Drury joins local patriotic groups to celebrate Flag Day’s 100th anniversary

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 8, 2016 — Drury University will host a Flag Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 14 in Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center. The event is free and open to the public. Trustee Science Center is located on Drury Lane, just north of Chestnut Expressway.

The local chapters of the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution will join Drury for this special 100th anniversary celebration of our nation’s colors. Local Boy Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Drury student and U.S. Air Force veteran Matthew Overcast will be recognized by the university for his military service and classroom leadership.

US Flag backlit

President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation declaring June 14 as Flag Day in 1916 and in 1949 an act of Congress solidified this national day of observance. June 14 is the day the flag of the United States was adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1777.

Drury’s tradition of serving those who have served our country dates to the days following World War II, when buses brought soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood to classes held on the Springfield campus. Today, one of Drury’s branch locations is at Fort Leonard Wood.

The commitment continues today, as Drury has been named a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media. Drury is also a supporter school of the Order of the Purple Heart and is a Yellow Ribbon School. Drury supports federal initiatives that help veterans and active-duty service members apply for, pay for and complete their degrees and has designated staff to help coordinate these services.


Drury Athletics taps Ed Beach to lead media relations and marketing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 3, 2016 — Drury University’s Athletics Department has named Ed Beach its new Assistant Athletic Director-Media Relations/Marketing. Beach begins his duties at Drury on June 14. He will oversee all sports information, media relations and athletics marketing duties for Drury’s tradition-rich NCAA D-II programs.

Beach earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Drury and is currently the Director of Communications at the Evangel University Athletics Department, where he as worked since 2002. Prior to that, Beach spent seven years in sports broadcasting media relations and sponsorship sales for professional minor league baseball, basketball and hockey teams in the Midwest. He has also been a radio sports reporter and has extensive experience broadcasting play-by-play at all levels of competition.

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“We are excited to have Ed on the Drury Athletics team,” said Mark Fisher, Director of Athletics at Drury. “His deep experience and familiarity with Drury will be great assets for all of our teams, coaches and student-athletes.”

“I’m honored and humbled by this opportunity,” said Beach. “I grew up on this campus watching Drury teams compete and this institution prepared me for the professional world as I earned college degrees here. My predecessors in this role established a high standard of excellence and I’m looking forward to the challenge of maintaining and building on what they accomplished.”

Beach graduated from Drury in 1992 with bachelor’s degrees in communication and English. He earned a master’s degree in communication from Drury in 2005. He made his broadcast debut at age 17 and made his professional sports broadcast debut at age 23. Beach’s professional broadcasting career included stints with minor league baseball affiliates of the Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays.

While at Evangel, Beach handled all play-by-play duties for EU football, basketball and women’s basketball games, and oversaw marketing budgets, all printed and online content and developed promotional partnerships. He also negotiated the school’s first ever multi-year broadcast agreement.

Beach has been a board member of the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame since 2009 and is currently the board’s president-elect. He is also an executive committee member of the Springfield Quarterback and Tipoff Clubs.


Outstanding Drury seniors ready for next phase in life

Each year, Drury faculty and staff choose two people from the graduating senior class to honor as the Outstanding Senior Man and Woman of the Year. This annual tradition recognizes leadership ability, scholastic achievement, campus involvement and community involvement. The 2016 honorees are sociology and criminology major Allison Hebert and criminology major Austin Ross.

The pair answered a few questions about this honor before moving on to the next big phase of their lives.

Hebert and Ross 2

What does this recognition mean to you?

Ross: “To me this recognition means that I have lived the Drury experience; an experience that has let me be fully involved in my college experience and build lasting relationships with those I shared it with.”

Hebert: “It means a lot to me that the university I spent four years giving my time energy and life to has seen fit to give this back to me. It’s the culmination of the all the hard work over the years. I also know I’m not the only one deserving of the honor.”

How would you describe the class of 2016? Were you more studious or more fun loving?

Hebert: “I think most people would agree we balanced both aspects of life pretty well. We have some amazing people in our class who are going to go on and do incredible things, but we also have a class that knows how to have fun. We are capable of having memorable experiences outside the classroom even though we worked really hard in the classroom, too.”

What does it say about Drury that faculty and staff vote on this award each year?

Hebert: “Being at a college small enough that faculty and staff across campus know your name and what you do in the community is one of Drury’s biggest strengths, and I think that’s really demonstrated through this award.”

How do you feel about your time at Drury now that it’s over?

Ross: “It’s strange to think that the best four years of my life have come to an end. I’m sad to think I’ll never have the same experience again but I’d like to think that I will be involved with Drury and possibly other institutions of higher education in the future, using the tools Drury gave me to support those types of experiences for others.”

What is the biggest lesson or memory you’ll take with you?

Ross: “I learned a lot about how dedication and service reward those who work hard, especially when put towards the benefit of others. I will always regard my experiences with residence life, student organizations, the instrumental ensembles, and our Ultimate Frisbee team as the best times of my life.”

What’s next for you?

Ross: “I’m waiting to hear back on a job offer, but I will be working in Springfield for some time and keeping connected with the university while I begin to develop a career here. I would love to work for a government agency.”

Hebert: “I will move to Washington, D.C. in August to get my masters in justice, law and criminology at the American University School of Public Affairs. I want to get a J.D. or Ph.D. and pursue policy or research work in the criminal justice system.”



Breech School of Business maintains prestigious AACSB Accreditation


SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 31, 2016 — Drury University has maintained its business accreditation by AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools for Business. An honor that only 5% of the world’s business programs hold, AACSB accreditation is the hallmark of excellence and it signifies that Drury has made a long-term commitment to providing the best in business education.

After obtaining accreditation, all member schools are reviewed on a five-year cycle. The process is rigorous and focuses on quality and relevance of the academic programs. “We are obviously pleased that AACSB has once again evaluated our program and found it to be worthy of accreditation. Most important is what this says about the ability of the Breech School of Business to provide our students with a quality business education that will prepare them for leadership positions in a global business community.” said Dr. Robin Sronce, dean of the Breech School of Business.

For over 50 years Drury’s Breech School of Business has been preparing students to be ethical leaders in the global business economy. Breech offers specialized undergraduate majors in accounting, economics, finance, management and marketing, as well as a minor in business administration. Students may also pursue a general business administration degree online.


Drury student Bre Legan to intern in India and Italy

bre-leganSPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 26, 2016 — Students at Drury are continuously encouraged to gain a global perspective. To do this, many Drury students study abroad for a short term summer trip or an entire semester.

Drury junior, Bre Legan, from Conway, Mo., and graduate of Conway High School, has been accepted for a competitive internship program to Dharamsala, India with Cross-Cultural Solutions. Legan is a Graphic Design, Fine Arts, and Writing triple major, and she will serve as a Global Communications Intern for six weeks from June 25 to August 6 crafting video, photographs, and written narratives for their social media accounts.

“I think that there’s a lot of hesitancy for going abroad in general,” says Legan. “That’s why it is so important to correct false impressions we might have and show the world that we have more similarities than differences.”

After returning from India, Legan turns around to spend her junior year in Florence, Italy. She will leave August 24th to take classes at Santa Reparata International School of Art. After studying abroad for the year, she plans to backpack across Europe. While in Florence, she will complete a second internship for school credit.

“I hope to meet a variety of people from radically different backgrounds than mine, and learn not just about them but from them,” says Legan.

Legan will return to Drury her senior year to share her global experiences with the community.


Two outstanding honors students receive research funding from Drury

Brewer and Vega

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 26, 2016 — Drury Honors students Lexi Brewer and Rita Elisa Vega are the inaugural recipients of the White-Foster Endowed Scholarship. The merit-based scholarship supports research conducted by women in Drury’s newly revamped Honors Program.

Lexi Brewer is a junior from Camdenton, Mo. who is a double major in international political studies and Spanish, and is also pursuing a minor in biology and a minor in environment and sustainability. Brewer has accepted a position at Oregon State University as a Summer Sea Scholar, where she will develop an eco-tourist strategy for the town of Bandon, Oregon.

In January 2017, she will study abroad in Roatan, Honduras. Roatan is an internationally recognized marine protected area, and researchers on the island conduct assessments to measure the effectiveness of the reserve. By working with these researchers, Brewer hopes to gain insight to her specific academic interest: creating effective environmental policy. She plans to present her findings at a research conference the following spring.

Rita Elisa Vega is a junior from Columbia, Mo. who is majoring in history. Her goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Latin American history. She will spend five weeks this summer traveling to several cities in Bolivia in order to access the national archive and university libraries. The research will focus on the independence movement of the country and the roles of the Quechua and Aymara peoples in the fight for freedom. She plans to gather primary sources on the topic for use in her Senior Seminar and Honors Project during her senior year at Drury.

Following the trip to Bolivia, Vega will travel to Penn State University for the Undergraduate Mentoring Program, which is designed for underrepresented students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. in history.

The White-Foster Scholarship will help offset the costs associated with the research these two outstanding students plan to conduct. Honors Program Director Dr. Richard Schur and the Honors Council select recipients of the scholarship. Eligibility is open to all female honors students who have completed at least their freshman year.


McEachern named a Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

Patricia McEachern

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 25, 2016 — Dr. Patricia McEachern, Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professor for the Study of Animal Rights, has been invited to be a permanent Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics at Oxford University in England. Dr. McEachern will visit the Centre to teach this summer.

The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics was launched in 2006, with the aim of pioneering ethical perspectives on animals through academic research, teaching and publication. It is a think tank for the advancement of progressive thought, with the aim of putting animals on the intellectual agenda. It seeks to be a world-class center of academic excellence and is the first center of its kind in the world.

At the heart of its work is an international and multidisciplinary network of academic Fellows who are pioneering new thinking in animal ethics. The Fellowship is a select academy composed of the most able and creative minds in the field and appointment is by nomination or invitation only.

“This is truly an enormous honor for me and for Drury,” McEachern says. “It’s gratifying for Drury’s animal studies program to be recognized by some of the top academics in the field.”

Drury’s Forum on Animal Rights is one of the few such programs in the country. The centerpiece is an interdisciplinary animal studies minor that includes courses such as animal ethics, animals and society, animal law, and social movements. It provides students with a specialized, in-depth understanding of animals’ lives and the intersection of their lives with humans. The Forum is entirely funded by the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights. McEachern serves as director of the Forum.

Barker, a 1947 Drury alumnus, television host and famed animal rights advocate, was himself honored by the Oxford Centre as its sixth Honorary Fellow in 2010.

McEachern has also been named a contributing editor to the Journal of Animal Ethics, which is published by the University of Illinois in partnership with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

For more information, visit www.oxfordanimalethics.com.

Professor Emeritus Michael Buono elected to AIA College of Fellows

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 24, 2016 — Drury University professor emeritus Michael Buono has been selected by the American Institute of Architects to its prestigious College of Fellows. Buono, who retired in 2015, was formally inducted last week during the AIA national meeting in Philadelphia.

The College of Fellows, founded in 1952, is composed of members of the Institute who are elected to Fellowship by a jury of their peers. Fellowship is one of the highest honors the AIA can bestow upon a member. This honor not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual, but also elevates before the public and the profession those who have made significant contributions to architecture and to society.

Michael Buono

Michael Buono

“The American Institute of Architects has over 85,000 members, and each year only around 150 AIA members are elected to the Institute’s College of Fellows,” says Dr. Robert Weddle, dean of the Hammons School of Architecture. “This news truly demonstrates Professor Buono’s caliber and dedication as an educator and is emblematic of the quality of the HSA program, which he led for over a decade.”

Buono is only the third AIA member from the southwest Missouri area to be elected an AIA Fellow. The first was Richard P. Stahl, a 1936 Drury graduate and architect of many distinguished buildings, including on the Drury campus. HSA alumnus Andrew Wells ’91 — principal of Dake Wells Architecture in Springfield — was the second.

Buono, AIA, LEED AP, served as Director of the Hammons School of Architecture from 2000 until 2012. Prior to joining Drury, he served as associate dean and also director of the architecture program at the University of Arkansas for 15 years. He has also taught at Texas Tech University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Mississippi State University. Buono has practiced architecture with firms in Atlanta and Denver, and maintains his own practice. His primary interest is in sustainable design.

For more information about the AIA College of Fellows visit: http://network.aia.org/cof/home.


Drury hosts Stoa national homeschool debate tournament May 22-28

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 20, 2016 — Drury University will welcome thousands of young debaters and their families to Springfield next week, as it hosts the 2016 Stoa National Invitational Tournament of Champions.

Stoa is a speech and debate organization for Christian homeschooling families. The national event is expected to bring about 3,000 high school and junior high students, parents, coaches and spectators to Springfield beginning today through May 28. The tournament’s biggest days will be Monday and Tuesday, when nearly every building and room on the Drury campus will be in use by Stoa. Central High School, located on Benton Avenue just west of Drury, will also host portions of the event.

The Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau expects the city to be bustling with families staying at hotels, shopping, dining and visiting attractions when they’re not busy at the tournament. The CVB estimates spending of about $125 per person per day, which means a potential economic impact of several million dollars.

And a generous scholarship offer from Drury will make a potential impact on these students’ college education. The University is offering over $4 million dollars in potential scholarship money to participants who choose to attend Drury in the future. All participants will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Those who advance to subsequent rounds will receive $2,500 and $5,000 scholarships, and overall winners will receive a $10,000 scholarship to Drury.

“Drury is extremely pleased to host this event,” said Rob Fridge, Drury’s chief financial officer. “We’re excited to help bring this group of high-achieving students and their families to town. We can’t wait to show them what Drury and Springfield have to offer.”

An opening ceremony will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, May 22 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on the Drury campus. Competitions begin at 8 a.m. Monday through Saturday and continue into the early evening hours each day. NITOC features four speech categories (Interpretive, Limited Preparation, Platform and Wild Card) and three debate categories (Lincoln-Douglas, Team Policy and Parliamentary).

For more information on the tournament, visit http://www.stoausa.org/nitoc-2016.


Media Contacts: Mike Brothers, Drury Director of Media Relations – (417) 873-7390 or mbrothers@drury.edu; and Rob Fridge, Drury Chief Financial Officers and event co-organizer – (417) 873-7527 or rfrdige@drury.edu.

Drury hosts recognition ceremony for promising Missouri scholars Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 19, 2016 — The Drury Center for Gifted Education, in partnership with the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), will honor more than 400 of Missouri’s most promising young scholars at a recognition ceremony at 11 a.m., Friday, May 20 in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Central High School student and former Duke TIP honoree Amanda Morrison will be the keynote speaker.

To qualify for recognition, seventh-grade honorees must take the ACT or SAT and score at a level equal to or better than 50 percent of the high school juniors and seniors who took the test. Duke TIP, a nonprofit organization, has conducted an annual search for academically talented youth in the state of Missouri as well as 15 other states since its founding in 1980.

Drury University has hosted the annual statewide recognition event since 1981. Representatives from Drury, Duke TIP and Springfield Public Schools’ gifted education program will be available for comment to the media before or after the ceremony.

Drury has been a national leader in providing education and enrichment programs for academically gifted students more than 30 years. The Drury Center for Gifted Education is the most complete center for gifted education in the state of Missouri, and is one of less than 20 complete gifted education centers in the United States. Each summer, more than 700 children from pre-K through high school attend Drury’s educational camps for gifted students. Visit Drury Gifted Education for more information.

The Center is part of Drury’s School of Education and Child Development, which is the longest continually accredited School of Education in the state of Missouri. Drury undergraduate and graduate programs in education have a decades-long record of adding value to the lives of children and youth by preparing highly effective teachers and leaders for work in schools throughout the Ozarks region and beyond.


Media Contact: Mary Potthoff, Director of the Center for Gifted Education – (417) 873-7386; (417) 885-8089 or mpotthof@drury.edu.