College care package venture combines social responsibility and innovation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 11, 2011 — College can be stressful, especially for students living away from the comforts of home.   For parents and family members looking to send a little comfort and love, a care package filled with food and supplies can go a long way.

The U Pack ( is a new online college care package business offering parents a convenient and affordable way to send their loved one a care package.

The U Pack is more than just another online care package business.   The assembly of each U Pack provides meaningful jobs for persons with disabilities.   It’s also unique because it’s the result of an innovative partnership with local college students.

Back in January 2010, Springfield Workshop General Manager Chuck Bailey asked the Drury University Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team to help develop and market the college care package business concept.

“We quickly recognized the project was a win-win.  Partnering with Springfield Workshop fulfills our team’s mission to create economic opportunity while also offering a uniquely enriching opportunity for each SIFE student involved,” said Sarah Montgomery, director of Drury SIFE. Drury SIFE is a chapter of SIFE, which is a global network of college students working to create economic opportunity for people, businesses, and organizations in need.

The SIFE team has played an integral role in the creation of the U Pack brand and product line.  Students have been involved in every step of the process, from surveying potential customers, assessing competitors’ products, product selection and the development of sample packages for market testing.

The U Pack is a project of the non-profit Springfield Workshop Inc. (SWI).   SWI was created in 1966 by a group of dedicated parents looking to provide meaningful jobs for their children with disabilities.  SWI currently employs more than 270 people with significant disabilities in the Southwest Missouri area.

Springfield Workshop has historically relied upon a small number of local companies to provide jobs.  These jobs include things like labeling, shrink wrapping, and light assembly.  “In the past, we’ve had major business partners move out of town, shut down, or automate job processes which meant the loss of as many as 15-30% of our jobs,” said Chuck Bailey.

In 2008, in an effort to create and protect new jobs while diversifying revenues, SWI decided to invest in the creation of its own business — Sunny Bunny Easter Eggs — by marketing and selling prepackaged bulk Easter Eggs online at  The business has been a major hit, selling millions of toy and candy filled plastic Easter eggs to churches and municipalities in all 50 U.S. states.  Nearly 50 jobs have been created assembling and packaging the Sunny Bunny Easter Eggs.

This success has encouraged SWI to launch additional micro businesses.  The U Pack launched with approximately 15 U Packs, each with different items and price points.  The “Exam Pack 201” ($49.99) contains a wide assortment of essential study supplies and high-energy snacks to help fuel late night study sessions.  The “Energy To-Go 201″ ($44.99) contains a wide variety of healthy, high-energy snacks like granola bars and trail mix perfect for snacking on the run.

Drury SIFE will now manage the marketing and promotion of The U Pack through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as other advertising channels.

The U Pack care packages will be available for purchase online at and range in price from $30-$60.

Drury University SIFE is now in its fourteenth year of completing projects, which create economic opportunity in communities both locally and globally.

Media Contacts:

Chuck Bailey                                                                            Sarah Montgomery
Springfield Workshop Inc., General Manager                   Students In Free Enterprise, Dir.
Office: (417) 866-2339                                                           Office: (417) 873-6863
Mobile: (417) 824-0857                                                         Mobile: (417) 766-0365
E-mail: E-mail:

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Drury offers students a new opportunity to study the role of law in society

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 11, 2011 — Beginning in the fall of 2011, Drury students will have the opportunity to enroll in a new minor focusing on law and society.

The purpose of this new minor is to allow students to study law’s role in organizing society and prepare students for law and law-related careers. The minor will examine legal history, explore the role of the law and lawyers in solving social problems, consider the philosophical concept of justice, and examine how law and legal reasoning affects nearly every aspect of contemporary life.

Dr. Rich Schur

The new minor also has the potential to attract new students since only two universities in Missouri have similar programs. “The study of law and society helps students become more engaged in their communities and their professions,” said Dr. Rich Schur, associate professor of interdisciplinary studies. Additionally, it will allow students to interact with a wide range of professionals and get hands on experience through internships.

Media Contact: Dr. Richard Schur, Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, Office: (417) 873-6834, E-mail:


Young and old come together in on-campus rock concert

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April. 8, 2011 —Drury music students in collaboration with residents from The Gardens Assisted Living will perform an intergenerational rock concert on April 12, at 7 p.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University.  This concert is free and open to the public.

Rehearsals for the performance began in February when 13 Drury students met with 20 residents from the The Gardens. The group began practicing a variety of songs, including some pieces from The Beatles, The Who, Queen, Michael Jackson, The Black Eyed Peas and many other well-known artists. The final product will culminate in a performance with 5 Drury students serving as a live band.

“The goal of this project was not to put on a flawless concert, but to bring two generations together to learn new music, breakdown stereotypes, and most of all to have fun. Our hope is that we can improve cross-age attitudes and increase quality of life for these residents in an innovative way,” said Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk (Wool-dar-zik), visiting assistant professor of music therapy.

Upon realizing the success of this program, plans are underway to make the concert an annual event that continues to attract more participants each year.


A filmmaker and an on-campus archaeological excavation highlight Drury’s Theme Day

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 7, 2011 — Documentarian Ric Burns will present a talk focused on the Civil War for Drury’s Theme Day on Thursday, April 14 at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University. Burns’ speech is titled ‘From These Honored Dead’ Reflections on Memory, Narrative Identity and the Civil War.

In addition, Drury faculty and students will conduct an archaeological excavation on-campus looking for Civil War artifacts.

Ric Burns is a noted PBS documentary filmmaker and writer who began his career working with his brother Ken as co-producer of the landmark PBS documentary The Civil War. Ric Burns is best known for his Emmy Award winning eight-part PBS series, New York: A Documentary Film.

He is currently working on a two-hour film for national broadcast on PBS in 2012 on the transforming impact of the staggering death toll of the Civil War. The film will also address the enduring legacy of that trauma on the nation, the government, and the psyche of the American people. Using a number of films as points of reference and departure, including his current project, The Civil War, and his recent film on American whaling, his talk at Drury will consider how the war shaped, and continues to shape, American memory, imagination, narrative and identity. He will be showing scenes from his current work in progress.

Also as part of Theme Day, Drury Visiting Assistant Professor of History Monty Dobson will oversee an excavation in the lawn in Burnham Circle. The oral history of the university indicates that the area was a defensive trench in the Civil War. The excavation will begin at 10 a.m., April 14 and there will be a presentation of the findings at 2 p.m.

“In archaeology, we’re never sure what we will find before we dig, but I know it will be interesting and the students will have fun,” Dobson says.

Burns and Drury President Todd Parnell have both expressed interest in assisting the students with the excavation.

All of the day’s events are free and open to the public.

Theme Day Schedule of Events:

Dr. Randy Fuller, 9 a.m., Burnham Circle. Dr. Fuller will discuss his Civil War book, From Battlefields Rising.

Ric Burns, 11 a.m., Clara Thompson Hall.

Persistence of Memory Scavenger Hunt, noon -2 p.m. Following Burns’ speech.

Archaeology live! The Civil War trench line excavation. All day with a presentation at 2 p.m., Burnham Circle lawn

Student Film Contest, 3:30 p.m., Clara Thompson Hall.

Film screening: Inlaws and Outlaws, 6 p.m., Clara Thompson Hall.

Media contacts:

Bill Garvin, Theme Year Director, Office: (417) 873-7482, E-mail:
Dr. Lemont Dobson, Visiting Instructor of History, Office: (417) 873-7368, Mobile: (313) 461-4808, E-mail:
Mark Miller, Assoc. Director of Marketing and Communications, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, E-mail:


A Palm Sunday concert honors recently deceased Drury religion faculty

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 5, 2011 — Drury University will honor the late Drs. Allen Eikner and Sam Smith with a memorial benefit concert in Stone Chapel on Palm Sunday, April 17 at 7 p.m. The National Avenue Christian Church Chancel Choir, directed by Kevin Williams, will perform selections from Mozart’s Requiem. The concert is free and open to the public.

Dr. Allen Eikner, a 1949 Drury graduate, served as dean of the Drury School of Religion, professor and chair of philosophy and religion, and dean of the college. Eikner recently died at age 91.

Dr. Smith played a prominent role in Drury’s School of Religion, teaching students from 1959-1988.  Smith passed away in the fall of 2010 at the age of 87.

Donations and pledges will be collected at the concert for two newly created endowments honoring both men.  The Smith Endowment will support the various activities of the Disciples on Campus student fellowship each year.  The Eikner Endowment will establish the annual religion lectureship in Dr. Eikner’s name. In addition to benefiting Drury students for years to come, both funds will preserve a lasting legacy for these outstanding professors.

For more information about how to give to either endowment contact Darla Harmon, Director of Alumni and Development, at  (417) 873-7478 or


Drury Theatre present Richard the Third April 13-16

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 31, 2011 — The Drury University Department of Theatre will present William Shakespeare’s Richard the Third. Directed by Robert Westenberg, the play opens on Wednesday, April 13 at 8 p.m. in the Wilhoit Theatre.

A brilliant, charismatic, deformed psychopath yearns to be king and will stop at nothing in his quest for power.

The productionsrun April 13-15 at 8 p.m. and April 16 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and $5 for students. For ticket information and reservations, contact the Theatre Box Office at 873-7255 Monday through Friday from 1-5 p.m. beginning April 4.


Drury’s Opera Workshop and Chamber Orchestra present moments from great operas

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 30, 2011 — The Drury University Opera Workshop will present a program of scenes from the operas Dido and Aeneas, The Pirates of Penzance, Hansel and Gretel,The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro on April 8 and 9. Joining the Opera Workshop is the Drury Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Christopher Koch. All the scenes will be performed in English.

Performances are Friday, April 8 at 4:00 pm, and Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 pm in Clara Thompson Hall on the Drury University campus. Both performances are free and open to the public.

These scenes represent some of the most beautiful music ever written, particularly the Evening Prayer and Sandman’s Song from Hansel and Gretel and the witches’ scene from Dido and Aeneas. Along with these will be some of the funniest scenes in all of opera: the ‘paradox’ trio from Pirates and the Figaro-Rosina duet from The Barber of Seville.  The performance ends with the Act II finale from The Marriage of Figaro, a rollicking ensemble with some of Mozart’s finest music.

Dr. Stephen Bomgardner, Director, Opera Workshop, Phone: (417) 873-7388, Email:


Writer narrates history through personal anecdotes

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 29, 2011 — Author Jamaica Kincaid will illustrate the value of culture and memories through her own personal stories on Thursday, March 31 at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University.

In this lecture, Ms. Kincaid will read from “A Small Place” and “My Brother” and engage in discussion of the importance of our own personal landscapes, history and cultural identity.

Jamaica Kincaid is a highly regarded writer and teacher who was raised in Antigua. Known for her candid and emotionally honest writing, in 1976 her work attracted the attention of William Shawn, former editor of The New Yorker, where she became a staff writer and featured columnist for nine years. Kincaid is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is currently a professor of literature at Claremont McKenna College.

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 or contact Theme Year Director Bill Garvin at (417) 873-7482.


Internationally renowned organist to perform at Drury University

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 29, 2011 — Famous Polish organist Witold Zalewski (Vee-tolt Zah-lev-skee) will perform at Drury University on Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Stone Chapel located at the corner of Central Street and Benton Avenue. The performance is free and open to the public.

Zalewski was scheduled to perform last year at Drury, yet was unable to arrive on campus on time due to the volcanic eruption in Iceland and the resulting ash cloud which grounded many flights out of Europe.  Since 1995, Zalewski has taught at the Archdiocesan Organ School in Poland, and is the organist at the Royal Cathedral in Wawel Royal Castle, a coronation site of Polish monarchs and burial ground for Polish royalty, national heroes, poets, saints and bishops.

Zalewski is currently a singer in the choir of the Polish Radio and organist at the church of St. Peter and Paul in Krakow, Poland.

For more information, please contact Dr. Earline Moulder at or (417) 873-7376.

Contact: Dr. Earline Moulder, University Organist and Special Instructor of Music, Office: (417) 873-7376, E-mail:


Drury’s SIFE team advances to nationals for the fourteenth straight year

Rosemont, Ill., March 28, 2011 — For the fourteenth straight year, Drury’s SIFE team has qualified for nationals. Drury’s team was a regional league champion at today’s competition in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Ill. This qualifies Drury for the SIFE national competition in Minneapolis, Minn., May 10-12.

Drury was one of 30 teams to advance to nationals out of the 60-team regional competition made up of two-and-four year universities and colleges from throughout the Midwest.

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 national competition.

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 tohelp create economic opportunity by teaching concepts related to free market economics, business ethics, entrepreneurship, personal finance and success skills.

The SIFE World Cup is in Malaysia in October 2011.

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