Drury students spend their spring break volunteering

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 17, 2010 — Next week, while most students are on vacation, or are resting their brains from midterms, 12 Drury students will be volunteering on an alternative spring break trip in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

The group will leave Springfield at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 19 and return Thursday,March 24. While there, students will spend their time and efforts volunteering at a homeless shelter, and working with Habitat for Humanity. The students will stay in a beach house 500 feet from the ocean. Each student paid $100 for the trip, and Drury’s Student Union Board covered the rest.

“Alternative Spring Break is a great time for Drury students to give back and experience a new community, while also creating memories with their classmates,” says Allison Griffith, student union board coordinator at Drury University.

Students participating in the trip include: Greg Suhrheinrich, Raj Patel, Amanda Gibbons, Alma Flores, Brenda Varela, Christine Fish, Jacqueline Paulsmeyer, Shay Sechler, Cody Sullivan, Ethan Crider, Ally Dedmon, and Bethanie Funderburk.

Group sponsors Andy Swartz and Allison Griffith will accompany the students to Alabama.

Media Contact: Allison Griffith, Student Union Board Coordinator, Office: (417) 873-6975, Mobile: (417) 230-4973, E-mail: agriffith@drury.edu


Drury students raise money for Japanese earthquake victims

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 15, 2011 — Several Drury students, including Japanese students, are collecting money this week to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan. Money raised will go to the The Nippon Foundation/CANPAN Northeastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.

“If we were in Japan, we could participate in many kinds of volunteer opportunities to help victims, such as sending food and water. However, we cannot do that right now, and we thought fundraising and donating money would be the most effective and efficient way to help the victims,” said Yusaku Seki, Drury student and one of the fundraising organizers.

The students have set up a table outside of the Commons (the Drury cafeteria) inside the Findlay Student Center to collect donations. They will collect money from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. every day this week, and from 5-7 p.m. through Thursday, March 17. During their initial fundraising effort, during the lunch hour on Monday, the group raised $85.

Drury dismisses for Spring Break on Friday evening.

Media Contact:
Yusaku Seki
Drury University student
ONE Drury -President
Mobile: (417) 429-5508


New nonprofit center, graduate emphasis coming to Drury in 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 15, 2011 — Beginning on June 1, 2011, non-profit organizations in the Ozarks will have a resource to develop marketing and public relations solutions with the opening of The Center for Nonprofit Communication at Drury University.

The Center for Nonprofit Communication (CNC) will provide public relations and strategic communications services to support area nonprofit organizations in fulfilling their missions and achieving their goals. The center will serve 501(c)(3) charitable organizations that engage in some of southwest Missouri’s most important issues.

The Center will be housed within the Shewmaker Communication Center, working with the university’s communication department and other academic programs. It will provide instruction to Drury undergraduate and graduate students, and will offer student teams the chance to develop and implement research-driven communication strategies and campaigns for partner nonprofits. The CNC will also provide communication training to the community through workshops, seminars and various resources.

“The Ozarks has a robust nonprofit community. We believe the CNC will be a resource for these institutions while providing our students real-world experience working with clients,” said Dr. Curt Gilstrap, director of the Master of Arts in Communication program at Drury. “Additionally, Drury hopes that the plans and solutions the CNC develops can be duplicated for nonprofit organizations throughout Missouri and the greater Midwest region.”

Dan Prater will lead the Center for Nonprofit Communication. Dan has taught communication courses as an adjunct instructor for Drury since 2007, and he has worked in various communication positions. Most recently he has served as the public affairs director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Southwest Missouri.

“We are so pleased to add this to our university,” said Dr. Charles Taylor, vice president for academic affairs. “The CNC aligns with Drury’s mission of bettering our communities and civic service.”

The CNC has received major support from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the Musgrave Foundation, both in Springfield.

To further enhance this focus, Drury is adding a new emphasis to its Master of Arts in Communication:  Nonprofit Communication. The graduate emphasis will offer courses specifically designed to prepare professionals who currently work in, or desire a position in, the nonprofit sector. Students can begin pursuit of the nonprofit master’s emphasis in Fall 2011.

To register for the new master’s emphasis at Drury, call (417) 873-4068 or e-mail cgilstrap01@drury.edu

Media Contacts:

Dr. Curt Gilstrap, Director of the Master of Arts in Communication at Drury,
Office: (417) 873-4068, Mobile: (417) 496-8558, E-mail:
Dan Prater, Director of the Center for Nonprofit Communication at Drury, Mobile: (417) 576-2210, E-mail: dprater@drury.edu
Mark Miller, Associate Director of Marketing and Communication, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, E-mail: markmiller@drury.edu


Drury alumnus and former Amazon executive discusses the evolution and influence of technology

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 8, 2011 — Drury alumnus and former vice president of Amazon.com Rick Ayre will examine the influence of technology in both the past and present on Thursday, March 10, at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University.

Rick Ayre

Rick Ayre saw this quote in Newsweek magazine in 1995: “Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.”

A year after that was written, Ayre left a successful job at PC Magazine, to help start that online bookstore in Seattle. His mother told him he was crazy. Today, with Newsweek itself having changed its identity, how do we remember those days? And, with our heads, and all computing, about to enter the clouds, where are our books, where is our music, where are our photos, our memories?

Drury University’s 2010-2011 convocation series The Persistence of Memory, Perspectives on the Past examines history and how it relates to our understanding of the present.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit www.drury.edu/memory or contact Theme Year Director Bill Garvin at (417) 873-7482.

Media Contact: Bill Garvin, Theme Year Director, Office: (417) 873-7482, E-mail: wgarvin@drury.edu


Drury University to become tobacco-free in 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 4, 2011— Drury University will become a tobacco-free campus with the beginning of the fall semester in 2012. Currently, smoking is not allowed in any buildings at Drury University and this extension of that policy to the entire campus and all tobacco products reflects Drury’s commitment to wellness. The policy encompasses both smoking and smokeless tobacco.

“Last May, the Board of Trustees added a strategic goal to Drury’s mission that addressed wellness. Drury should be a healthy, safe and clean environment for our students, visitors and for the Drury community. This policy will help us achieve that goal,” said Drury President Todd Parnell.

The tobacco-free policy will be phased in over the next 18 months. First, the President’s Council on Wellness will oversee a task force charged with enforcement of the policy. Beginning in the fall of 2011, the task force will seek compliance from those found using tobacco products on campus. This will entail conversations and handouts to build awareness that Drury is a tobacco-free campus. Concurrent with the effort to educate and seek compliance, the President’s Council on Wellness will provide a portion of its budget to be used to pay for cessation programs for full-time students enrolled in the traditional Day School during the 2011-2012 school year. Drury’s health benefits plan provides for smoking cessation at no cost to faculty and staff.

Beginning on Aug. 17, 2012, tobacco-free will become official university policy. The Tobacco-Free Task Force will develop the enforcement portion of the policy over the next several months.

“This policy will be enforced, but our hope is that it will never get to the disciplinary phase. The Drury community has a respect for the health of others and for a clean environment and those values will be reflected in compliance with a tobacco-free campus,” says Matt Miller, director of campus wellness. “We’ve designed this program after months of study within the Drury community to gauge campus attitudes. The extended time frame to implement the policy gives Drury ample time to educate the community about the new rules, and it gives smokers the opportunity to take part in a cessation program if they choose to do so.”

Drury University consulted with The Center of Excellence for Tobacco-Free Campus Policy at Ozarks Technical Community College in developing its policy.

This is just the latest wellness effort Drury has embarked on in the last few years. Recent wellness initiatives include: new weight and exercise equipment in Barber Fitness Center, fitness classes for students and employees, healthier options in University vending machines and a free bike loan program for students.

For Drury’s complete Tobacco Free-Policy visit:

For Frequently Asked Questions regarding Drury’s Tobacco-Free Policy visit:

Media: President Todd Parnell, Drury’s Director of Wellness Matt Miller, along with students will be available to the media from 10 a.m.-noon on Friday, March 4 in the studio inside Shewmaker Communications on the southwest corner of Central Street and Drury Lane.

Media Contact:
Matt Miller
Director of Campus Wellness
Office: (417) 873-6991
Mobile: (417) 576-3846
E-mail: mmiller2@drury.edu


Drury to host the fourth annual Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 2, 2010 — Drury University will host the fourth annual Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA) OzArts Conference on Saturday, April 2 in the Trustee Science Center. The conference will focus on the business side of pursuing avisual, performing or literary arts career, as well as review fundamental skills necessary for all self-employed artists.

“This will be the fourth annual SEA OzArts Conference in Springfield, Missouri. We are so proud to be a part of this Coleman Foundation initiative, enabling us to bring the opportunity to learn from and network with seasoned professionals in the arts to our area’s budding entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Kelley Still, executive director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Drury University.

Speakers include professional visual, literary and performing artists as well as arts administrators. The morning begins with a welcome and arts funding update from State Representative Sara Lampe and moves on to breakout sessions with professionals from all of the arts disciplines, sharing their strategies for success in their fields. The conference concludes with lunch and a keynote presentation by internationally recognized artist, Gary Bowling. Bowling’s work is held in the private collections of some of the most prestigious organizations in the Midwest and as far away as Hong Kong. One-on-one sessions with various professionals will be available for those seeking further advice.

All visual artist participants are encouraged to submit a piece to the juried art show which will take place in conjunction with the conference. The juried art show will be held on Friday, April 1 in Drury’s Pool Art Center. Additionally, participants who are writers, singers and actors are invited to read or perform as a part of the show.  Contact Sara Cochran at scochran@drury.edu for information about participating on Friday night.

Members of the community are invited to register for a $30 fee. Registration is open at www.drury.edu/ejc/sea.  For more information contact Tammy Rogers, tammy@drury.edu, (417) 873-6357.

Kelley Still
Executive Director, Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship
Office: (417) 873-7458


Rumors comes to Drury University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., February 28, 2011 —When assumptions are based on rumors, laughter ensues in this farce by Neil Simon, the master of American comedy.

The production will run March 2-4 at 8 p.m. and March 5 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for seniors and $5 for students.  For ticket information and reservations, contact the Theatre Box Office at (417) 873-7255 Monday through Friday from 1-5 p.m.


Drury students and faculty will contribute a new sculpture to First Friday Art Walk

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 24, 2011 — The First Friday Art Walk on March 4 will introduce a new experience to Art Walk regulars: a three dimensional project created by the Drury and Springfield community will be on display in the basement of Gelato Mio. In the works since the fall, this art project is the first of many that will be displayed around the downtown area in the future.

Art Walk Sculpture Prototype

The installations, conceived, choreographed, and supervised by Drury University students, faculty and Drury University Alumni, will transform underutilized space in downtown Springfield by using common materials and community effort to produce striking spatial and artistic results. These installments will involve sculpture, dance, music, poetry, and prose, and use unconventional materials, such as packing tape, to provoke complex thoughts and emotions. Using available items and cheaper materials not usually associated with fine art, these projects are a creative way to involve the community in the First Friday Art Walk in a more hands-on way. This gives anyone the opportunity to collaborate as members of the artistic community in creating art installations conceived in the spirit of participation.

Gerard Nadeau, assistant professor of Architecture at Drury University, is heading up the venture, “We hope that the ongoing project becomes a major collaborative effort between the Drury community and Springfield, focused on First Friday Art Walk and the revitalization of downtown.”

Construction of the project will take place Saturday, Feb. 26 and Sunday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 205 Park Central East, and is open to the public. Those attending First Friday Art Walk on Friday, March 4 will have the opportunity to add to the project.

Gerard Nadeau
Visiting Assistant Professor, Architecture
Office: (417) 873-6937
: gnadeau@drury.edu


Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu <http://news.drury.edu/> . Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.

In memoriam: Former Drury Professor and Dean Dr. Allen Eikner

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 23, 2011 — Drury University is saddened to learn that former Dean of the College Allen Eikner died on Monday, Feb. 21 at the age of 91 after a battle with cancer.

Dr. Eikner graduated from Drury in 1949 and served the University for 31 years as dean of the Drury School of Religion, professor and chair of philosophy and religion, and dean of the college. Eikner retired in 1983 and served Drury as an emeritus faculty member.

Dr. Allen Eikner

“Above all, Dr. Eikner was a gifted thinker and teacher,” said Dr. Charles Taylor, Drury’s current Dean. “He understood and embodied the very essence of Drury. As a gentleman and scholar, Dr. Eikner was truly a giant.”

In May of 2010, Drury honored Dr. Eikner and the late Dr. Sam Smith, on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the Drury School of Religion.

“Allen was truly one of the most revered professors at Drury. He was legendary among students who took his philosophy courses,” said Dr. Peter Browning, Drury University Chaplain. “When one was in Allen Eikner’s presence, one had the sense of a profound intellect. He was a classic scholar.”

Services for Dr. Eikner are scheduled for 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 26 at South Street Christian Church located at South and Elm streets in Springfield. Drury extends to Dr. Eikner’s wife, Clara Bess, and her family and friends its deepest condolences.


Drury University has its second highest spring enrollment of all time in 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., February 23, 2011 — Drury University has a spring semester enrollment of 5,389 students. This figure, from the recently concluded university census, includes adult evening and online programs, graduate classes and the traditional Day School.

Drury’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) has 3,323 undergraduate students taking 33,533 credit hours. Additionally, Drury has 541 graduate students pursuing master’s degrees in art, business, communication, education, criminal justice, music therapy, criminal justice and criminology.

Enrollment in undergraduate online courses has grown 5 percent over Spring 2010. Online course offerings make up 31 percent of CGCS programming.

Drury’s traditional undergraduate Day School has 1,525 students enrolled for spring 2010. That is the third highest spring Day School enrollment of all-time.