Civil War era ammunition is discovered in defensive trench on Drury’s campus

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 15, 2011 — Two months ago, Drury faculty, students and even the president began digging in the middle of campus to reveal what was believed to be a Civil War defensive trench. Now, with the discovery of a piece of ammunition, there is physical evidence to go with Drury’s narrative history that confirms the existence of that trench. The artifact was found the week of May 30, 2011.

“We found a piece of munitions called grape shot that was not commonly used after 1864 and was specifically used by the military in a configuration called a buck and ball paper cartridge,” says Dr. Monty Dobson, assistant professor of history at Drury. “I took the artifact to the Center for Archaeological Research at Missouri State and to the archives at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. By examining it and comparing it to known artifacts, I was able to identify the shot and date it to the mid-19th century.”

Artifact of grape shot found in Drury's Civil War era trench

The grape shot was found about 2.5 feet down in the cross section of trench Dobson was investigating. The shot appeared in a man-made feature of rocks and earth that Dobson says, “Looks like it was a part of the defensive engineering works for Springfield during the Civil War. I’m not aware of any other surviving examples of defensive engineering works in Springfield.”

On the first day of excavation, on April 14, students discovered artifacts from the late 19th to the mid-20th century, including: iron stone pottery, a World War II era token and a 1954-penny. Later, Dobson found pieces of glass bottles made from a type of glass that was not used after World War I.

Dobson plans to complete the excavation sometime during the week of June 19, fill in the trench and return the berm to its natural state.

The two-month undertaking had value as a research project, and as an educational opportunity for Dobson’s students, “It gave them a chance to become involved in the process of discovering new knowledge, that’s a pretty rare opportunity for undergrads. That made the textbook more tangible. Students were able to get their hands on a Civil War feature built by the people that fought in the war.”

Media: Dr. Dobson will work on the trench on Thursday, June 16 most of the day, and on Friday, June 17 beginning at 11 a.m. He will be available for interviews and have the grape shot and other artifacts available.

Media Contact: Dr. Monty Dobson, Visiting Assistant Professor of History, Office: (417) 873-7368, Mobile: (313) 461-4808, E-mail:


Eleven years of “Building Community through the Arts” at Drury University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 14, 2011 — For the eleventh straight year, Drury graduate students are partnering with The Kitchen, Inc. to create and inspire art with residents of the Missouri Hotel.

The artwork produced by Missouri Hotel residents, a shelter for homeless single females, families or couples, will be shown on Friday, June 17 at the Missouri Hotel from 2-3 p.m. The theme of the art show is “Pieces of my dreams.”

“We chose that theme because the residents are visioning a fresh start in their lives,” said Gwen Marshall, a Drury graduate student.

The graduate course, Building Community through the Arts, is designed to offer students an approach to creativity in everyday living and learning, while giving students the opportunity to make a difference within the Drury neighborhood by introducing residents of the Missouri Hotel to visual arts, music and literature. “We are giving residents an opportunity to have relaxing, art-making time because that nourishes the human spirit, to have creative time and quiet time,” says Dr. Rebecca Burrell, Drury adjunct professor of education. Besides the opportunity to work with the Missouri Hotel residents, Drury students gain an understanding of visual and performing arts while also examining poverty in America.

Besides Marshall, other graduate students taking the class are: Scott Pearson, Marcia Wheeler and Kacie Craig.

The art show is free and open to the public.

During the eleven years of the class, Dr. Burrell estimates that she has had about 75 students take the class and has worked with over 160 Missouri Hotel residents.


Drury architecture students help visually impaired children develop their senses

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 14, 2011 —Drury architecture students were looking for ways to give back to their community when they began a partnership with the Beisner Vision Rehabilitation Center of the Ozarks (VRCO).  As a result of this partnership, students were able to construct an interactive mural for visually impaired children who visit the center.

The mural operates as a panel system. Each panel has a different set of interactive activities so that children can further develop their senses despite their vision loss. When the four panels are put together the system acts as a mural that can also be converted into a magnetic chalkboard, which will allow instructors to further assist patients.

Vision Center Mural

The twelve students engaged in the project began work with VRCO as part of their involvement with Freedom by Design, a national organization that focuses on the service element of the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS). This organization aims to teach college students how to resolve accessibility issues while simultaneously providing them with real world experience.

Last year, this same group of students constructed a handicap ramp for a woman living on her own within the community. This ramp allowed her to enter and exit her home more easily. “Our hope is that we will be able to continue these projects for many years to come,” said Patrick Butler, a recent Drury graduate and former president of Freedom by Design.

Located in the center of Springfield, Mo., the Beisner Vision Rehabilitation Center of the Ozarks strives to provide people with vision loss the opportunity to live to their potential and have a more independent quality of life.  To learn more about this organization visit its website at:

Media Contact: Patrick Butler, Former President, Drury Freedom by Design, Mobile: (417) 631-8947, E-mail:


Drury University hosts a camp for jazz hipsters

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 13, 2011 — The public is welcome to experience several performances of great jazz music the week of June 20 as Drury University hosts the Drury Jazz Camp; one of the longest running camps in the state of Missouri. It dates back to the 1970s when the Stan Kenton Orchestra served as the artist in residence for the camp.

Led by Drury’s Director of Jazz Studies Tina Claussen, the camp faculty will perform Monday, June 20, Tuesday, June 21 and Wednesday, June 22 at 7 p.m. The concert on June 20 will also feature the Jazz Educator’s Big Band, a local group led by Bob Holden. All of the concerts are in Clara Thompson Hall. They are free and open to the public. Following each of the faculty concerts, students  will have the opportunity to jam informally.

The camp is open to high school and middle school students with a minimum of one year of experience on their musical instrument and to adults with previous jazz instrument experience.

In addition to Claussen, the camp’s faculty includes:

  • Jamey Simmons, trumpet-Middle Tennessee State
  • Rob Tapper, trombone-University of Washington
  • Ned Wilkinson, bass-Springfield/Branson freelance musician
  • James Miley, piano-Willamette University
  • John Strickler-guitar, Drury University
  • Brian Hamada, drums-Fresno, Calif. freelance musician


Commercial Club Dedicates C-Street Co-Op booth built by Drury architecture students

Springfield, MO., June 7, 2011 — This Saturday, June 11, at noon, Commercial Club of Springfield will dedicate its new C-Street Market Co-Op booth.  Built by Traci Sooter’s Design-Build Class it will stand next to the C-Street Market Pavilion, designed and built by Ms. Sooter’s students six years ago.  Based on input from Commercial Club, the booth is moveable, contains storage and will function as a co-op produce stand, an office and a ticket booth for concerts and events. The C-Street Market is on Commercial at Jefferson Avenue.

Drury students started working on the booth on May 16, and will continue to work in “Extreme Makeover” fashion, Monday through Friday.  A dedication celebration during Market Day and featuring live music is scheduled for Saturday, June 11 at noon.

“These students are extremely talented and community minded; their goal was to build a very flexible and environmentally friendly structure for the community with 97 percent of materials coming from within a 1-mile radius ,” said Paul Parker, President, Commercial Club.  “This booth will add to our offerings here at the market by encouraging neighborhood gardeners and community gardens to vend their produce through us for a small fee here at our Co-Op Booth.”

The Club will keep a 25 percent commission on sales with all proceeds used to promote the C-Street Market.  Vendors who choose to trade out time may work for 2 hours at the booth in order to keep 100 percent of their proceeds.

Councilman Nick Ibarra is supportive of the C-Street Co-Op as a community resource in Zone 1.  He is processing a request to use a small portion of his Zone 1 Pothole Fund to cover the cost of construction materials.  He plans to attend the dedication as well.

Commercial Club of Springfield has a long history of partnering with multiple groups to support and promote the revitalization of Commercial Street.  Drury’s current involvement is the latest of a number of projects used to move the district forward over the past 15 plus years.  For this project, the Club has also partnered with The Kitchen Inc. and will receive a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) on July 1. The CDBG grant will fund a Market Master position, held by Aubree Taylor who will also manage the Co-Op Booth.

The grant will also provide some marketing and promotional materials for the new Co-Op.

Commercial Club of Springfield is one of Springfield’s oldest civic organizations with a goal to preserve, protect and promote the Commercial Street Historic District.  Its current focus is projects that strengthen the commercial and residential district’s social, cultural and historic activities.

Photo attached by Collette Studios

Clockwise from upper left: Jacob Cordonnier, “Echo” Ying Xiang, Kirsten Sharp, Cody Hearne, Kirsten Whitehead, Mary Collette, Professor Traci Sooter

Media contacts:
Paul Parker, President of Commercial Club, 417-987-6749.
Traci Sooter, Drury University, Community Design/Build Professor, 417-234-6405.
Aubree Taylor, C-Street Market Manager, 417-496-1968.
Donnie Rodgers, Community Development Coordinator with the Urban Districts Alliance, 417-831-6200.

Commercial Club of Springfield
299 East Commercial
Springfield, Missouri 65803

Chicago to perform at the O’Reilly Family Event Center

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 6, 2011 — Drury University will host the multi-platinum selling band Chicago in concert on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at 8 p.m. at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

A legendary performing group, Chicago has sold over 38 million units in the U.S., and, to date, has charted five consecutive number one albums and 21 top tenhits. Since its formation in 1967, the group has released 32 albums, 25 of which have been certified platinum.  More recently, the group was named one of Billboard Magazine’s Top 100 artists of all time, ranking at number 13.


Tickets for the event will go on sale Monday, June 6.  Ticket prices are $77 (floor seats), $51 and $41 (plus taxes and fees).  To purchase tickets, visit, call 873-6389, or visit the box office at the O’Reilly Center.

To learn more about Chicago, visit the band’s website:

Media Contact:
Matt Miller
Director of Athletic Advancement and Event Services
Office: (417) 873-6991


Drury SIFE team receives leadership award worth $5,000

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 2, 2011 — Drury University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team received the Jenzabar Foundation Student Leadership Award, including a $5,000 grant, on Wednesday, June 1 in Nashville, Tenn. Several member of the Drury SIFE team were present to receive the award at the Jenzabar Student Leadership Awards Ceremony held in conjunction with Jenzabar’s annual meeting.

The award was based on a self-nomination application open to institutions of higher education, non-profit organizations, religious organizations and other student groups. The purpose of the Student Leadership Award is to recognize student organizations that have made a difference in the world through service and philanthropic activities, both domestically and internationally.

With the $5,000 in funds, the Drury SIFE team will continue a project it began last March on the island of Ambergris Caye (am-BEAR-grease Key), Belize. When the team first traveled to San Mateo, Belize they constructed a recycling rain garden for Holy Cross Anglican School.

Drury SIFE team constructs the water garden in Belize

The garden now saves 180,000 gallons of water each year, equivalent to approximately $15,000. Upon returning to Belize next year, the team will use the Jenzabar Foundation grant to begin a sewing co-operative for women in the San Mateo region.

“We are honored to receive this grant. It will be invaluable as our team continues to fulfill the mission of SIFE throughout the world,” said Sarah Montgomery, director of the Drury SIFE team. “With these funds we will be able to empower a highly disadvantaged group of women in San Mateo, Belize while also providing themwith meaningful employment and self-reliance.”

Drury students in Belize

The Jenzabar Foundation strives to assist institutions of higher education in support of service-based student activities, and to non-profit organizations involved in education and social welfare. In line with these efforts the foundation finds and rewards student leadership that is committed to humanitarian efforts, while also raising awareness about the positive impact students can have on the lives of others.

According to its website, SIFE is a global, non-profit organization active on 1,500 college campuses in 39 countries and territories. Student teams develop projects to help create economic opportunity by teaching concepts related to free market economics, business ethics, entrepreneurship, personal finance and success skills.

Sarah Montgomery
Drury Students in Free Enterprise, Director
Office: (417) 873-6863
Mobile: (417) 766-0365


Drury architecture students develop a co-op booth on C-Street

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 31, 2011 — Six years ago, Drury architecture students designed and built the pavilion that shelters the C-Street Market on Commercial Street. This summer, a new crop of Drury students will design and construct a co-op booth adjacent to the C-Street Market Pavilion at the intersection of Jefferson and Commercial Street.

The booth the students construct must be moveable, contain storage and function as both a produce stand and a ticket booth for concerts and events. The students are striving to create a C-Street Market Co-op Booth that is both of and for the community.

“We are honored to be invited back to C-Street for another Design/Build project. Opportunities for students to put their design skills to the test and build full-scale projects for charities or communities in need are priceless educational experiences,” said Traci Sooter, Drury associate professor of architecture.

Drury has a long history of supporting and promoting the revitalization of Commercial Street. The C-Street Market is a committee of Commercial Club of Springfield. The club partnered with The Kitchen Inc. and has been approved for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to fund a Market Master position to manage the C-Street market, as well as some marketing and promotional materials, which will include signage for the new co-op booth.

Drury students started working on the booth on May 16, and will continue to work Monday through Friday with plans to install the booth at the C-Street Market on June 3. A dedication celebration is scheduled for Saturday, June 11 at noon.

Media Contact:
Traci Sooter, AIA
Associate Professor of Architecture
Office: (417) 873-7416


More Drury students join the Ozarks Teacher Corps

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 26, 2011 — Drury University members of the Ozarks Teacher Corps attended the recent Rural Education Rendezvous in Thomasville, Mo., where representatives from the Rural Learning Center in South Dakota did a workshop encouraging the aspiring teachers to become leaders in their rural communities.

Five Drury students were introduced as members of the second class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps, which awards $4,000 annual scholarships to teacher-education majors who will commit to teaching in a rural community for at least three years after graduation.

Those five new members – sophomore Annie Brechbuhler, juniors Stephanie Sechler and Kelly Wardle, and seniors Brandi Case and Katherine Espy – join several Drury students who were inducted into the inaugural class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps in 2010. Several of the graduating members of the inaugural class have accepted jobs in rural districts.

The Ozarks Teachers Corps scholarships are made possible by the Chesley and Flora Lee Wallis Scholarship Fund and the Henry J. and Lucille J. Straus Scholarship Fund, both created by generous donors committed to ensuring advanced education for Ozarks students. Both scholarship funds support students involved in the Rural Schools Partnership, an initiative of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks dedicated to strengthening rural schools as anchors of their communities.

Front Row (left to right): Stephanie Sechler, Willard; Katherine Espy, Marshfield; Morgan Mais, Marionville; Whitney Packwood, Billings; Lauren Albrecht, Republic; Jessica Joiner, Lebanon; and Annie Brechbuhler , Aurora. Back Row (left to right): CFO Chairman David Pointer; Gina Crunkilton, Drury-Cabool faculty; Brandi Case, Sparta; Rachael Buck, Springfield; Kathy Bradshaw, Norwood; Albert Bryant, Everton; and Kelly Wardle, Willow Springs.


Drury University receives annual award from the NAACP

SPRINGFIELD, MO., May 20, 2011 — The Springfield Chapter of the NAACP awarded Drury University with the Drum Major Award at the organization’s annual banquet on Saturday, May 14.

According to Francine Pratt, president of the Springfield Chapter of the NAACP, “The Drum Major Award honors individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions toward realizing Dr. King’s dream of equality, social justice, and peace. In one of his more famous sermons, Dr. King said, ‘…say that I was a drum major for justice…for peace…for righteousness.’”

Pratt cited Drury’s Edward Jones Scholarships for minority students, the Summer Scholars program for minority teens, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest as some of the reasons Drury was honored with the NAACP’s highest honor.

“Drury is humbled and honored to earn the Drum Major Award from the NAACP,” said Drury Associate Dean Bruce Callen who accepted the award for Drury. “Drury’s first class in 1873 featured women and Native Americans, we are proud that Drury continues to foster an atmosphere of inclusion in Springfield and the Ozarks.”