Dr. Dan Ponder

Drury University establishes Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 18, 2015 — Drury University is pleased to announce the establishment of the Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship. Dedicated to the academic inquiry of political engagement, the Center will be a nexus for student pursuits, faculty scholarship, and thought-provoking community programming and events.

The Center is named for Dr. Lewis Elbern (L.E.) Meador, a longtime professor of political science at Drury College for nearly 50 years beginning in 1913. Local residents know the name thanks to Meador Park. But they may not know Meador was a revered civic leader who played key roles in shaping the current Missouri Constitution and Springfield City Charter. He was named “Springfieldian of the 20th Century” by the Springfield Chamber of Commerce in 1973.

L.E. Meador

L.E. Meador

The Center’s inspiration for its mission comes from the words of Meador himself, who felt his students “should take a constructive and active part in trying to bring about a more democratic and more hopeful world in which future generations can live.”

The Meador Center will immediately begin carrying out that mission in two ways:

  • Financial support of student scholarship, internships, study away/abroad opportunities and conference attendance.
  • An annual speaker series that will bring notable speakers and academics to Springfield to address a range of pressing political and civic issues.

The inaugural theme for the Center in 2015-16 is “Created Equal: Civil Rights, Liberties & Citizenship” and the first featured speaker will be CNN analyst and New Yorker staff writer Jeffrey Toobin at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 28 at Clara Thompson Hall. The event is FREE and open to the public. Toobin’s topic will be “Inside the World of the Supreme Court.” A Harvard Law graduate, Toobin is the author of two bestsellers about the nation’s top court – “The Nine” and “The Oath.”

Jeffery Toobin

Jeffery Toobin

The Center’s inaugural chair is Dr. Daniel Ponder, professor of political science at Drury since 2006.

“I’m extremely excited about the opportunity for Drury and our Political Science Department to expand our work with students and our community – both locally and globally,” Ponder said. “Drury has a stellar record when it comes to sending successful students on to law schools and similar professional programs, and the Meador Center will allow us to build upon and enhance that work.”

Dan Ponder

Dan Ponder

For more information, visit www.drury.edu/meador-center.

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Media Contact: Dr. Daniel Ponder, L.E. Meador Chair in Political Science. Office: (417) 873-7394; email: deponder@drury.edu.

Drury’s Dr. Dan Ponder explains caucuses, Missouri’s primary and why the state has a caucus and a primary this year

Drury Political Science Professor Dr. Dan Ponder explains why Missouri had a non-binding primary, why it’s holding a caucus and a primary and the difference between those two political exercises in this series of videos.

Videos: Dr. Dan Ponder

Dr. Dan Ponder on the significance of Missouri’s non-binding primary.

Dr. Dan Ponder on why Missouri has a primary and a caucus in 2012.

Dr. Dan Ponder on the differences between primaries and caucuses.