but on what they did for their country,” according to guest editor Kevin Carey, who directs the education policy program at the New America Foundation. All of the magazine’s rankings are based on three broad categories: social mobility, research and service.

The complete list of rankings are available online, as is more information about the magazine’s methodology.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations – (417) 873-7390 or mikebrothers@drury.edu

“Chromatic Pop” exhibition opens Friday in renovated C-Street space

SPRINGFIELD, MO., Aug. 31, 2016 – The Drury on C-Street Gallery will open its September exhibition “Chromatic Pop” with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., on Friday, September 2 in its newly renovated space. Returning artist Jessie Schwartz will present his solo show as the opening to the gallery’s exhibition season. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is located on 233 E. Commercial Street. The opening reception is a free event with food and refreshments provided.

Chromatic Pop

“Chromatic Pop” is a retrospective of pop icons from history, films, television, and classic rock. Growing up in the late 60’s and 70’s has influenced Schwartz in a way that he only recently realized. Music, television, and films were a way to escape and helped him get through some very tough times. He is not only captivated by the body of work of his subjects but the character in their faces and what they convey. Each piece is targeted for a specific memory and time for each viewer.

The process of “Chromatic Pop” in which Jessie paints is highly intuitive. Unsure of the outcome until it is complete, Jessie relies on the songs and images of the retrospective pop. Using large canvases and brushes forces him to paint in a large scale and lets the subject have a visually bigger impact when viewing.

Schwartz’s solo exhibition will run September 2 through 30. 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 two Saturdays, September 13 and 27.

For more information, call (417) 873-6359 or visit Drury on C-Street’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DruryCStreet.

Media Contact: Rebecca Miller, Director of Arts Administration: (417) 873-6337 or rmiller01@drury.edu.

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.


Drury recognizes Warren White Scholars and outstanding faculty

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 30, 2016 — Drury University recognized outstanding faculty and second-year students at its 2016 Opening Convocation. This ceremony officially began Drury’s 143rd academic year with an address from President Tim Cloyd.

“World-class education and teaching informed by scholarship and artistic practice – that is our calling,” Cloyd said in address to a packed auditorium at Clara Thompson Hall. “A liberal arts university imparts through its academic programs fundamental competencies that cultivate that ability to think about the world in which we live. It sows seeds that enable students to grow in ethical, intellectual, creative, communicative, and social qualities that are absolutely necessary – indeed, essential – for success, for a fulfilled life, and for leadership.”

Nominations for Faculty Awards are received from students, faculty, administrators and alumni. A committee of students and faculty selects the winners. The honorees were recognized for challenging, engaging and inspiring students both inside and outside the classroom.

The 2016 Faculty Award winners are:

  • Faculty Award for Teaching: Dr. Kris Wiley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Education & Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Music
  • Faculty Award for Scholarship: Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, Ph.D., Professor of Spanish
  • Faculty Award for Liberal Learning: Dr. Erin Kenny, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology
  • Faculty Award for Advising: Dr. Karen Spence, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Architecture

In addition, the Judge Warren White Scholars were honored. Each honoree will receive a $550 scholarship. These students have the highest grade point averages after completion of their first year at Drury. Mr. Warren White graduated from Drury in 1904 and served as a Greene County circuit court judge for 36 years.

The 2016 Judge Warren White Scholars are:

  • Laura Braiser – Plano, Texas
  • Mason Coble – Nixa, Missouri
  • Miriam Colligan – Farmington, Missouri
  • Taylor Davidson – Lake Ozark, Missouri
  • Rachel DeWeerd – Springfield, Missouri (Glendale High School)
  • Victoria Foster – Munster, Indiana
  • Olivia Funk – Sedalia, Missouri
  • Jessica Knowles – Maryville, Missouri
  • Roxy Kraber – Springfield, Missouri (Central High School)
  • Fadhel Mansoori – Bahrain
  • Isabella Melena – Arvada, Colorado
  • Abigail Mercer – Springfield, Missouri (Grace Classical Academy)
  • Emily Miller – Columbia, Missouri
  • Shylie Miller – Dallas, Texas
  • Caroline Robinson – Ozark, Missouri
  • Jessica Rockafellow – Strafford, Missouri
  • Taylor Stanton – Buffalo, Missouri
  • Grant Thimesch – Marshalltown, Iowa
  • Matt Wagoner – Chesterfield, Missouri
  • Mitchell Wilson – Prosper, Texas


Drury University boosts incoming class enrollment by nearly 40 percent

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 25, 2016 — Drury University has recruited its largest incoming freshman class in five years. More than 500 new students were on campus when classes began in the traditional Day School on Tuesday, putting the University on solid footing for growth in the years to come.

The Class of 2020 represents a jump in enrollment in terms of both headcount and percent growth. Year-over-year enrollment has grown by 39 percent, with 140 more freshmen, transfer and international students coming to Drury this fall than last fall (503 compared to 363). Drury’s largest-ever incoming class was 538 students in the fall of 2010.

The number of first-time domestic students rose by 107, or 42 percent. International enrollment grew by 16 students, or 55 percent. The transfer student population grew by 27 students, or 38 percent.

All data is preliminary, and is based on opening week headcounts.

“I am extremely proud of the work that has been done by our faculty and staff to bring in one of the largest classes in Drury’s history,” says Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “There is truly a demand for a Drury education, and for the kinds of engaged learning experiences and mentorship that are an integral part of the Drury experience.”

The enrollment boost is a result of a multi-faceted market expansion and faculty outreach plan, combined with new academic degree programs and new athletic programs. Enrollment is up in the Springfield area (32 percent) and in key outlying markets such as Kansas City (52 percent) and St. Louis (58 percent). In addition, this year’s increase in the number of students from Chicago now rank that city as Drury’s fourth biggest metropolitan market.

The overwhelming majority of first-time students (88 percent) are living on campus, which has helped push occupancy in Drury’s three residence halls to near maximum capacity (99 percent). Two-thirds (66 percent) of all Day School students are living on campus this semester, which breaks a previous high-water mark of 62 percent.

“National studies and our own research clearly show that students who live on campus for at least a portion of their college career have a more engaging and fulfilling experience, and are more likely to persist to graduation,” says Dr. Tijuana Julian, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

Drury’s Census Day is Friday, Sept. 9, and final enrollment totals will be available the following week.

JUST FOR FUN: Meet the Class of 2020 in their own words and through the eyes of their parents.

VIDEOS: Move-In Day and the annual Service Plunge & Kick-Off Celebration.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations: (417) 873-7390 or mbrothers@drury.edu.

Fifty Drury graduate degrees to be conferred Sunday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 18, 2016 — A hooding and conferral ceremony will take place at 1 p.m., Sunday, August 21 at Stone Chapel to recognize 50 students earning graduate degrees from Drury University.

The College of Graduate Studies offers master’s degrees in business administration, communication, education, nonprofit & civic leadership, and studio art & theory. A graduate education provides opportunities to further one’s career and deepen ties to others in a student’s professional field.

Graduate programs at Drury feature flexibility so that students can pursue a degree in a timeframe that works best for them. Courses are offered in the evenings, online, and in alternative formats such as blended learning, weekend experiences, and 8-week or 16-week courses.

“The quality, rigor and relevance of Drury’s master’s programs set them apart,” says Dr. Regina Waters, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “Employers tell us that Drury graduates are well-prepared for their professional roles. We look forward to developing new programs in the upcoming year that allow us to serve even more individuals who seek an education that can enhance their career options.”

For more information, visit Drury.edu/graduate.


Friday is move-in day for newest members of the Drury family

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 18, 2016 — The newest members of the Drury family arrive on campus this weekend as freshmen move into residence halls and begin to learn what it means to be a Panther.

The incoming freshman class at Drury is the largest in several years, and the three campus residence halls will be at 99 percent capacity once all of the boxes and laptops are moved and students are settled into their new homes.

Faculty, staff and upperclassmen will help the new students move their belongings into the residence halls on Friday morning. Parents and students will say their goodbyes on the Kellogg Green that afternoon, and a full weekend of orientation will follow. Orientation ends on Monday with two events that have become a Drury tradition – the community-wide Service Plunge and an on-campus celebration capped off by a fireworks show.

These four days are an excellent opportunity for local media to speak to students during their orientation experience and capture some great visuals, as seen in videos about Move-In Day and the Service Plunge & School Year Kick-Off Celebration from 2015.

Media are invited to cover any and all events throughout the weekend. Contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers for more information about the full schedule. Major highlights are below.

Friday, Aug. 19

  • 8 a.m. to noon – New students move into residence halls. The best time for photos, video and interviews is typically between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.
  • 3 p.m. – Parent & Student goodbyes at Kellogg Green. This is the point at which parents and students split up after move-in day before families attend a presentation for parents and students join their CORE classes to begin their four-day orientation.

Sunday, Aug. 21

  • 6 to 8 p.m. – Dinner and dessert at various faculty members’ homes in the nearby Midtown neighborhood. Faculty and freshman are available for interviews during this uniquely Drury event.

Monday, Aug. 22

  • 10 a.m. to noon – More than 20 Community Service Plunge projects at various locations across Springfield, including:
    • Convoy of Hope
    • Ozarks Food Harvest
    • Urban Roots Farm
    • Arc of the Ozarks
    • Rare Breed
    • The Fairbanks
    • Springfield Art Museum
  • 7 to 9 p.m. – Finale celebration at the fountains in front of Findlay Student Center. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. at adjacent Sunderland Field.

Evening classes begin at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 22. Students in the traditional Day School will begin classes on Tuesday, Aug. 23.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations: (417) 894-9064 or mikebrothers@drury.edu.

Cheap Trick to play O’Reilly Family Event Center on October 22

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 18, 2016 — Fresh off of its induction into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in April, iconic hard rock and power pop group Cheap Trick will perform at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Saturday, October 22. Local band Paralandra will open the show.

Tickets start at $41.50 and go on sale starting at 10 a.m., Friday, August 26 at www.drurytickets.com or by calling (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OFEC box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

Cheap Trick is part of the very fiber of American music, inspiring and delighting generations with a unique union of massive melodies and razorblade riffs. Frontlined since 1974 by Robin Zander (vocals, rhythm guitar), Rick Nielsen (lead guitar), and Tom Petersson (bass guitar), the band is set to impact still another era with the new album “Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello,” its 17th studio collection and first in more than five years.

The Rockford, Illinois-born band is among the most active and successful in music history, with featured appearances on over 20 movie soundtracks, more than 40 international gold and platinum certifications, myriad awards and industry honors, and total record sales well in excess of 20 million. Fan bases in the U.S., Europe, Japan and elsewhere have helped propel songs such as “Surrender,” “I Want You to Want Me,” “Dream Police” and “The Flame” to the top of the charts over the decades.

More information: http://www.cheaptrick.com


Media Contact: Geoff Steele – O’Reilly Family Event Center Venue Coordinator: (417) 863-7843 or gsteele@drury.edu.