commencement

Drury awards degrees to more than 300 graduates at winter commencement

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 13, 2014 — Drury University awarded degrees to 339 graduates at its winter commencement ceremonies today. There were 302 undergraduate degrees and 32 graduate degrees conferred by both the traditional Day School the College of Continuing Professional Studies. Some students earned multiple degrees.

Dr. John Jungmann, superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, was the keynote speaker. A native of Lamar, Jungmann began his tenure at SPS in July following stints as superintendent for Liberty Public Schools and the Monett R-1 School District.

Jungmann urged the class of 2014 to innovate, give back and live life to its fullest. Innovation has always driven the economy and provides opportunities for creative thinkers to lead, he told the graduates, while giving is a matter of responsibility and repaying the gifts they’ve received.

Dr. John Jungmann speaks to the Drury Class of 2014.

Dr. John Jungmann speaks to the Drury Class of 2014.

“I can safely predict that each of you didn’t get here today on your own,” Jungmann said. “A friend, teacher, mentor or parent gave their dollars, time, words of encouragement or maybe even just a pat on the back. It’s critical that you pay this forward. Giving is contagious.”

Finally, Jungmann asked today’s graduates to act, rather than simply observe, as they move into the next phase of their lives.

“We need graduates willing to get out and live a life of engagement. Our country cannot afford to have citizens who live a life of apathy,” he said. “Get out and live a life of purpose and passion that impacts our world.”

###

SPS Superintendent Dr. John Jungmann to speak at Drury’s winter commencement

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 8, 2014 — Drury University will confer 358 degrees to graduates during its winter commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 13 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Dr. John Jungmann, superintendent of Springfield Public Schools, will deliver the commencement address. Jungmann took over leadership of the state’s largest public school district in July. His previous experience includes serving one year as superintendent and one year as deputy superintendent for Liberty Public Schools and four years as superintendent of the Monett R-1 School District. A native of Lamar, Jungmann began his educational career as a high school teacher and has served as an assistant high school principal and middle school principal.

Dr. John Jungmann

Dr. John Jungmann

Professional accolades include being recognized by his peers as the 2009-2010 New Superintendent of the Year and serving as president of the Missouri Association of School Administrators for the 2014-2015 school year. He is a 1998 graduate of Missouri Southern State University and obtained his Master of Science in education and Specialist in educational administration degrees from Missouri State University. He earned a doctorate in education from the University of Arkansas in 2006.

Jungmann and his wife, Kerry, have three daughters.

Media: Members of the news media are invited to photograph or videotape the graduation ceremonies. Please contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers about coverage plans or for more information about 2014 graduates.

Public contact: Dr. John Taylor, (417) 873-6356, jtaylor3@drury.edu.

###

Drury awards nearly 600 degrees during spring commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 17, 2014 — Drury University awarded degrees to 587 graduates at its spring commencement ceremonies today. There were 290 undergraduate degrees and 58 graduate degrees conferred at the traditional Day School ceremony, and 312 degrees conferred during a ceremony for the College of Continuing Professional Studies. Some students earned multiple degrees.

In addition, the university conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to longtime nonprofit educator and 1967 Drury alumna Marcia Mitchell, who was the keynote speaker at both ceremonies.

Marcia_Mitchell

In 1972 Mitchell co-founded The Little Light House, a faith-based center in Tulsa dedicated to providing therapeutic intervention and early education to children with disabilities on a tuition-free basis. The school has served as a model nationwide since then, and has earned accolades that include being named as the nation’s 536th “Point of Light” by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 and recipient of the ONE Award for Oklahoma’s top nonprofit by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. Mitchell herself has won the Whitney Young Jr. Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America and has been inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame.

Mitchell shared with the graduates the role that faith has played in guiding her through challenging times. This included her time at Drury, where she said she spent many hours in a small prayer room in Stone Chapel.

“It was in that little room on this campus that I learned to depend on God and lean on his strength and not my own,” she said.

Now is the time to dream about the road ahead, Mitchell said. But, citing her own experience with the “sharp turns” that can happen along the way, she urged today’s graduates to embrace the unexpected.

“Dare to delight in the detours of your own life,” she said. “As they just might lead you to destinations beyond your wildest dreams.”

Drury has awarded honorary degrees since 1906. Mitchell joins a list of notables who have received this honor over the past century, including: composers Rodgers and Hammerstein (1949), comedian Bob Hope (1973), Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling (1973), Bob Barker (2007), and former presidential candidate Sen. George McGovern (2008).

Saturday’s commencement ceremonies were the first under President David Manuel, who also addressed the graduates.

“You have made great sacrifices to earn a university degree, and we are proud that you did not waiver in your commitment,” Manuel told the graduates.

###

Drury’s Aaron Jones will address Cox College graduates May 15

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 14, 2014 — Aaron Jones, Dean of Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies, will deliver the keynote address to 186 graduates of Cox College at a commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. Friday, May 16, at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) and Cox College have been educational partners for more than 60 years. CCPS has provided general education and laboratory science courses for Cox College students, and the schools have partnered on dual degree programs at Drury’s Cabool and Monett locations. Jones has been an ex-officio member of the Cox College Board of Trustees since 2012.

“It is a pleasure to feature Mr. Aaron Jones as our commencement speaker,” says Cox College President Lance Ratcliff. “Aaron’s leadership is evident across many collaborative outreach efforts Cox College has with Drury University, highlighted by significant academic initiatives in both Cabool and Monett. The partnership between Cox College and Drury has been strengthened by Aaron’s guidance, benefitting many students at both institutions.”

Cox College is a private college of more than 850 students offering certificate programs, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in health related fields such as: nursing, diagnostic imaging, nutrition, medical assisting, medical transcription, and medical billing/coding. It is affiliated with CoxHealth.

Jones

About Aaron Jones

Prior to his appointment as Dean of Drury’s CCPS, Jones was engaged in the full-time practice of law in Springfield and served as a member of Drury University’s Board of Trustees. He taught as an adjunct instructor for Drury from 2007 to 2011.

Jones received his Bachelor of Arts from Drury in 1995, and earned his Juris Doctor in 1998 and his Master of Laws in 2009 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was a member of the Young Lawyers Section Council of the Missouri Bar from 2004 to 2009, and from 2006 to 2008 served on the Missouri Bar’s Board of Governors as the Young Lawyers’ liaison. From 2007-2008 he was president of the Drury University Alumni Association. Jones is a member of King’s Way United Methodist Church, Rotary Club of Springfield (Downtown), the Abilities First board, and a number of other civic and professional organizations. He resides in Springfield with his wife, Cara, and children Kate, Carter and Caleb.

###

Nonprofit educator Marcia Mitchell to speak at Drury’s May commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 8, 2014 — Marcia Mitchell will serve as the keynote speaker for Drury University’s two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 17, at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Mitchell will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Drury president Dr. David Manuel will address graduates at a commencement for the first time, as he completes his inaugural year in the university’s top post.

The first ceremony, for Day School and graduate students, will be held at 11:30 a.m., when 293 undergraduate degrees and 54 graduate degrees will be conferred. The second ceremony, for the College of Continuing Professional Studies, will be held at 3 p.m., when 219 bachelor’s degrees and 97 associate degrees will be conferred.

Mitchell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education from Drury in 1967. After her daughter, Missy, was born legally blind, Mitchell saw a need for educational services for children like her. In 1972 she co-founded The Little Light House, a faith-based center in Tulsa dedicated to providing therapeutic intervention and early education to children with disabilities on a tuition-free basis. Professional staff and volunteers work with students who struggle with challenges such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, deafness and much more.

The Little Light House’s many accolades include being named as the nation’s 536th “Point of Light” by President George H.W. Bush in 1991, Outstanding School of the Year by the International Christian Accrediting Association in 2003, and recipient of the ONE Award for Oklahoma’s top nonprofit by the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. Mitchell herself has won the Whitney Young Jr. Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America and has been inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame.

“Marcia Mitchell is one of a long line of Drury graduates who have made important contributions to the improvement of society and to the betterment of their communities,” Manuel says. “Her work with children who have special needs and their families has gained national attention and is the model for many other similar providers. Drury University is fortunate to count Ms. Mitchell as one of our graduates and is pleased to honor her with the Honorary Doctorate.”

Media: Members of the news media are invited to photograph or videotape the graduation ceremonies. Please contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers about coverage plans or for more information about 2014 graduates.

Public contact: Dr. John Taylor, (417) 873-6356, jtaylor3@drury.edu

###

Drury Winter Commencement cancelled due to winter weather alert

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 13, 2013 – Due to a severe winter weather alert, the 2014 Drury University Winter Commencement at the O’Reilly Family Event Center, scheduled for 10:00 AM on Saturday, December 14, 2013 has been rescheduled for a later date.  All graduates and their families will be notified of alternate arrangements and timing as soon as they are finalized.  We apologize for any inconveniences this may have created and we wish everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season.

###

Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice to speak at Drury’s December commencement ceremony

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 5, 2013 – Supreme Court of Missouri Chief Justice Mary R. Russell will serve as the keynote speaker for Drury University’s December commencement to be held Saturday, December 14 at 10 a.m. in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. During the commencement, 336 students will receive undergraduate degrees and 71 will receive master’s degrees.

Serving as chief justice since July, Russell was appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri in 2004. She previously served on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, and served as its chief judge from July 1999 through June2000. Prior to that, she was engaged in the private practice of law in Hannibal, Missouri. She is a member of The Missouri Bar, the American Bar Association, and numerous local and county bar organizations throughout thestate. Russell is a past recipient of the Women’s Justice Award from the St. Louis Daily Record, was named Citizen of the Year in Kirksville, Missouri, in 2002 and was named Woman of the Year by the Women Lawyers Association of St. Louis in 2003.

“Drury University is very pleased to host Chief Justice Russell at the 2013 WinterCommencement,” says Dr. David Manuel, Drury president. “Our graduates will have a wonderful opportunity to hear from one of the great leaders of Missouri.  She epitomizes the qualities that we hope all Drury graduates will emulate – outstanding professional contributions, abiding commitment to her family and faith, and a singular dedication to her community.”

A seventh-generation Missourian, Russell was one of five children raised on a dairy farm in Ralls County, Missouri. The valedictorian of her high school graduating class in Hannibal, Russell earned bachelor’s degrees, summa cum laude, in communications and print media in 1980 fromTruman State University. She earned her law degree in 1983 from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she was on the dean’s list.

Media: Members of the news media are invited to photograph or videotape the graduation. In addition, Chief Justice Russell will be available for interviews following the commencement ceremony given advance notice.

Contacts:

Day School: John Taylor, (417) 873-6356, jtaylor3@drury.edu

CCPS: Salia Manis, (417) 873-7543, smanis@drury.edu

###

A Drury speaker gives students one last test at graduation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 18, 2013 —Drury University awarded degrees to 611 students at spring commencement ceremonies at the O’Reilly Family Event Center today, Saturday, May 18.

49 earned graduate degrees, 318 were given undergraduate degrees from the College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) and 244 traditional Day School students received degrees.

John Beuerlein (center) shakes hands with Drury President Todd Parnell as Dr. Charles Taylor, Dean of the College, adjusts Beuerlein's doctoral hood.

Drury honored long-time trustee John Beuerlein ’75 with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the Day School commencement ceremony. The general partner with investment firm Edward Jones is an emeritus trustee. Beuerlein served on the Drury Board of Trustees for nearly 20 years and is a former board chairman.

Beuerlein surprised the Day School graduates with envelopes filled with cash under each graduate’s seat. The total amount of money represented Beuerlein’s annual donation to Drury, and the envelopes contained anywhere from $10-to-$1,000. Beuerlein told the graduates that they could not open the envelopes and, after the ceremony, each graduate would go through a booth where they could either secretly keep the money or place it in a box as a donation to Drury. Beuerlein called this a final test for the graduates, a test of character.

“I believe Drury grads are people of character, and I believe that Drury grads do the right thing and I believe Drury grads do the right thing even when nobody’s watching,” Beuerlein told the graduates. “Knowing that there just might be $1,000 in that envelope is a tough choice, but do you want the lesson you take from today to be that you traded away your character for a measly 10 bucks. You are a Drury grad, make your life a life of significance.”

Missouri State Senator Bob Dixon was the commencement speaker for the CCPS and graduate students. Dixon earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Drury.

Senator Bob Dixon

“Life is all about choices. Today’s choice is whether your life will be about you or about others. I’m encouraging you to choose wisely,” Dixon said. “The events of this day are the beginning of the rest of your journey. Go forth and serve and go forth and shape the world.”

This was the final commencement for Drury President Todd Parnell. Parnell will retire on May 31. The 1969 Drury graduate is the only Drury president who is also a Drury alumnus. Dr. David Manuel will become Drury’s 17th president on June 1, 2013.

It was also the final commencement for Drury Registrar Gale Boutwell. Boutwell will retire from Drury on May 31 and has overseen 87 commencement ceremonies. Drury honored Boutwell with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the December 2012 commencement.

2013 Drury commencement

Media contact: Mark Miller, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, E-mail: markmiller@drury.edu.

###

Drury to graduate hundreds and honor a long-time trustee on May 18

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 10, 2013Drury University will award degrees to nearly 600 students at spring commencement ceremonies at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Saturday, May 18.

49 graduate students will join 301 undergraduates in the College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) and College of Graduate Studies commencement at noon. The Day School will confer degrees to 249 undergraduates at 2:30 p.m.

John Beuerlein

Drury will honor long-time trustee John Beuerlein ’75 with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the Day School commencement ceremony. Beuerlein is a general partner with investment company Edward Jones. He served on the Drury Board of Trustees from 1992-2011, he was Board Chairman for four years from 2007-2011, and he is currently an emeritus trustee at Drury. He will give the commencement address to the Day School graduates.

“John’s leadership during a time of presidential transition at Drury and during a time of economic uncertainty in the country was invaluable,” said Drury President Todd Parnell. “Now, as an emeritus trustee, John’s experience and perspective are steadying influences for the board and Drury’s administration.”

Besides his work on the board of trustees, Beuerlein and his wife Crystal Tinlin ’75 have been generous donors to Drury. The Beuerleins, together with Edward Jones, made the naming gift for Drury’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship as well as the Edward Jones Scholarships for Minority Students. The Beuerleins have also donated to and visited the Hem Sheela Model School in India, which was founded by Drury Professors Rabindra and Protima Roy.

In 2001, Beuerlein received Drury’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and, in 2008, Beuerlein was inducted into the Breech School of Business Hall of Fame.

Senator Bob Dixon

Missouri State Senator Bob Dixon will address the CCPS and graduate students in the noon commencement ceremony. Senator Dixon was first elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2002. In 2010, he was elected to the Senate. Dixon is a two-time Drury graduate, having earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Drury University.

“Senator Dixon brings a unique perspective as a graduation speaker,” said Aaron Jones, interim dean of the College of Continuing Professional Studies. “He’s had a lifetime of work in the private sector and a decade of experience serving the people of the State of Missouri. Plus, he’s a Drury graduate. I look forward to hearing his speech.”

Media contact: Mark Miller, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications, Office: (417) 873-7390, Mobile: (417) 839-2886, E-mail: markmiller@drury.edu

###

Drury honors Registrar Gale Boutwell with an honorary degree at Winter Commencement

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 15, 2012 — Gale Boutwell has worked at Drury University for more than four decades. Today, Drury honored her with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at commencement in the O’Reilly Family Event Center. The degree was a surprise to Boutwell who has worked at Drury for 41 years; she has been the registrar since 1978.

Drury also conferred degrees to 410 students during its Winter Commencement. 356 students received undergraduate degrees and 54 earned master’s degrees.

Gale Boutwell (left) smiles as Dr. Charles Taylor reads the proclamation for Boutwell's honorary degree.

Boutwell has overseen 86 commencement ceremonies, including today’s, during that time nearly 25,000 men and women have transitioned from student to Drury alumnus. Drury President Todd Parnell said of Boutwell, “She makes things happen that can’t, all with a smile and in the personal interests of students, whatever their ages, backgrounds or dreams. Gale believes most fundamentally in student dreams.” Parnell and Boutwell both graduated from Drury in 1969.

“Today is so special to me. I am so gratified. I know what goes into the conferring of these honorary degrees. Faculty, trustees, thank you,” Boutwell said.

Jim Anderson, the president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce was the graduation speaker. Anderson received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Drury in 2002, and his daughter Rebecca was one of today’s graduates.

Jim Anderson, Drury graduation speaker

“You have two choices in life, you can dissolve into the mainstream or you can be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different. To be different, you must be and strive to be what no one else but you can be,” Anderson told the graduates. “Graduation may be the end of time for you at Drury University, but you’re about to begin a new chapter. Graduation is a new beginning. The more you work to improve the lives of others, the more you will enjoy life.”

Drury’s president-elect Dr. David Manuel and his wife Betty Coe attended the commencement ceremony. Manuel will take office as Drury’s 17th president on June 1, 2013.

###