alumni

Annual 531 Challenge offers an opportunity to invest in Drury students

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 26, 2017 — Drury University alumni and friends have an opportunity to make their support for tomorrow’s leaders go even further during the annual 531 Challenge during the month of May.

Now in its fourth year, the 531 Challenge is an intense month of fundraising before the end of the fiscal year on May 31. All donations made to Drury during May count toward the 531 Challenge, which does not have a specific dollar goal but rather seeks to boost participation amongst donors. Donations support the Annual Drury Experience Fund, which provides money for student scholarships and financial aid.

The 531 Challenge once again features a generous matching gift, this time from Walter and Susan George and the George Family Foundation. Susan is a 1980 Drury graduate. Walter earned a Drury degree in 1979 and is a member of Drury’s Board of Trustees. The Foundation will make a gift of $50,000 if at least 531 people give, regardless of the amount, during the Challenge.

“We feel like this challenge is a great way for all Drury alumni to participate in the future of the university, and to invest in the transformational power of a Drury degree,” Walter and Susan George say. “It affords all of us who have benefited from a Drury education an opportunity to lead by example, and to make the future just that much brighter for the students who will be tomorrow’s leaders and innovators.”

 

For more information about giving, go to https://alumni.drury.edu/531Challenge or call the Office of University Advancement at (417) 873-7353.

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Media Contact: Andrea Battaglia – Director, Annual Fund & Alumni Relations: (417) 873-7353 or abattaglia@drury.edu.

Drury accepting nominations for Distinguished Alumni Awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 3, 2017 — The Drury University Alumni Council is accepting nominations for the Distinguished Alumni Awards through Friday, March 10.

For 65 years, the Distinguished Alumni Awards have honored outstanding Drury alumni, friends of Drury, and faculty/staff who have distinguished themselves as valuable leaders and true Drury Panthers through their service, engagement and connections at an individual, university, community and global level. Awards will be presented during Alumni Reunion Weekend on Saturday, October 14, 2017.

Award categories include:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Career Achievement Award
  • Community Service Award
  • University Engagement Award
  • Young Alumnus Award
  • Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award

“Over the past 144 years, Drury University has provided a unique educational experience and produced graduates that have made a difference not only in our local area, but all over the world,” says John Everett, president of the Alumni Council. “The Distinguished Alumni Awards were created to recognize those contributions to society from our extremely talented alumni base.”

Nomination forms, category criteria and winners from the past 65 years can be found at online at Drury.edu.

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Media Contact: Andrea Battaglia, Director – Annual Fund & Alumni Relations: (417) 873-7353 or abattaglia@drury.edu.

Drury grad turns passion for design, business and travel into career

By Jessie Roller

A master’s degree in business, another master’s degree in architecture, plus a passion for travel led 2013 Drury graduate Danny Collins to become a successful entrepreneur, launching his new company, Project Latitude, at age 28.

While at Drury, the Springfield native earned his undergraduate degree and both master’s degrees all in six years – no easy task given the rigorous nature of the programs. He recently returned to Drury to speak to business and architecture students about his ever-changing career path.

After graduation, Collins landed a job at an architecture firm in New York City. After working there three years, he realized the corporate world of architecture just wasn’t for him and he began forming the idea of combining the two passions in his life, architecture and travel, into what became Project Latitude.

Collins in Guatemala with the Waxpi duffle bag.

Collins in Guatemala with the Waxpi duffle bag.

“I’ve always been a person that desired to be a larger part of something small rather than a small part of something large,” Collins says. “I am a firm believer in passion in the workplace and the concept of living to work not simply working to live.”

Collins founded Project Latitude with his partner and friend, Javier Roig. Its products fund needed improvements in small towns and communities within Latin America, and potentially around the world. Each unique product is solely created in these communities, with earnings going back into the communities funding needs such as infrastructure improvements. Volunteers who travel to the community do much of the physical work.

Project Latitude has seen initial success with its first project and product: the Chaski backpack made in Ecuador. It began as a crowd-funded project on Kickstarter. A second product, the Waxpi duffle bag, is also made in Ecuador.

Collins describes the brand identity as “the urban adventurer.”

Danny Collins

“These will be items for the person who has an office job from 9-to-5, but also likes to get out and do some exploring,” he says. The products will continue to be made and produce revenue for its community even after the Project Latitude team of volunteers complete their improvements.

Collins attributes much of his success to Drury. “The liberal arts program was very fitting for someone like me,” he says, “where I could learn what it was that I wanted to do, but I didn’t have to go straight in having no other choices than the degree I had chosen.”

In addition to tackling two master’s degrees while in school, Collins was also a member of the men’s soccer team and was involved in the vibrant everyday life Drury offers. He says that intense blend of opportunities led to his desire to combine many different concepts into one career — which was really the underlying idea of the company.

During his recent talk with Drury students, Collins encouraged them not to settle for just any job, but instead to go out and find what they truly love and then make it into a career.

He also advocated for all students, and people, to study business in some way.

“The world is a business and everything we do is a business, in some fashion or another,” he says.

The Chaski backpack

The Chaski backpack

Collins says his MBA has helped him immensely with his business, and in his personal life. His business knowledge has been helpful to him with issues such as mortgage agreements, for example, which is why he believes business education can benefit everyone, no matter their career.

Collins and Roig have big dreams for their company. They hope to one day have their own Project Latitude storefront, but for now they are working on placing products into existing retail stores, such as 5 Pound Apparel in Springfield (a boutique business started by another Drury graduate, Bryan Simpson). The goal is to sell about 50 percent of their products at retail and the other 50 percent on their own online platform.

But the true endgame is about more than sales.

“The goal for Project Latitude would never be to just sell products,” Collins says. “We want it to be a lifestyle brand and a lifestyle in a community of people who just want to do cool things and do some good while they’re doing it.”

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Drury bests Southwest Baptist in third annual CatFight Giving Challenge

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., November 16, 2016 — Alumni and supporters of Drury and Southwest Baptist universities raised a combined total of more than $104,000 during the third annual Bank of Bolivar CatFight Giving Challenge. Drury came out on top in the friendly competition, raising $78,343 to SBU’s $25,689. Bank of Bolivar has also contributed $2,000 to Drury as the competition’s winner and $500 to SBU.

Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd receives a check from Bill Owen, Senior Vice President of Bank of Bolivar.

Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd receives a check from Bill Owen, Senior Vice President of Bank of Bolivar, at halftime of the DU-SBU men’s basketball game.

The fundraising event has become an annual challenge adding to the longstanding on-court rivalry between the Panther and Bearcat basketball teams. The schools sought to raise $13,000 each over the 13 days leading up to game and aggressively surpassed their goals. The final push for donations took place during Tuesday’s CatFight double-header at Drury’s O’Reilly Family Event Center. Drury won both the men’s and women’s basketball games on the court as well.

“Drury Panthers rallied together to achieve victory in this year’s challenge,” said Wayne Chipman, Executive Vice President of University Advancement at Drury. “We were impressed with the support from our alumni and friends who rose to the challenge and supported annual student scholarships. This is a great competition between the two schools and a special thanks goes to Bank of Bolivar for encouraging this friendly competition.”

Money raised by Drury will support students through the Annual Drury Experience Fund. Money raised by SBU will go to the university’s annual scholarship fund.

The Annual Drury Experience Fund is an effort to raise $1.5 million in annual scholarship and financial aid support for students with limited financial resources. Gifts to the Annual Drury Experience Fund will:

  • Increase the number of students who receive financial support.
  • Provide engaged learning experiences and leadership development opportunities for students.
  • Create opportunities for students to continue their education and improve their desired skills.
  • Provide professional connections and skills development for students.
  • Award stipends for field research, classroom travel and business partnerships.
  • Provide on-site, real-world, engaged learning and professional development for students.

For more information about Advancement at Drury, visit alumni.drury.edu.

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Media Contact: Andrea Battaglia, Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations – (417) 873-7353 or abattaglia@drury.edu.

Drury & SBU alumni compete in third annual Catfight Giving Challenge

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 2, 2016 — Drury University Panthers and Southwest Baptist University Bearcats are battling to raise money in the third annual Bank of Bolivar Catfight Giving Challenge. Alumni and donors are urged to raise $13,000 for their respective school in the days leading up to the annual Catfight men’s and women’s basketball games on Nov. 15 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center at Drury.

Donations toward the challenge can begin today. Bank of Bolivar is the sponsor of this year’s challenge and will be a partner until 2018.

catfight_logo

“The Bank of Bolivar Catfight Giving Challenge has become another layer of friendly rivalry between Drury and SBU,” said Andrea Battaglia, Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations. “This is a great competition between schools and in the end, students at both universities will benefit from the scholarship donations raised.”

Drury University will host a tailgate event to build support for the basketball teams and the Giving Challenge at 4:30 p.m., Nov. 15, before the start of the women’s game at 5:30 p.m. The men’s game begins at 7:30 p.m.

Donations will continue to be accepted through half time at the men’s basketball game. Drury alumni and friends can give at https://alumni.drury.edu/catfight. All Drury donations benefit the Drury Experience Fund, which is an effort to raise $1.5 million in annual scholarship and financial aid support for students with limited financial resources. Gifts to the Drury Experience Fund will:

  • Increase the number of students who receive financial support.
  • Provide engaged learning experiences and leadership development opportunities for students.
  • Create opportunities for students to continue their education and improve their desired skills.
  • Provide professional connections and skills development for students.
  • Award stipends for field research, classroom travel and business partnerships.
  • Provide on-site, real-world, engaged learning and professional development for students.

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Media Contact: Andrea Battaglia, Director of Annual Giving & Alumni Relations – (417) 873-7353 or abattaglia@drury.edu.

Drury bestows 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards to six honorees

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 18, 2016 — Drury University honored six people at the 65th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony on Friday. The banquet event was held as part of the annual Alumni Reunion celebration.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards were founded in 1951 to recognize individuals who have achieved professional and personal successes, shown their loyalty to Drury University, and demonstrated exemplary service to their community. Nominations are taken from the Drury community and the Alumni Council selects honorees. The 2016 honorees include:

The 2016 honorees from left to right: Adam McClellan, Traci Sooter, Sue Carter Porges, Janet Steinmetz Trotter, Calla Wiemer and Steve Edwards.

The 2016 honorees from left to right: Adam McClellan, Traci Sooter, Sue Carter Porges, Janet Steinmetz Trotter, Calla Wiemer and Steve Edwards.

Lifetime Achievement Award – Dr. Sue Carter Porges ‘66

After graduating with a degree in Biology, Porges completed her Ph.D. in zoology at the University of Arkansas and her postdoctoral education at Michigan State University. Her career has spanned the breadth of higher education across the country as a research fellow, professor, and now as Director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University. Porges has published over 500 academic papers and has been a valuable asset to the scientific community through her continued studies.

University Engagement Award – Steven D. Edwards ‘88

Edwards is the President and CEO of CoxHealth and a member of the Drury Board of Trustees. After graduating from Drury with degrees in political science with minors in philosophy and communication, he attended Washington University where he earned his Masters in Health Administration. From there, he went to Baylor University to complete a post-graduate fellowship. He became a Drury Trustee in 2012.

Career Achievement Award – Dr. Calla Wiemer ‘77

After graduating from Drury’s Breech School of Business, Wiemer earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She received a tenured faculty position at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she remained until 1997. Since then, she has taken teaching positions across Asia and now teaches at the University of the Philippines School of Economics and is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Asian Economics. She began the recycling program at Drury in 1974 and has worked tirelessly at creating sustainable communities.

Outstanding Service Award – Janet Steinmetz Trotter ‘53

Trotter’s passion for serving children with special needs began in the 1960s when she started the Missouri Association for Children with Learning Disabilities. She worked with Springfield Public Schools and helped establish chapters of the organization in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Columbia. At the time, Missouri had no other program for helping children with special needs and she was influential in creating special education classrooms in public schools and in passing legislation requiring all districts to provide Special Education services.

Young Alumnus Award – Dr. Adam McClellan ’05

After graduating from the highly competitive dental program at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, McClellan has used his talent to not only earn a living but also to give back. As chair of the “Pouring from the Heart” gala, he was instrumental in raising enough money to fund the free pediatric clinic at the UMKC Dental School for four years. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Missouri Boys State. McClellan owns his own practice, Periodontal Care, in Kansas City.

Faculty/Staff Appreciation Award – Traci Sooter

Sooter is a Professor of Architecture and the Director of Design/Build Programs in the Hammons School of Architecture. She specializes in sustainable design/build courses serving charities and communities in need. She led teams of Drury students through four design/build projects for Extreme Makeover and has also completed seven other community design/build projects that include the first ever Platinum LEED home for Habitat for Humanity International. In 2015, She helped lead the 2015 Crowder-Drury Solar Decathlon Team against peers from 19 other colleges from around the nation, earning 8th place.

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Drury University welcomes five new Alumni Council members

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 2, 2016 — Drury University recently welcomed five new members to its Alumni Council.

The Alumni Council is the governing body of the Drury Alumni Association and consists of 23 alumni leaders from a range of class years, a member from the Drury faculty and a member from the administrative staff. The Council plans and supports programs such as Reunion Weekend, Homecoming, the Distinguished Alumni Awards and much more. The Council members also play important roles as representatives of Drury in their communities.

The new members for 2016-2017 are:

Joel Alexander

Joel Alexander earned his communications degree from Drury in 1983. Working not far from Drury, he serves as the Manager of Communications for City Utilities of Springfield. Currently he serves on local boards of the American Red Cross and Ozark Trails Council – Boy Scouts of America, and assists with other community organizations. His wife, Lisa, is President of the CoxHealth Foundation.

 

 

 

 

Michele Boswell

Michele Duvall Boswell is a 1990 Drury graduate with a degree in communications and minors in business administration and English. She is the sales director for Collegiate Awards in Springfield, Missouri. She is one of the creators of Drury Basketball’s annual Overflow the O’ event and has volunteered for Drury in many other capacities. Michele is married to Drury graduate Dr. Craig Boswell ’91. They have three sons who attend Springfield Public Schools, where she volunteers with the Springfield Council of PTAs.

 

 

Gail Fredrick

Gail Fredrick graduated from Drury in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and economics, and received a Master in Business Administration from Drury in 1972. He received a Juris Doctor degree from University of Missouri – Kansas City in 1975. He practices law in Springfield and has been active in Drury activities, including stints as a past president of the Drury Booster Club and a member of the Sports Hall of Fame Committee. He has served as a member of the Missouri Public Defender Commission, Missouri Arts Council and currently serves on the Springfield Sports Commission and Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame board of directors.

 

 

Kaitlyn McConnell

Kaitlyn McConnell, a 2011 Drury graduate, is employed as CoxHealth’s Media Relations Coordinator. She recently returned to the Ozarks after living in Norway for nearly three years, where she worked in the subsea oil and gas excavation industry. In her spare time, she manages Ozarks Alive, a website featuring the unique people, history and culture of the region. She also serves the community through various civic organizations including the Writers Hall of Fame, Junior League of Springfield and as an ambassador for the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

 

Kayce Morton

Kayce Morton, D.O., earned her degrees in biology and chemistry with minors in journalism and Spanish from Drury in 1999. After completing medical school at the Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences in 2005, she attended the University of Missouri and completed her pediatric residency. She has been a pediatric hospitalist for CoxHealth since 2008. Morton has been married to her husband, Brandon, for 17 years and they have two children; Ashlyn, 11 and Cooper, 8. Kayce is involved with several area philanthropies including Care To Learn, Isabel’s House, and the Children’s Miracle Network.

 

Three of the year’s top five SPS teachers are Drury graduates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 27, 2016 — The Foundation for Springfield Public Schools held its Annual Teacher Appreciation Banquet on April 18, where it named the system’s Teacher of the Year. Of the five finalists for the award, three are Drury University alumni.

Loren Broaddus, a social studies teacher at Kickapoo High School, earned his Bachelor of Arts from Drury in 1988, and his MED in 1994.

Mary “Betsy” Cannella, a Project Lead The Way teacher at Glendale High School, earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Drury in 2006, and a Master of Education degree from Drury in 2008.

Angela Odom, a math teacher at Kickapoo High School, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Drury in 1992.

“It’s wonderful to see that our graduates are not only making a difference in classrooms, but are also being recognized as among the best in the field,” said Dr. Laurie Edmondson, Dean of the College of Education and Child Development. “And it’s always nice when that recognition happens right here in our own back yard.”

The Drury University School of Education and Child Development offers the longest standing accredited teacher preparation program in Missouri. For more information on education degrees at Drury, go to www.drury.edu/education.

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Recent grad thrives, finds her path during time at Drury

The new year looks bright for Emily Cline, one of more than 280 December Drury graduates.

A Springfield native who majored in biology and Spanish while also playing on the women’s soccer team, Cline is headed for a career in physical therapy. She’ll begin work on her doctorate this fall. A 4.0 student, she’s already been accepted to Washington University in St. Louis and has interviews at several other top-flight schools such as the University of Colorado and Northern Arizona.

Dr. Kevin Jansen, professor of biology and one of Cline’s faculty advisors, says he won’t be surprised if Cline is among the top in her class no matter where she chooses to pursue her advanced degree.

“She’s excellent at critically evaluating what’s in front of her, whether it’s a defense on the soccer field, a question on an exam or a patient’s needs,” Jansen says.

Emily Cline at Trustee Science Center

Evaluating her career at Drury, Cline says it’s been a time of growth and self-discovery. She chose Drury because it was a place where she could pursue both athletics and academics in “a place where I wouldn’t be just a number.” She finished knowing more about her path in life.

Studying Spanish opened her eyes to other cultures, especially after a semester abroad in Spain. Beyond getting to know the people and the language better, the time spent in an unfamiliar setting taught her something important about herself.

“I’ve never felt great about making mistakes,” she admits. “My time abroad put me in situations where I felt a little unsure at times, but I started to feel OK with that. I learned to navigate places I’ve never been before and that gave me confidence to do other things. I became more independent.”

Cline currently lives in Drury’s Foreign Languages House, an on-campus residence that is also a gathering place for foreign language club events and international student dinners. Living on campus has also taught her a lot, she says, beginning with having freshman year roommates she’d never previously met.

“That was the start of opening up to more people and being more receptive to different ways of life,” she says.

But it was her time in Drury’s rigorous science curriculum and multiple physical therapy internships that revealed a career path to Cline. She wants to specialize in neurologic physical therapy, where she will be able to form very close one-on-one relationships with patients who need direct care to fight diseases like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis.

Emily Cline soccer goal

“When I came to Drury it was because I wanted to be able to get to know my professors, and later in life I want to have that kind of relationship with my patients, too,” she says.

Jansen says Cline’s combination of intellect and people skills will serve her well in the field. Like many Drury students, Cline is exceptionally accomplished but knows she still has so much to learn, he says.

“That combination of intelligence and gratitude for the opportunities to reach higher goals is what makes our students special,” Jansen says.

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Inaugural Alumni Convocation and 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 6, 2015 — Drury University will honor five outstanding alumni and a longtime staff member at its annual Distinguished Alumni Awards Recognition Dinner on Friday evening. The event is part of the 2015 Alumni Reunion Weekend, which is expected to bring more than 350 members of the national and international Drury family back to campus.

The weekend kicks off with an Alumni Convocation at 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 8 in Stone Chapel. Noted children’s author and Drury alumnus, David L. Harrison, will deliver an address titled “How Time Passes.” This inaugural Convocation highlights the over 30 years of Drury Distinguished Alumni Award winners and their contributions to the world. Harrison is a previous Distinguished Alumni Award winner for Career Achievement. The public and current students are invited to attend.

The 2015 Distinguished Alumni honorees are chosen for their career achievements, service to their communities and contributions to the University.

“These impressive individuals represent the very best of what it means to be a graduate of Drury University,” says Dianne Johnson, Vice President of Development & Alumni Relations. “They demonstrate how critical thinking developed in the liberal arts tradition combined with leadership, dedication and selflessness create a successful life and career. Each honoree is a wonderful example for our current and future students.”

The honorees are:

Lifetime Achievement – Ralph K. Manley ’49

Manley

Ralph Manley earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration from Drury University following his service in World War II. During the war, he received 19 decorations, including 3 Purple Hearts. In his long career as a real estate developer, he built more than 1,500 homes in the area. Manley was elected to Springfield City Council in 1999. His community involvement also includes service with Masonic organizations, the American Legion, the 101st Airborne Division Association, and the Home Builders Association of Springfield. Manley received the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1973 and was named Springfieldian of the Year by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce in 2006.

Distinguished Career Achievement – Heidi Prather ’87

Prather

Prather attended the University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, graduating summa cum laude in 1991. She is certified in three areas: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pain Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. Prather is now a Professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where she also holds various leadership roles. She has received numerous awards for her teaching in medicine, and she was the first woman to become President of the North American Spine Society.

Distinguished Community Service – Mary Faith Buresh Holzer ’68

Holzer

Holzer started a home improvement program in partnership with six churches. She has written to Washington D.C. and played a role in getting two laws enacted. The first provided an option for insurance coverage for people hurt while volunteering, and the second guaranteed Social Security benefits to servers in the food service industry. Mary has also sponsored five children from Africa, is a published author, and has received the “Patriot of the Year” award from the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Distinguished University Engagement – John William (Bill) Ricketts, MBA ’71

Ricketts

Ricketts has been honored many times for his ambitious mentality in a business career that spanned more than four decades. He has dedicated much of his time to Drury University by offering constant encouragement, advice and support to the students and faculty within the Breech School of Business. Truly an example of “The Drury Difference,” Ricketts has donated funds to various key projects within the University, helped students connect with alumni, and has supported overall student activities. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees, a position he has held since 1995.

Distinguished Young Alumnus – Cliff Johnson ’03

Johnson

Johnson is the co-founder of vacation rental company Vacasa, LLC. The company was voted “Fastest growing company in the Portland (Ore.) Region in 2014,” and was recognized as one of the top 10 fastest growing private companies in the nation by the Portland Business Journal. Besides his success in business, Cliff runs marathons and also serves on the board of MAPLE Microdevelopment, which helps people in impoverished areas of the world achieve financial independence.

Faculty/Staff Appreciation – Dan Cashel

Cashel

Cashel has been involved with Drury for more than 40 years and has taken on many roles. He began working in the Admissions Office in 1974 and later moved to Student Affairs. He eventually transitioned into Athletics beginning in 1979 where he oversaw NCAA compliance and was Sports Information Director. Cashel was also a tennis coach and intramural director, and director of the Barber Fitness Center. Today he is Director of Student-Athlete Enhancement.

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