Humanities & Ethics Center presents #humgoespop this fall

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 19, 2014 — Drury University’s Humanities & Ethics Center has announced its fall calendar of events, including a book series, a film series in conjunction with the Moxie Cinema, and a speaker series. All activities are open to the public.

The theme for the upcoming year is #humgoespop or “Humanities Goes Pop,” which seeks to highlight how popular culture explores the study of human culture.

Now in its second year, the Humanities & Ethics Center hopes to engage students and local residents by promoting open discussions about various humanistic ideas and values. The Center’s innovative outreach efforts are in part a response to misperceptions about the field in light of a national focus on science, technology and business education during tough economic times. Discussions about values and ethics in many ways become even more essential during such times, say faculty.

“The Humanities are not mere ‘ivory tower’ issues, but the central questions of morality, memory, existence and character that ordinary people grapple with every day,” says Dr. Richard Schur, professor of English at Drury. “Attending the Center’s events makes humanities inquiry come alive and helps us understand how historical, religious, philosophical, and literary debates affect us in our everyday lives.”

“Humanities Goes Pop” Fall 2014 event calendar

Sept. 23, noon – Book Discussion Series – Harwood Reading Room, Olin Library

“Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” by Burt Royal

Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m. – Humanities Night at the Theatre – Wilhoit Theater

“Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead”

Discussion of the play led by Dr. Peter Meidlinger (English) and Madison Spencer (Theater)

Oct. 25, 1 p.m. – Moxie Film Series – Moxie Cinema

“On The Waterfront”

Dr. Kevin Henderson (English) will lead a discussion following the film

Oct. 28, noon – Book Discussion Series – Harwood Reading Room, Olin Library

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

Nov. 6, 11 a.m. – Thinking Aloud Series – Olin Room, Olin Library

Dr. Patrick Moser, “Research in the Classroom”

Nov. 8, 1 p.m. – Moxie Film Series – Moxie Cinema

“The Spirit of the Beehive”

Dr. Heidi Backes (Spanish) will lead a discussion following the film.

Nov. 15, 1 p.m. – Moxie Film Series – Moxie Cinema

“Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”

Dr. Peter Meidlinger (English) and Jess Heugel will lead a discussion following the film

Academic programs under Drury’s humanities division include communication, English, history, languages, library science and philosophy & religion. For more information about the Humanities at Drury or upcoming events, visit the division’s web page, read the “Human, All Too Human” blog, or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

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CoxHealth CEO to speak at Founders Day convocation Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 16, 2014 — CoxHealth CEO Steve Edwards, a Drury alumnus and trustee, will speak at 11 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 18 in Stone Chapel as part of the University’s Founders Day convocation.

Edwards will present “The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse,” a title borrowed from Walt Whitman’s poem, “O Me! O Life!” Edwards graduated from Drury in 1988 and was elected to the University’s Board of Trustees in 2012. He currently serves on the boards of numerous organizations, including: the Springfield-Greene County Health Commission, Forest Institute, Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, Cox College, Voluntary Hospitals of America, Missouri Hospital Association and Springfield Innovation, Inc.

Founders Day celebrates the tradition of giving back to Drury and honors the generosity of those who give their time, talent and resources to the University.

“The Founders Day Convocation has historically celebrated those individuals – past and present – whose generosity of spirit and support provide the foundation on which Drury’s very bright future rests,” said Dr. Charles Taylor, vice president for academic affairs. “Their commitment to Drury’s mission of providing an education of the ‘first rank’ that integrates liberal and professional learning in the service of engaged global citizenship is humbling, and it’s appropriate that we pause each year to remember and to celebrate that commitment.”

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American Bar Association past president and 1969 Drury alumnus to speak

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 11, 2014 —One of the country’s top lawyers will return to his alma mater next week to help celebrate the American government’s foundational document.

James Silkenat, a 1969 Drury graduate and immediate past president of the American Bar Association, will help the campus observe Constitution Day. He will speak at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 16, at Lay Hall Auditorium. The event is sponsored by Drury, the Springfield Bar Association and Drury’s pre-law society, Phi Alpha Delta.

Constitution Day is Sept. 17, marking the day the landmark document forming the basis of American government was ratified in 1787. Federal law requires educational institutions receiving federal funds to hold an observation of Constitution Day each year.

“Mr. Silkenat’s impressive and diverse background exemplifies the best of a liberal arts education such as that offered by Drury,” says Dr. Dan Ponder, professor of political science at Drury.

Silkenat1

Silkenat is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Law Institute, has served as a Fellow in the U.S. State Department Scholar/Diplomat Program and was a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. His career has focused primarily on rule of law, civil rights and international law. During his tenure as president of the ABA, Silkenat focused on access to justice, immigration, jobs for lawyers, court funding, voting rights and gun violence issues.

The following day, Ponder will give a talk comparing the two main ways the U.S. Supreme Court interprets the Constitution: original intent versus the concept of a living, evolving document. The talk will be held at noon on Sept. 17 at Findlay Student Center.

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Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra kicks off 10th season Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 9, 2014 —The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra kicks off its 10th season with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12 at Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts.

The season includes three performances and will feature internationally renowned pianist Anthony Padilla performing the beloved Grieg Piano Concerto, Drury’s own Stephen Bomgardner in the beautiful and rarely performed “On Wenlock Edge,” and a side-by-side performance with the Springfield Youth Symphony of the conclusion of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

“The SDCO has presented dozens of concerts for more than 18,000 patrons over the last decade and we are thrilled enter a new season this weekend,” says Dr. Christopher Koch, SDCO music director and conductor. “By bringing students from Drury and other schools together with musicians from throughout the community, the SDCO uses the arts to further Drury’s mission of community engagement.”

Tickets for Friday’s concert are available at the Hammons Hall box office by calling (417) 836-7678 or online at: hammonshall.com/ticketservices.htm. Tickets are $12 adults, $10 seniors, $6 students with ID, kids ages 11 and under free.

About the Orchestra

The SDCO is southwest Missouri’s regional community orchestra. Founded in 2005, the 90-plus-member ensemble comprises a combination of Drury students, students from other southwest Missouri regional universities, professional performers and educators, and dedicated community members. The SDCO presents multiple performances of orchestral masterworks each year. SDCO is also in the third year of its Charles R. Hall Young Artist Competition, in which gifted high school musicians from southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas compete for the opportunity to perform with the orchestra.

For more information, visitsdco.drury.eduor find SDCO on Facebookand on YouTube.

SDCO 2014-15 Season Schedule

Friday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. at Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts

  • Strauss – “Death and Transfiguration”
  • Grieg – Piano Concerto with Anthony Padilla, piano
  • Mozart – “Ah chi mi dice mai” from “Don Giovanni” with Sammi Sherron, soprano

Sunday, Nov. 2, 6 p.m. at Drury’s Clara Thompson Hall

  • Vaughn Williams – “On Wenlock Edge” with Stephen Bomgardner, tenor
  • Mozart – Symphony No. 39

Monday, May 4, 2015, 7:30 p.m. at Hammons Hall

  • Charles R. Hall Young Artist Award winner
  • Stravinsky – Symphony No. 1
  • Mussorgsky – “Pictures at an Exhibition” Finale with the Springfield Youth Symphony

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Drury is 8th in the Midwest 2015 U.S. News & World Report rankings

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 9, 2014 —U.S. News & World Report has once again ranked Drury among the Midwest’s top colleges and universities for both quality and value in its “Best Colleges 2015” publication, released today.

Drury is ranked No. 8 in the Midwest in the U.S. News “Best Regional Universities” list. This is the same position Drury held last year, after jumping up from No. 11 the prior year. Drury earned outstanding marks for its small class sizes, with the highest percentage of classes under 20 students (71 percent) and the lowest student-to-faculty ratio on the list. Drury is the highest-ranked university in the state of Missouri on this year’s list.

Additionally, Drury is ranked No. 1 in the Midwest on the U.S. News “Great Schools, Great Prices” list and is ranked No. 3 on its 2015 “Best Colleges for Veterans” list.

The rankings can be viewed online at www.usnews.com/colleges.

“To be highly ranked by your peers and confirmed by independent data is gratifying and affirming,” says Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “It’s especially gratifying to be on top of the ‘Great Schools, Great Prices’ list and to be recognized for the incredible value of a Drury degree. The accomplishments of our faculty and the career outcomes of our graduates reflect the value that Drury delivers.”

The U.S. News ranking comes on the heels of Drury’s selection in August as a “Best in the Midwest” college by the Princeton Review.

About the Rankings

U.S News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” rankings include nearly 1,400 schools nationwide, and are designed to give a quick comparison of the relative quality of institutions based on such widely accepted indicators of excellence as freshman retention and graduation rates and the strength of the faculty. The ranking system uses quantitative measures that education experts have proposed as reliable indicators of academic quality, as well as the publication’s own researched view of what matters in education.

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Students find valuable internship experience in Washington, D.C.

Drury University’s partnership with a Washington, D.C., organization has been giving students the chance to complete high-profile internships for decades.

The Washington Center allows undergrads to live in the nation’s capital, gain professional work experience and receive class credit to stay on track for graduation. Drury has been working with The Washington Center for about 30 years and typically sends three or four students a year.

Dr. Dan Ponder, professor of political science and Drury liaison for The Washington Center, encourages all majors to consider this program.

“Students coming from a liberal arts school like Drury have great critical thinking skills, the ability to adapt, and are sensitive to the world outside their major,” Ponder says. “That serves them well for their internship. Whether you’re in theater, business, communications, political science, etc., you will be matched at an internship site that works for you and you’ll get an invaluable experience from working in a city like D.C.”

In the past, students have interned with lobbying firms, finance companies, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, nonprofits in the area, and more. Others have worked directly with members of Congress.

Students interested in The Washington Center submit an application, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and receive approval from the university’s program liaison. Students also submit an interest form to the Center, which is used to match them with potential internship sites in D.C. During the fall and spring semesters, students pay Drury tuition, housing costs, and an administrative fee, but all scholarships and loans still apply. Students room with other undergrads at the Center who come from colleges across the country.

Mai Baldwin, a senior international political studies and French major, spent Spring 2014 at the Washington Center and interned with the Wilson Center. She extended her D.C. stay and interned at the Aspen Institute over the summer.

Mai Baldwin

Mai Baldwin

During the spring, Baldwin was enrolled in 12 upper division hours through Drury. She also attended academic and leadership seminars during her stay.

Baldwin, who hopes to attend law school after graduation, focused on students’ access to higher education during her time at the Center. She even brought back a workshop to Drury that helps students study for the LSAT free of charge, a concept modeled off a nonprofit in D.C.

“After the spring, I ended up with a summer job offer because of my work during the semester,” Baldwin says. “It really shows that if you’re diligent, put yourself out there and meet new people, opportunities will come. I had a lot of personal development from being outside of my comfort zone and it gave me a different perspective of the world.”

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, English and Writing major at Drury.

Country singer Chris Young comes to OFEC on Nov. 22

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 2, 2014 —The O’Reilly Family Event Center and KTTS are pleased to announce country singer Chris Young, along with openers Lindsay Ell and the Mark Chapman Band, will perform at the venue on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 5 and will cost $39.50 each. Tickets are available online at www.drurytickets.com or by calling the OFEC box office at (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.

The Grammy-nominated Tennessee native has just released a brand new single titled “Lonely Eyes.” It’s the third single from his latest album, “A.M.” and follows Young’s sixth No. 1 single, “Who I Am With You.” Young has had a string of other No. 1 singles since 2009, including “You,” “Tomorrow,” “Voices,” and “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song).” His last two albums have each cracked the Top 5 of the Billboard Top 200 chart.

Chris Young

Young has toured with Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley, and was chosen by George Straight to open selected dates on the country legend’s “Cowboy Rides Away” farewell tour.

For more information about Young, visit: www.chrisyoungcountry.com. For more information about Lindsay Ell, visit: http://lindsayell.com.

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Freshman CORE class builds a “Little Free Library”

One Drury freshman class is plunging into the grassroots, community sharing network that has inspired Springfield and cities across the world to start their own Little Free Library.

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that started in 2010 and has since grown to become an international movement. It embraces the “take a book, leave a book,” motto in hopes of promoting literacy and the joy of reading.

Simply put, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where local residents may stop by and pick up a book or share one with their community. Most look something like a large birdhouse that can hold anywhere between 25-100 books at a time. They are hand-made and are often feature colorful paint jobs or other playful visual flair.

In January 2014, there were an estimated 15,000 registered Little Free Libraries in the world, with thousands more being built. Springfield already has eight locations. Maps and photos can be found online at Littlefreelibrary.org.

Professor Jo Van Arkel, chair of the Drury English department, was inspired to create a Little Free Library with her freshman CORE class. CORE classes are required courses that give students an introduction to the college experience through a variety of topics. Van Arkel hopes people in the community will develop a sense of ownership and contribute to the library after its installation in late October.

“Libraries are in transition,” said Van Arkel, “but they still serve an essential role in building communities, promoting literacy and preserving the free exchange of ideas that we expect in a democratic society.”

Little Free Library build

Students in Van Arkel’s class broke up into three groups and share a responsibility in the installation of the library. Students built the library from a kit, conducted a demographic study of the neighborhood where it would be placed, and brainstormed different ideas of what types of books the library should hold.

The library will be located on Scott Streetwithin walking distance of Pipkin Middle School, Central High School, and St. Joseph Catholic Academy. It will hold between 25 and 30 books, and the classhopes to put young adult and youth novels in the library, as well as classic literature and non-fiction. Anyone wishing to donate can contact Van Arkel at jvanarke@drury.edu.

Like most other Little Libraries, it was built to be weather resistant and will be at an easily accessible location to attract a wide variety of people.

The class’s next step is to collect book donations. Collection bins will be placed in three locations: outside Dr.Van Arkel’s office on the 3rd floor of Pearsons, outside of Kathy Jester’s office on the 2nd floor of Pearsons, and inside the Olin Library, which will also display the recently constructed Library.

Little Free Library group

Van Arkel hopes that her students will continue checking in with the Library throughout their four years at Drury and that the English honors society can get involved with the project in the future.

“Some of my earliest and happiest memories as a child were of going to the library and bringing home a pile of books. Books were magical to me then and they still are now,” said Van Arkel. “The Little Free Library is a simple concept that captures some of that spirit — it invites curiosity and at the same time encourages the kind of generosity that comes with sharing.”

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

Juried exhibit of graduate students’ artwork held in September

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 27, 2014 — Work by graduate students from Drury’s Summer Institute for Visual Arts will be exhibited during September at the Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial Street.

The exhibit is titled  “Social Selves” and was juried by Greg Booker, assistant professor of art and art history at DU. The show opens with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5, with refreshments and live music provided. 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 (Sept. 13 and 20) through September 25.

“Social Selves” will feature work by the following students: Erin Volker (video), Holly Goodwin (painting), Rebekah Polly (painting), Denise Bolt (ceramics), Justin Gault (painting), Sherry Iott (mixed media), Betty Parnell (painting), Jiyoon Kim (sculpture), Jennifer Rice (photography), Sarah Jones (fiber), Jessica Frelund (video), and James Walley (ceramics). A photo of “Syncopy” by Rebekah Polly is attached.

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

About SIVA

Since 2007, SIVA has offered students an opportunity to earn a Master of Arts degree by working alongside visiting artists in a critically driven environment. Participants study under the guidance of visiting artist fellows, faculty and staff, who provide first-hand understanding of contemporary art issues. The program – a unique model in the Midwest – allows students to earn a Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory over the course of three two-month summer sessions. For more information, go to www.drury.edu/SIVA.

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.

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Students settle in with dinner at faculty homes

Drury’s four-day new student orientation includes moving into residence halls, keynote speakers, fun competitive games, a day of volunteer service, and even a huge fireworks show the night before classes begin.

It’s an intense introduction. But there are relaxing moments, too. One of the unique aspects of this annual tradition is the Sunday evening dinner and dessert with faculty. Groups of students gather at faculty homes and in some campus locations for food and conversation. It’s moment of personal connection in a time of transition.

New students relax and converse following the annual faculty dinner and dessert, held at various sites on campus and in professor’s nearby homes. PHOTO: Aaron Scott

New students relax and converse following the annual faculty dinner and dessert, held at various sites on campus and in professor’s nearby homes. PHOTO: Aaron Scott

“It was really interesting – it was very casual,” says freshman Trevor Cobb, who is from Springfield. “At a larger university, you wouldn’t necessarily have that kind of close relationship with the teachers.”

Conversations ranged from music and movies to what students should expect once they dig into their coursework. Dr. Charles Taylor, Drury’s vice president for academic affairs and a professor of communication, hosted Cobb’s group. Each group is actually a required class, called CORE 101, which brings new students into the college experience by way of various cultural topics.

“The faculty dinner and dessert experience underscores the inclusive, personalized and supportive environment that defines the Drury community,” says Taylor, whose CORE class is titled Politics of Rock and Roll.

Dr. Charles Taylor, left, talks to incoming freshman during the annual faculty dinner and dessert. PHOTO: Aaron Scott

Dr. Charles Taylor, left, talks to incoming freshman during the annual faculty dinner and dessert. PHOTO: Aaron Scott

Megan Henson, a freshman elementary and secondary education major, appreciated the dinner as a great way to get to know her new peers.

“We played outdoor games and just relaxed,” she says. “Truly an awesome time. Drury did a fantastic job of welcoming us and integrating us into the Drury community.”

The personal touch provided by the dinners was important to Vikas Jagwani when he was a new student. Now the junior seeking a bachelor’s degree in accounting is an orientation leader who helped guide the four-day experience.

“It’s always a great way to introduce you to professors that are you taking a class from now, or potentially in the future,” Jagwani says. “This could have not been possible if Drury was a huge school, but the ability to have this opportunity during orientation – that is what makes Drury different.

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Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.