Student art organization to construct colossal campus nest

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 11, 2012 —Drury University’s Art of Space student group will begin construction of a large-scale nest installation on the northwest corner of Sunderland Field. The group will begin building on-site on Sunday, April 15 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. All members of the Drury community are invited to assist. The piece will be constructed primarily of irrigation tubing and zip-ties, and will remain as a temporary retreat for students to enjoy.

A Nest structure. Copyright Doug Johnston & Yu-Chih Hsiao, used with permission.

The newly establish student organization brings its “space as community event” to the Drury campus as a follow-up to a similar tubing nest constructed at Drury on C-Street for the November 2011 First Friday Art Walk.

“This year’s Theme Day on April 19 is a great reminder that the key to environmental health, to sustainability, lies within our ability to function as a community, to build healthy connections with each other and with the place we make our home,” said Gerard Nadeau, the Art of Space faculty advisor. “Art of Space is about making those connections.”

The event is a great opportunity for all those interested in building community through the creation of public art on the Drury campus. The group’s members will instruct participants on building techniques. No artistic background is needed to assist in the process.

Construction will continue April 16-18 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5 -9 p.m. The group will unveil the nest for Theme Day on Thursday, April 19 allowing the public to step inside and enjoy the space.

Media Contact: Allison Rieke, Email:, Mobile: (573) 301-2238


The scoop of the century: Drury graduate dispatched the first accounts of the Titanic disaster

On the evening of April 11, 1912, Carlos Hurd and his wife, Katherine, embarked on the trip of a lifetime.  In New York City, they had boarded the Cunard liner Carpathia, which was now steaming towards Europe.  As the couple settled into their berth on the liner, Hurd, a newspaper reporter, had no idea that he was on the verge of scoring what some would later call the greatest scoop of the twentieth century.

Carlos Hurd from Drury's archives

Hurd, then 36, had graduated from Drury College in 1897.  While at Drury, he had served as editor of the campus newspaper, the Mirror, and had also worked part time as a writer for the Springfield Leader.  After graduation, he took a job at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a paper that was at the time owned by Joseph Pulitzer.

The Hurd’s trip was uneventful until early on April 15th.  When the Hurds awoke at 5:40 on that Monday morning, they noticed that the Carpathia’s engines had stopped.  There seemed to be a commotion on the ship.

Hurd went on deck to investigate, and a crewmember told him that the White Star liner Titanic was “at the bottom of the ocean.” The Carpathia had received her distress call, and was picking up survivors.  Looking out alongside the Carpathia, Hurd could see a line of lifeboats from the sunken liner.

As the survivors came on board, stories of individual tragedy began to unfold.  Hurd noted “a bride of two months” who “moaned her widowhood,” and an Italian woman who “shrieked the name of her lost son.”  Wealthy women dressed in “the costliest of fur coats” walked about, asking others for news of their husbands.

Unbeknownst to Hurd, his boss Joseph Pulitzer had sent a series of frantic radio messages to the Carpathia, urging Hurd to interview the Titanic’s survivors and get the story of the tragedy.  But the Carpathia’s captain, a man named Arthur Rostron, had not passed the messages on to Hurd, and had declared a news “blackout” on the event.  He even went so far as to confiscate all of the stationary on the Carpathia so that Hurd would not be able to write the story down.

Yet even though he never received Pulitzer’s radio messages, Hurd knew the importance of the story.  As he later put it, “the story was on the Carpathia and nowhere else.” He set to work interviewing the survivors of the Titanic, including Quartermaster Robert Hichens, who was at Titanic’s helm on the night of the sinking.

Carlos Hurd from Drury's archives

Hurd wrote notes down on any scrap of paper that he could find, even toilet paper.  Fearing that the Carpathia’s crew would confiscate his notes, Hurd would hand them to his wife, Katherine, and she would hide the notes by placing them on the bed in their cabin and sitting on top of them.  Finally, Hurd was able to piece together a 5,000-word story detailing first-hand accounts of the sinking.

There remained the problem of how to get the story to Pulitzer’s representatives.  The Carpathia had turned back to take the survivors to New York, but Hurd knew that the ship’s crew would not let him leave the ship with the written story.  So he and a Titanic survivor named Spencer Silverthorne put the manuscript in a cigar box, waterproofed the container, and attached champagne corks to it so that it would float.

When they arrived in New York Harbor on April 18th, a tug hired by Joseph Pulitzer pulled up alongside the Carpathia, and the editor of the New York Evening World, Charles E. Chapin, shouted to Hurd, telling him to throw the box down to him.  Hurd did so, but the box became entangled in one of the Carpathia’s guy wires.  Fortunately, someone on one of Carpathia’s lower decks reached up, grabbed the box, and tossed it down to Chapin.

The story was immediately published in the New York Evening World and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Among other details, Hurd was the first to report that the ship’s orchestra had played “Nearer My God, To Thee” as the liner went down.  “The serene strains of the hymn,” he wrote, “and the frantic cries of the dying blended in a symphony of sorrow.”  Hurd wrote several other stories about the Titanic disaster in the following days; his wife, Katherine, also wrote a story entitled, “Stories of Women Who Survived the Titanic.”

In a biographical note that accompanied Hurd’s initial story, the Post-Dispatch boasted that their reporter enjoyed “an exceptional reputation for accurate and thorough reporting, as well as descriptive power in writing.”  To show his appreciation, Ralph Pulitzer gave Carlos Hurd a $1,000.00 bonus, and told him to take an additional three weeks of vacation.

Several days later, the Hurds boarded the Carpathia again and went on to Europe, where they spent two months travelling about.  But the tragedy they had chronicled cast a pall over their trip.  As the ship entered the Mediterranean, Hurd wrote to his parents, “I feel sure none who was on this ship will ever forget the four days we had the Titanic people aboard.”  He added, “I doubt whether these days will ever seem remote to us.”

Story written by Bill Garvin. Drury University archivist.


Drury’s 2012 Theme Day is all about local food and farming

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 10, 2012 — Drury University’s 2011-2012 convocation theme The Changing Planet: Our Role in Nature’s Economy will culminate on Thursday, April 19 with Theme Day. Highlighting the day is a call to action with opportunities to plant trees on the Drury campus, a chance to sample locally grown food, and the opportunity to hear from community gardening expert and environmentalist Jonny Dubowsky.

Jonny Dubowsky Photo by: Cody Smyth

Dubowsky, a member of the rock group Jonny Lives!, is also the founder and executive director of the The Rock ‘n Renew Foundation. The foundation is a nonprofit that works to provide environmental education to students through art and performances. It began when Jonny Lives! began using a biodiesel vehicle to travel to its performances in order to reduce its carbon footprint. Now, according to its website, Rock ‘n Renew focuses on three areas of impact, “Energy, Ecology, and Society —represent a three-pronged approach that urges conservation, promotes stewardship, and recognizes collective action as the best way to protect our future.”

Dubowsky will be a part of a panel on local food with local farmers Melissa and Adam Millsap, owners of Urban Roots farm. The panel will address the question of “Local and Community Agriculture: How can it Change the Planet?” from 11 a.m.-noon in Clara Thompson Hall. “The environment will be discussed by addressing how school gardens and family farming help to promote and protect the environment through education and stewardship,” said Dr. Sean Terry, convocation director.

From noon-2 p.m., the Findlay Student Center will be the site for a local food fair with free flower and vegetable seeds, food and beverages.

The panel discussion and local food fair are free and open to the public.

From 3-4 p.m., trees will be planted on the Drury campus. Faculty, staff and students can sign up to help with planting on the day of the event.

Drury University’s 2011-2012 convocation series, The Changing Planet: Our Role in Nature’s Economy, considers human connections to the environment, while also examining potential solutions to current problems.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit or contact Theme Year Director Dr. Sean Terry at (417) 873-6963.

Media Contact: Dr. Sean Terry, Theme Year Director, Office: (417) 873-6963, E-mail:


Young and old come together to rock on Monday, April 16

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 9, 2012 — College students and the elderly will come together for a night of rock music at Drury’s Clara Thompson Hall on Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

The second annual Intergenerational Rock Band brings together Drury music therapy students along with residents of The Gardens retirement facility performing songs from The Rolling Stones to Pink, “The values inherent in music can transcend age, and we always pick songs that are about the importance of living for the moment with a positive message everyone can relate to,” said Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk (Wool-dar-zik), assistant professor of music therapy.

Some residents suffer from dementia and do not recall ever having attended practice, but their knowledge is evident when they sing along with every song. Dr. Wlodarczyk says residents can remember the music but not having attended practice because music is stored in a different part of the brain. She adds that the music also helps the residents with cognitive abilities.

The seniors and thestudents both enjoy their time together. Drury student Tyler Stokes, a guitar player for the band, said, “Anyone can be hip or rock. It is a state of mind not an age or stereotype.”

Media Contact: Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk, Assistant Professor of Music Therapy, Office: (417) 873-7573, E-mail:


Drury students host April gallery opening on C-street called “Live: A Festival of Art”

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 4, 2012 — Drury University arts administration students will host another First Friday gallery opening on Friday, April 6 at Drury on C-Street. The festival begins at 6 p.m., and will feature two performance art pieces along with student works of various mediums.

Polly Brandman, a local artist, will present a live dance performance along with her company The Wishbone Dance Collective.  The dance piece will have an interactive quality allowing patrons to be in the center of the action as opposed to watching a piece on stage. Continuing with the performance piece theme, two women from the Springfield community, Cindy Kopenhafer and Debra Kendrick-Murdock, will demonstrate the art of silk painting, a Chinese-based art form.

“We are excited to showcase local Springfield artists and Drury student artists,” said Jeana Varney, senior arts administration student and gallery coordinator. “The collaboration between local artists and the Drury community will strengthen the ties between the Springfield community and Drury University.”

This April show is the last of the student run gallery openings for this semester.  For more information concerning Drury on C-Street and the latest exhibition visit its Facebook page or contact the Drury on C-Street gallery at (417) 864-0254. The Drury on C-Street gallery is located at 233 E. Commercial St. in Springfield.


Young and old come together for Intergenerational Rock Band on April 16

Springfield, Mo., April 2, 2012 — There are some things that all generations have in common and music is one of them. It is not just about the genre of music, but the messages conveyed in music to which all audiences can relate. This is how the Intergenerational Rock Band began, Drury students seeking to share music with the residents of The Gardens retirement facility.

This is the second year for this event and Natalie Wlodarczyk, assistant professor of music therapy, is determined to keep it going. There is a wide range of music from The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” to Pink’s “Perfect.” However, none of the music is from the senior’s generation. “Everyone would expect the seniors to sing songs from the forties and fifties. That’s why we chose more contemporary music,” Dr. Wlodarczyk says of the music choices. “Music has a lot of values, and we always pick songs that are about the importance of living for the moment with a positive message everyone can relate to.”

More than half of the residents in the band have dementia and do not remember going to practice from week to week. After talking to a resident about what she thought about The Intergenerational Rock Band, she said she did not know and that this was her first time, despite having attended several practices. However, when the music started she sang right along, displaying her weeks of practice. Some of the residents remember the music, but don’t recall attending practice because music is stored in a different part of the brain. The music also helps the residents with cognitive development.

The seniors and the students both enjoy their time together. Drury student Tyler Stokes, a guitar player for the band, says, “Anyone can be hip or rock. It is a state of mind not an age or stereotype.”

The Intergenerational Rock Band concert is on Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury. The event is free and open to the public.


This story was written by Katie Felkel, a sophomore Advertising and Public Relations major at Drury.

Photo caption: The Intergenerational Rock Band performs at Clara Thompson Hall in 2011

Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra brings music to life for area schools

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 2, 2012 — The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra (SDCO) will launch Symphony in the Schools, a new cultural outreach program aimed at involving children and families in orchestral music. The program will debut with a concert at the Evangel University Chapel Auditorium on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

With the launch of this new program, the SDCO will work closely with three to fourschools at a time, inviting students and families to attend one of its free concerts. The orchestra will return a percentage of donations collected at the concert toeach school’s music program. For the first concert in May, Wilder, Field, Pershing, and Hickory Hills elementary schools will serve as beneficiaries.

“We love music because it channels those grand feelings we often associate with iconic moments of our lives, but we don’t always seem to associate it with the orchestra,” said Christopher Koch, music director and conductor of The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra. “We’re going to try something a little different than standard arts outreach.”

For more information, visit the SDCO website.

Media Contact: Dr. Christopher Koch, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestra & Wind Symphony, Office: (417) 873-7298, E-mail:


Drury to offer a new wellness certificate for students in the fall of 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 30, 2012 — Beginning this year, Drury University will launch a wellness program that will not only increase the health and wellness of students, but also allow those students to improve the health of the communities where they work.

Starting in the fall of 2012, Drury students can get a wellness education created in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic. Drury freshmen will have the opportunity to earn a wellness certificate based on curriculum developed collaboratively between the prestigious medical education center and Drury University. After completion, students will graduate with a certificate in wellness from Drury that is recognized by the Cleveland Clinic. Completion of the certificate counts for seven credit hours toward a Drury undergraduate education.

“We have been talking to organizations like Drury for years about the business benefits of creating a healthy workforce,” said the Cleveland Clinic’s Tom Gubanc. “This is a strategic and competitive move for organizations and for the U.S. as a whole.  We are excited to work with Drury to provide students with a wellness education created in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic.”

Students will complete one class per semester for eight semesters. There will be online and seated courses that cover diet, exercise, stress management, gender specific health issues and other courses based on a student’s interests and wellness challenges. The program relies heavily on experiential learning. For example, students will take a healthy cooking course that teaches how to make healthy meals and snacks in a kitchen environment. In addition to activity courses, such as, yoga, tai chi and distance running, students will learn how to develop an exercise program that best suits their needs. In the final year of the program, students will go into the community to work with businesses, schools and not-for-profits to help develop wellness programs in those organizations.

Amy Blansit

“Graduates who complete the program will have a decided advantage in performance and marketability as they enter the workplace, and will also be well grounded enough in wellness concepts to positively influence and educate those around them.” Blansit says. “This provides an invaluable service to the community, and, when implemented on a large scale, could potentially be an incredibly powerful tool in the fight against an unhealthy culture and strained national healthcare system.”

Media Contact: Amy Blansit, Director of Campus Wellness and Fitness, Office: (417) 873-6362, E-mail:


Drury’s new architectural leader has a wealth of international experience

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 28, 2012 — Dr. Maurizio Sabini has taught architecture in Italy, Africa and the United States. In July, he’ll bring his extensive experience to Drury University as the new Director of the Hammons School of Architecture.

“Dr. Sabini brings remarkable national and international credentials and a fundamental commitment to teaching and learning. His leadership will strengthen Drury’s commitment to preparing our students for professional success, with an initial priority of strengthening our connection to the local and regional architecture community” said Dr. Charles Taylor, vice president for academic affairs.

Dr. Maurizio Sabini

Since 2000, Dr. Sabini has been a faculty member at Kent State University in Ohio, and he served as the graduate and architecture program coordinator, and, since 2007, as the international studies coordinator for the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. Prior to Kent State, Dr. Sabini taught at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., the University Institute of Architecture in Venice, and at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

Dr. Sabini earned his undergraduate and Ph.D. degrees at the University Institute of Architecture in Venice. In the early eighties, he received a Master of Architecture at the State University of New York in Buffalo as a Fulbright scholar.

Besides scholarly work, Dr. Sabini has worked as a designer and architect in his native Italy, Kenya, Austria and in Ohio.

“It is with great honor that I accept the appointment as the next director of the HSA. The architecture program at Drury attracted me for its specific identity as a professional program within a liberal arts based educational setting,” said Sabini. “This is a very effective approach to architectural education, and increasingly so in the 21st century, when design professionals will have to build their skills on a solid and broad cultural base. I also believe that the Drury program is well positioned to become a model in this regard. While keeping a focus on continuously enriching the student learning experience, my efforts will be aimed at helping the program leverage its current strengths, sharpen its identity and vision, and increase its reputation regionally, nationally and internationally.”

Sabini takes over for Michael Buono who is stepping down from his administrative role in the Hammons School of Architecture to return to full-time teaching.

“It has been an exciting and challenging twelve years since I became the director of the Hammons School of Architecture.  Under my tenure, I believe that we have made some significant accomplishments,” said Buono. “I have increased and stabilized the faculty, encouraged and supported the establishment of the Drury Greece program, shepherded the last two successful National Architecture Accrediting Board re-accreditations, and established and implemented the Master of Architecture degree program.  Between my previous position at Arkansas and now Drury, I have served in an administrative role for the past twenty six years and now I’m looking forward to returning to the classroom full time.”

Sabini begins his new role on July 16.

Media Contact: Dr. Charles Taylor, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Office: (417) 873-7391, E-mail:


Drury’s SIFE Team advances to nationals for the 15th straight year

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 26, 2012 — For the fifteenth straight year, Drury’s SIFE team has qualified for nationals. Drury’s team earned the regional all-star award at today’s competition in Rogers, Ark. This qualifies Drury for the SIFE national competition in Kansas City, Mo., May 22-24.

Drury was one of six teams to advance to nationals out of the 15-team regional competition made up of two-and-four year universities and colleges from throughout the Midwest. There are 11 regional competitions around the country that qualify teams for SIFE nationals.

Drury has won the SIFE National Championship three times, (2001, 2003, 2005) and went on to win the SIFE World Cup in 2001 and 2003. Drury’s SIFE team earned second place at the 2009 and 2011 national competitions.

According to its website, “SIFE is an international non-profit organization that works with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders.”

The SIFE World Cup is in Washington D.C. from Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

Contact: Sarah Montgomery, SIFE Director, Mobile: (417) 766-0365, E-mail: