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Drury confers nearly 500 degrees conferred at spring commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 13, 2017 — Drury University awarded degrees to 466 graduates at its spring commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday. There were 282 degrees conferred during the ceremony for the College of Continuing Professional Studies and the College of Graduate Studies on Friday evening, and 215 degrees conferred during the traditional residential college ceremony on Saturday. Some students earned multiple degrees.

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An honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters also was awarded to Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten on Saturday. Wooten, a Springfield native, was honored as a model business woman and philanthropist. After graduating from Drury, she taught high school English for 13 years. She spent most of her career as an Executive Vice President at her family business, O’Reilly Automotive, from 1993 to 2002, where she managed telecommunications, risk management and human resources.

rosalie-wooten

Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten

Wooten serves on many boards, including a decade on the Drury Board of Trustees. During that time she has served on many committees and was a large influence in the conception of the O’Reilly Family Event Center. She has two children and six grandchildren and continues to reside in Springfield.

Jack Prim addressed the traditional undergraduates at today’s ceremony, and urged them to measure their success in life by their own definition of the term. Prim is the chairman of Jack Henry & Associates, the Monett-based company that is a leading provider of software for the financial services industry.

“Success has to be what you define it as, not what your classmates or friends define it as,” he said.

He also told the graduates that lifelong success means lifelong learning. He told them a Drury education prepared them well for further education, whether that means formal education, reading or asking the CEO of the company for advice.

“Your education doesn’t stop when you walk about of here today,” he said. “I would encourage you to never stop learning.”

Jack Prim

Jack Prim

Bill Prince addressed the graduates on Friday evening, advising them to live by the “Three Be’s” – be involved in your community, be busy with work you are passionate about, and be kind to everyone you meet.

Bill Prince

Bill Prince

Prince, who is the administrator of the Greene County juvenile and family court system and an adjunct instructor for Drury, stressed that kindness was perhaps the most important of the three. Today’s world is in need of much more of it, he said.

“We live in a time when people are not nice to one another; we live in a time when people are very divided,” Prince said. “Do not marginalize people. Recognize their worth and the fact that they, too, are trying to live for something better to come.”

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Jack Prim & Bill Prince to address Drury spring graduates

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 2, 2017 — Jack Henry & Associates Executive Chairman Jack Prim and Greene County Family Court Administrator Bill Prince will deliver the keynote addresses to graduates at Drury University’s two commencement ceremonies next week.

Bill Prince will speak at the ceremony for the College of Continuing Professional Studies and the College of Graduate Studies at 6:30 p.m., Friday, May 12. Jack Prim will address graduates of Drury’s traditional residential college at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 13. Both events will be held at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

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Jack Prim became executive chairman for Jack Henry & Associates in 2016. The Monett-based company is a leading provider of computer systems and electronic payment solutions for the financial services industry. Prim began his career in the financial industry in 1977 as a sales representative and joined Jack Henry in 1995. He was appointed chief operating officer in 2001, where he focused the company’s operations on customer satisfaction and consistent growth. He was named president in 2003, CEO in 2004, and chairman of the board in 2012. Prim holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Queens University. He serves on the boards of CoxHealth in Springfield and the YMCA in Monett, where he lives.

 

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Bill Prince has been the family court administrator and chief juvenile officer for Greene County since August 2015. He is responsible for overseeing the division’s day-to-day operations and long-range strategy, as well as coordinating with judges, attorneys, and outside agencies to meet the community’s juvenile and family justice needs. Prior to assuming the administrator role, Prince served as senior legal counsel for 17 years, addressing matters related to abuse and neglect, parental rights, delinquency, and juvenile offenses in the courtroom. Prince is an adjunct instructor for Drury’s Breech School of Business, teaching courses in corporate policy and responsibility, international business and society, and law. He is also an instructor with Drury’s Law Enforcement Academy. Prince holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from the University of Denver, and a J.D. from the University of Missouri. He serves on the Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Combatting Human Trafficking, is a past president of the board for Habitat for Humanity of Springfield, and is a past fellow with the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.

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Drury’s winter commencement ceremony to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., December 15, 2016 — Drury University will confer degrees to 266 graduates at its winter commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 17, at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. The College of Continuing Professional Studies will confer 188 degrees. The College of Graduate Studies will confer 20 degrees and the traditional residential day school will confer 63 degrees.

Aaron Jones

Aaron Jones

The keynote speaker is Drury alumnus Aaron Jones, who has served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Continuing Professional Studies since 2012. He was named Chief of Staff to Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd in July, a position he will assume on a full-time basis in January 2017. This also will be the first commencement ceremony for Cloyd as Drury’s president.

Jones graduated from Drury University in 1995, where he served as Student Body President and president of Lambda Chi Alpha. He received his Juris Doctor in 1998 and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in dispute resolution in 2009 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Jones began practicing law in Springfield with Hulston, Jones & Marsh, in 1998. He is a member of the American Bar Association and a fellow in the American Bar Foundation. Jones is a member of King’s Way United Methodist Church and the Rotary Club of Springfield (Downtown). After serving as president of the Drury University Alumni Association, he was elected to the Drury Board of Trustees in 2009 and served until his appointment as Dean in 2012.

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Fifty Drury graduate degrees to be conferred Sunday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., August 18, 2016 — A hooding and conferral ceremony will take place at 1 p.m., Sunday, August 21 at Stone Chapel to recognize 50 students earning graduate degrees from Drury University.

The College of Graduate Studies offers master’s degrees in business administration, communication, education, nonprofit & civic leadership, and studio art & theory. A graduate education provides opportunities to further one’s career and deepen ties to others in a student’s professional field.

Graduate programs at Drury feature flexibility so that students can pursue a degree in a timeframe that works best for them. Courses are offered in the evenings, online, and in alternative formats such as blended learning, weekend experiences, and 8-week or 16-week courses.

“The quality, rigor and relevance of Drury’s master’s programs set them apart,” says Dr. Regina Waters, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “Employers tell us that Drury graduates are well-prepared for their professional roles. We look forward to developing new programs in the upcoming year that allow us to serve even more individuals who seek an education that can enhance their career options.”

For more information, visit Drury.edu/graduate.

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Drury awards more than 550 degrees during spring commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 14, 2016 — Drury University awarded degrees to 543 graduates at its spring commencement ceremonies today. There were 245 undergraduate degrees and 45 graduate degrees conferred at the traditional Day School ceremony, and 268 degrees conferred during a ceremony for the College of Continuing Professional Studies. Some students earned multiple degrees.

Economics professor Dr. Bill Rohlf, who retires this month after 44 years teaching at Drury, addressed the graduates at the day’s first ceremony. To the surprise of no one who has been a student of Rohlf’s, he began his address the same way he has begun his classes for more than 40 years: by asking the question, “Is everybody happy?”

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“Today, I was pretty confident as to what the answer would be,” Rohlf said.

Rohlf told the graduates that while their days of taking tests were over, their trials and challenges would not cease. “Economists love to ruin your day,” he joked.

He then urged the graduates to be diligent and work hard on improving themselves by repeating another familiar phrase: “Do your homework.” Learning is a never-ending process, he said, and every turn, every role, every success and failure has something to offer a lifelong learner. That first job may not be perfect, he said, but it’s valuable nonetheless.

Dr. Bill Rohlf

Dr. Bill Rohlf

“Every job has something to teach you if you’re willing to learn, and if you work at it and do your homework,” he said. Rohlf said today’s graduates should be confident that the skills and habits they take with them will carry them through a varied career and fulfilling life.

“The education you’ve received here at Drury is on par with the best education you can get anywhere,” he said. “I’ve talked with alums for 40 years, and they’ve all talked about how well prepared they were for the job market.”

In the second ceremony, for CCPS graduates, speaker David R. Mercer also spoke of homework. Mercer, a Drury alumnus, lawyer, humanitarian and current adjunct professor for the university, posed three questions to the graduates. “Your final homework assignment, if you will,” he said.

David Mercer

David Mercer

In the spirit of learning from the past, planning for the future and living for today, Mercer urged the graduates to ask themselves these questions daily: “Today, will I love those around me?” “Today, will I pursue a cause that is greater than myself?” And, “Today, will I be driven by a passion in my life?”

Mercer urged the graduates to find the point where their learned skills, natural talents and personal passions intersect. Aim for that point first and foremost, he told them, rather than for a lucrative salary or position of prestige.

“Each one of us has a sweet spot in which the entirety of who you are as a person comes together,” Mercer said. “Find it, and spend your days there.”

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Today’s ceremonies were the last for retiring president Dr. David Manuel. Lyle Reed, chair of the Board of Trustees, recognized Manuel and his wife, Betty Coe. Reed thanked both for their dedication to Drury and its students during their tenure. Banners were hung on Drury Lane designating it as “Dr. & Mrs. Manuel Lane” during commencement week.

Information about attached photos: Commencement speakers Dr. Bill Rohlf, Mr. David Mercer, and photos of Day School graduates.

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Bill Rohlf & David Mercer will address graduates at May commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 4, 2016 — Retiring economics professor Dr. Bill Rohlf and attorney and humanitarian David R. Mercer will deliver the keynote addresses to graduates at Drury University’s two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 14 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Rohlf will speak at the first ceremony, for Day School and graduate students, which will be held at 11 a.m. Mercer will speak at the second ceremony, for the College of Continuing Professional Studies, which will be held at 3 p.m.

Dr. Bill Rohlf

Dr. Bill Rohlf

Rohlf has been a faculty member at the Breech School of Business Administration since the early 1970s. He is known among Drury students and alumni for his ability to communicate and explain economic principles to undergraduates. His intense interest in explaining the economy to students eventually led to a highly successful basic economics text first published in 1988 and now in its eighth edition. Affectionately known to his students as “Dr. Lovable,” Rohlf is a caring but demanding teacher, who is highly respected for his innovative methods and teaching style.

Mr. David Mercer

Mr. David Mercer

Mercer graduated from Drury in 1984 with degrees in biology and philosophy. He earned a masters in education from Drury and a law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Following judicial clerkships in Missouri and federal appeals courts, Mercer took a hiatus from law and worked for Food for the Hungry (a non-profit Christian relief and development organization) as a journalist reporting on poverty, hunger and development in the Third World. He also spent time in Bolivia, Rawanda, Zaire, Uganda and Kenya doing humanitarian work. In 1995, Mercer returned to the United States and the practice of law. For the last 15 years, he has been an attorney for the Federal Public Defenders Office for the Western District of Missouri where he has devoted his legal practice to defending indigent clients in federal court.

Members of the news media are invited to cover the graduation ceremonies. Please contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers at (417) 873-7390 at mbrothers@drury.edu about coverage plans or for more information about 2016 graduates.

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Drury awards degrees to 280 graduates at winter commencement

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 12, 2015 — Drury University awarded degrees to 280 graduates at its winter commencement ceremonies today. There were 261 undergraduate degrees conferred by both the traditional Day School and the College of Continuing Professional Studies; 23 graduate degrees were conferred by the Graduate College. Some students earned multiple degrees.

Area entrepreneur and longtime agriculture business executive Ed Mareth delivered the keynote speech. He told the graduates to focus on four bedrock values that will serve them well in an ever-changing world.

First, Mareth asked the graduates to be thankful and practice gratitude in their daily lives. Mareth said that for him personally, faith is an avenue for gratitude. But he stressed that the graduates should each find their own lens through which to focus their thankfulness.

Next, he stressed the importance of service to others. He urged the graduates to think of any role they take on as a way to serve others – not just in their careers, but also in their communities and even at home with their spouse or significant other.

“Do your best to be a servant, always,” Mareth said.

Love was Mareth’s third important value. He asked the graduates to practice the kind of unconditional love that expects nothing in return. Finally, he asked the graduates to be optimistic. Not only is the world changing quickly, he said, but it can also be frightening given recent current events. Mareth told the Class of 2015 to push aside fear in favor of hope.

“I want you to be optimistic about your opportunities,” he said. “The world needs people who have hope, people who have faith that there is more good than there is evil.”

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Entrepreneur Ed Mareth to speak at winter commencement

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 7, 2015 — Drury University will confer nearly 300 degrees to graduates during its winter commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 12 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Entrepreneur and humanitarian Ed Mareth will deliver the commencement address to graduates.

Mareth has 25 years of professional experience in business management, entrepreneurship and private capital deployment, including executive management roles at three of the nation’s top agricultural companies. Mareth has been involved in multiple startup companies and humanitarian projects around the globe specializing in agriculture, technology, medical services, manufacturing and real estate. He is currently president of Mareth Enterprises, LLC, which he founded in 2002 and has holdings in socially responsible companies serving specialized markets.

Ed Mareth

Ed Mareth

Mareth holds five corporate board seats, serves on the Purdy R-II Board of Education, and directs Project Genesis of Purdy, a community economic development company that he and his wife, Julia, founded in 2008. Mareth graduated from Missouri State University with a BS in agricultural economics. He lives in Purdy with his wife and their three children.

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 2015 graduates.

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

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Drury awards more than 540 degrees during spring commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 16, 2015 — Drury University awarded degrees to 543 graduates at its spring commencement ceremonies today. There were 261 undergraduate degrees and 28 graduate degrees conferred at the traditional Day School ceremony, and 266 degrees conferred during a ceremony for the College of Continuing Professional Studies. Some students earned multiple degrees.

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The Class of 2015

In addition, the University conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to Will Keim, motivational speaker and author whose books include Keys to Success in College and Life. Dr. Keim has spoken to more than 2 million students on 1,000 college campuses in all 50 states. He has been an integral part of Drury’s first-year student orientation program for more than a decade, providing inspiration and encouragement to incoming freshmen as they embark on their college journey.

 

Keim told the graduates that he was diagnosed with cancer last year, and that fact gave context to a memorable speech about making the most of one’s life and career. He also said it was the first time in his long speaking career that he had ever addressed a group of students both at the beginning and end of their college experience.

Keim commended the graduates on joining the ranks of those with a college degree, and reminded them that only about 7 percent of the world’s population has earned such an honor. He also lauded the well-rounded liberal arts education that Drury had given them, saying that professional schools and employers “want people like you – people who can think and who can get along with people different from yourself.”

2015 Commencement Keim

President David Manuel presents the honorary degree to Will Keim.

He also urged today’s graduates to do five things: think analytically, feel empathy for others, have hope for the future, act to help others in need and to love themselves. The last request is not about narcissism, he said, but rather about self-confidence and combating negativity. It’s difficult for others to love you if you aren’t comfortable with who you are, he said.

“All you need to do is leave Drury University with your degree in one hand and your self-esteem in the other – and look out, world,” he said.

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Dr. Will Keim will address graduates at Drury commencements Saturday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 11, 2015 — Dr. Will Keim will be the keynote speaker for Drury University’s two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 16 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Keim will also receive an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his work as a speaker and author.

The first ceremony, for Day School and graduate students, will be held at 11 a.m., when 265 undergraduate degrees and 29 graduate degrees will be conferred. The second ceremony, for the College of Continuing Professional Studies, will be held at 3 p.m., when more than 270 degrees will be conferred.

Dr. Keim received his BA and MA from the University of the Pacific and his Ph.D. from Oregon State University. He is founder of The Character Institute and president of Will Keim Speaks! Inc. He is a motiviational speaker and in-demand business consultant whose clients have included Microsoft, AT&T, IBM and Rotary International. He is also an author or contributing author of 11 books including Keys to Success in College and Life. Dr. Keim has spoken to over two million students on 1,000 college campuses in all 50 states.

Keim has been an integral part of Drury’s first-year student orientation program for more than a decade, providing inspiration and encouragement to incoming freshmen and talking with residence life staff about healthy lifestyle choices and the consequences associated with risky behavior.

“Dr. Keim continues to capture the excitement, anxieties and hopes of young students at they begin their transition into college in both an entertaining and informational manner,” says Dr. Tijuana Julian, Dean of Students.

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 2015 graduates.

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