Drury to dedicate new garden plaza honoring its past presidents

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 9, 2017 — Drury University will dedicate the new Presidents’ Garden during a ceremony from 11:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, May 10.


Established by the Board of Trustees and led by Chairman Lyle Reed, the garden pays tribute to Drury’s past 17 presidents as well as current president, Dr. Timothy Cloyd. It features limestone matching that used in the construction of Stone Chapel, as well as bronze plaques containing pictures of each president along with their years of service. The garden plaza is located just north of Stone Chapel.

Reed will deliver remarks about the significance of the garden. Other speakers include Walt George, a Drury trustee and great-grandson of Drury’s fifth president, Dr. Joseph Henry George, and Judy Thompson, vice president for stewardship and principal gifts, who served Drury for 30 years and has known 11 of Drury’s 18 presidents. Honored guests will include several past presidents who will be in attendance.


Cybersecurity workshop for small businesses to be held Thursday at Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 2, 2017 — Drury professor Dr. Shannon McMurtrey and several of his graduate-level students in the Breech School of Business will offer a free workshop on “Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small Businesses” from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 4, in Room 200 in the Breech building.

Information security is a top priority for anyone who owns or manages a business. The session will cover steps today’s small business leaders can take to protect their operations and their customers’ data. Dr. McMurtrey, an award-winning cybersecurity expert, will facilitate the session. There will be time for Q&A at the end, and light refreshments will be provided.

“One of the most pressing concerns for many small businesses owners today is protecting their systems and data from hackers,” McMurtrey says. “Graduate students in the Drury Cybersecurity Leadership program will share their research in areas important to small businesses, including information security policy, social engineering attack vectors, and cyber-warfare.”

For more information or to RSVP for the event, call (417) 873-7508.

About the Cybersecurity Leadership Certificate program

Today’s employers are seeking leaders who understand how to protect, detect, defend, and respond to cybersecurity attacks. That is why Drury now offers a graduate-level certificate in cybersecurity leadership. The new Cybersecurity Leadership coursework can be completed in one year and is designed to serve students of all backgrounds. In addition to gaining knowledge of the fundamentals of information security, students also acquire a strong foundation in risk and risk management.

For more information, visit:


Media Contact: Dr. Shannon McMurtrey, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems: (417) 873-7242 or

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.


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.



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.


Meador Center invites leading experts to weigh in on “Trump at 100 Days”

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 25, 2017 — Drury’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship will bring five leading scholars and observers of American politics to campus Thursday for a panel discussion titled “Trump at 100 Days.” The discussion is the final event of the Meador Center’s “45 Series: Conversations on the 2016 Presidential Election and the New Administration.”

The panel will be held at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, April 27, in the Diversity Center (the former Washington Avenue Church) on Drury Lane. The event is free and open to the public. The panelists will offer some reflections on the progress of the new administration and then engage in conversation.

“This group will bring a variety of viewpoints to the table Thursday,” says Dr. Daniel Ponder, L.E. Meador Chair of Political Science and director of the Meador Center. “Their expertise ranges from party politics to the inner workings of the White House to Congress. We’re living through a somewhat unusual moment with respect to all of those institutions right now, and it’s important for citizens to have a keen grasp of how they’re all interacting with one another as the country moves ahead.”

The five guests have published numerous books, articles, and essays, are considered go-to experts in their field for political analysis. Three of the five have won the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) Neustadt Prize honoring the best book on the presidency, and several write for national blogs.

The panelists include:

azariJulia Azari, associate professor of political science at Marquette University. Azari is the author of the 2014 book “Delivering the People’s Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate” and is a regular contributor at the political science blog The Mischiefs of Faction, as well as at and Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog and in Politico.



hultKaren M. Hult, chair of the department of political science at Virginia Tech University. Recognized as one of the foremost experts on the inner workings of the White House, Hult is co-author (with Charles Walcott, another panelist) of “Governing the White House: From Hoover Through LBJ,” which won the 1996 Neustadt Prize honoring the best book on the presidency.



leeFrances E. Lee, professor of government at the University of Maryland. Lee is widely considered one of the leading experts on congressional politics and has received numerous accolades and honors in the field, including the American Political Science Association’s Richard F. Fenno Award for the best book on legislative politics in 2009. She has been a Fellow at the Brookings Institution and served as a Congressional Fellow.



rudalevigeAndrew Rudalevige, professor of government at Bowdoin College in Maine. Rudalevige has published numerous articles, essays, and book chapters, and has contributed to the Monkey Cage blog. His book “Managing the President’s Program: Presidential Leadership and Legislative Policy Formulation” won the 2003 Neustadt Prize. His most recent book is “The New Imperial Presidency: Renewing Presidential Power after Watergate” and he is currently engaged in a large-scale study of unilateral powers in the presidency.



walcottCharles E. Walcott, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech. Walcott has won several teaching and research awards, including the Neustadt Prize. His research and writings have been published in a variety of outlets including the American Journal of Political Science, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and elsewhere. He has served as President of the Presidency and Executive Politics organized section of APSA, and was co-editor of the journal Congress and the Presidency.



The Meador Center panel event is also part of CHASS Week, celebrating Drury’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. For more information about the week, visit the CHASS page at


Arbor Day celebration to be held at Drury University on Friday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 20, 2017 — Drury University will celebrate Arbor Day and its designation as a Tree Campus USA during a public event at 2 p.m. Friday in the Hoblit Suite in Freeman Hall. The event is part of Drury’s Earth Day celebration.

The Arbor Day Foundation has designated Drury a “Tree Campus USA” for the third year in a row. Cindy Garner of the Missouri Department of Conservation will discuss the history of Arbor Day and Drury Head Groundskeeper Joe Fearn will give an update on the urban forest across the campus. Russell Hinnah, with the MDC and National Arbor Day Foundation State Coordinator, will present the Tree Campus award. Drury students will perform original poetry and music, and Drury Trustee Lyle Reed will also give remarks. A proclamation from City of Springfield declaring the day “Drury ArborDay 2017” will be presented as well.

Drury’s urban forest accounts for more than $1.2 million in capital assets. There are more than 1,000 trees and 90 species on campus.


Media Contact: Joe Fearn, Assistant Director – Grounds: (417) 873-7414 or

Sip & Savor Springfield serves up tasty treats to benefit two nonprofits

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 31, 2017 — Drury University’s Sigma Pi chapter is proud to present Sip & Savor Springfield, a charity dessert and beverage sampling fundraiser set for Saturday, April 8. The event will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on the Drury University campus.

Sip & Savor Springfield will serve up the opportunity for some of the finest culinary minds in the Ozarks to combine what they do best with raising much-needed funds to support two area nonprofits, all while providing valuable real-world experience for college students planning the event.

All proceeds will benefit Harmony House, one of the state’s largest shelters and resource centers for domestic violence victims and their families, and Rare Breed, a resource center for at-risk and homeless youth.

Attendees will be able to sample decadent treats and tasty beverages from over 20 vendors, including Blue Bell Creameries, Chick-Fil-A, Chinese Chef, Corkscrew Catering, El Charro, Eurasia, Heart of America Beverage, Heroes Coffee, Hiland Dairy, Insomnia Cookies, June’s Cakery, Kilwins Branson, La Paloma, Neighbor’s Mill Bakery & Cafe, Panera Bread Bakery-Cafe, Springfield Brewing Company, Tea Bar & Bites, The Rim, and Truffles E Truffles Handmade Chocolates. More vendors will be announced in the coming days at

Although this is the inaugural year for Sip & Savor Springfield, Drury Sigma Pi members have built upon their experience gained while hosting last April’s Sugar Rush fundraiser, which raised over $8,500 for the two nonprofits.

“After the enormous success with Sugar Rush, we’ve spent the last year tweaking the original idea by adding new features and incorporating a wider variety of food and beverage options to ensure there’s something for everyone,” said Ethan Williamson, the student leading the Sip & Savor project team.

General admission tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. VIP tickets are $30, student tickets are $10, and children eight and under are free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at or at the door on the day of the event.


Media Contact: Kent Otto, Drury Sigma Pi chapter director: (417) 459-6589 or

Lynyrd Skynyrd to play O’Reilly Family Event Center on May 19

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 28, 2017 — Legendary southern rock group Lynyrd Skynyrd will take the stage at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Friday, May 19.

Tickets start at $67 and go on sale starting at 10 a.m., this Friday, March 31, at or by calling (417) 873-6389. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the OFEC box office, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.


With a catalog of over 60 albums, sales beyond 30 million worldwide and their beloved classic American rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama” having over two million downloaded ringtones, Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Lynyrd Skynyrd remains a cultural icon that appeals to all generations.

Led by core members Gary Rossington (guitar), Johnny Van Zant (vocals) and Rickey Medlock (guitar), the band continues to record new albums and tour the country, building on the legacy that began over 35 years ago in Jacksonville, Florida. Joining them in the studio and on the road are new bassist Johnny Colt, guitarist Mark “Sparky” Matejka, and keyboardist Peter Keys.

More information:


Media Contact: Geoff Steele, O’Reilly Family Event Center Venue Coordinator: (417) 863-7843 or

Drury’s humanities film series returns to The Moxie on Saturday for spring run

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 21, 2017 — Drury University’s Humanities & Ethics Center has again partnered with the Moxie Cinema in downtown Springfield to host a series of screenings and open discussions at the local independent theater. The fifth season continues with three more films this spring following a winter break. The Drury Humanities & Arts Film Series is made possible by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council.

The partnership between Drury and the nonprofit Moxie Cinema places a spotlight on films that ask enduring questions about the human condition and adds an open, facilitated discussion to the mix. After each showing, a Drury professor leads a group discussion about the movie’s themes. The post-film discussions are about 30 minutes each. Tickets are $5 and all screenings begin at 1 p.m.

Richard Schur

Richard Schur

The film series returns at 1 p.m. this Saturday, March 25 with a talk from Dr. Rich Schur following a screening of the Academy Award-winning 1997 Italian film “Life is Beautiful.” The film is a comedy and set during the Holocaust and tells the story of a Jewish librarian who uses fantasy and humor to shield his son from the grim reality of the death camps. It raises significant questions about the nature of comedy, as some critics argued that the film sanitized the Holocaust, misrepresenting the horror of the events. Others defended the film and believed it told a powerful story with humane values. In the post-film discussion, Dr. Schur, professor of English, will revisit this controversy and explore whether there are some limits comedy should not and cannot cross.

The remaining films in the series include:

April 1 – “The Sea Inside” with Dr. Chris Panza, professor of philosophy

April 22 ­– “Son of Man” with Dr. Teresa Hornsby, professor of religion

In addition to the Humanities and Arts Film Series, Dr. Shannon McMurtrey will bring his expertise in cybersecurity to a discussion of privacy and intelligence gathering following a screening of the 1974 classic “The Conversation” on Tuesday, April 18 as a part of The Moxie’s Science on Screen series.

For more information, go to


“Peter and the Wolf” tradition continues at Drury on Thursday, Feb. 16

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., February 14, 2017 — Drury University’s annual production of “Peter and the Wolf” for area third-graders will take place during two performances at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. This year’s performances are made possible in part thanks to a $12,900 grant from U.S. Bank, through the U.S. Bank Foundation.

For more than 40 years, students and faculty from Drury’s music, theater and education departments have collaborated to bring “Peter and the Wolf” to life for an elementary school audience. The 1936 work by Sergei Prokofiev is designed to teach children about the orchestra through an easy-to-understand fairytale about a boy and his animal friends being stalked by a wolf. Each character is represented by a different instrument and musical motif. In 2016, Drury revamped the program to include new emphasis on the humane treatment of animals. Nearly 3,000 third graders from Springfield and the surrounding area are expected to attend the two performances.

“We are very grateful for the support provided by U.S. Bank through its grant program,” says Christopher Koch, associate professor of music at Drury and music director of the SDCO and Springfield Regional Opera. “Not only will the funding help us to continue our 40-plus year tradition of presenting ‘Peter and the Wolf’ to our region’s third graders, it also supports the regionally and nationally acclaimed Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra, a semi-professional ensemble-in-residence at Drury which allows our own students to sit side-by-side with professional musicians, faculty, and students drawn from across southwest Missouri.”

The U.S. Bank Foundation funds projects related to themes of workforce education, neighborhood revitalization, and arts and culture, organized under the umbrellas of Work, Home and Play. Support for the Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra falls within Play and is an investment in the arts and culture of our community.

“U.S. Bank makes play possible by investing the bank’s financial resources in community programming that supports ways for children and adults to play and create in venues across the country,” said Steven Fox, Regional President.

Grant funding from U.S. Bank will support a full roster of orchestral events in SDCO’s 2017-18 season. For tickets and information about SDCO, visit


Events explore lessons from WWII-era Japanese-American internment camps

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., January 31, 2017 — A multi-disciplinary series of events and performances at Drury University will tell the story of the internment camps set up by the U.S. government to hold Japanese-Americans during World War II. The camps were result of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066 signed in the weeks after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.



“Life Interrupted: Art for Social Change” is a project that brings together the arts, humanities, history and political science departments at Drury, along with the greater Springfield community and the CORE Performance Company, to hear about the camps and ask what we can learn from the experience.

How have these same issues of civil rights violations, racial profiling, discrimination, immigration and xenophobia shifted, changed, or stayed the same? How do we ensure the safety of our country without discriminating against ethnic and religious minorities?

“It’s 75 years past and we’re still grappling with the same issues – fear of people we don’t know, fear of people who look different from us,” says Nancy Chikaraishi, a Drury architecture professor whose parents and grandparents were forced into the camps, and who is the lead organizer for the series of “Life Interrupted” events at Drury.

MORE: Read an interview with Chikaraishi about her personal connection to the internment camps and how she became involved in the “Life Interrupted” project.

The events begin on Thursday with a roundtable discussion with community leaders, followed by a dance workshop and art installation on Friday and a performance on Saturday of “Life Interrupted” by CORE, which is based in Atlanta and Houston. A final panel discussion on the nature of architecture and power will be held next week.

Full list of events:

Thursday, Feb. 2, 6 p.m. – Roundtable discussion with local community leaders led by Drury political science professors Dr. Daniel Ponder and Dr. Jeff Vandenberg, with representatives from the Islamic Society of Joplin, NAACP, Temple Israel, and PROMO. Location: Reed Auditorium, Trustee Science Center on the Drury campus.

Friday Feb. 3, 3-4:30 p.m. – Dance workshop and story circle with the CORE Performance Company. Participants will be guided through the story circle process, sharing personal stories related to the themes investigated in “Life Interrupted.” No previous dance experience is required. Participants are encouraged to wear clothing that will not inhibit moving freely. Location: Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial Street.

Friday, Feb. 3, 5-8 p.m. – Interactive art installation & exhibition opening led by Nancy Chikaraishi and Drury students (following the dance workshop and story circle). Location: Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial Street.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m. – “Life Interrupted” dance theatrical performance by the CORE Performance Company. Reserve tickets for free online. Location: Wilhoit Theater, Breech School of Business, corner of Central Street and Drury Lane.

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 6-7:30 p.m. – Panel Discussion on Architecture & Power, led by Drury architecture professors Dr. Robert Weddle, Dr. Panos Leventis and Nancy Chikaraishi. Location: Drury on C-Street Gallery, 233 E. Commercial Street.

This project is supported in part by awards from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Arts Council, and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, Springfield Regional Arts Council and Community Foundation of the Ozarks, DoubleTree by Hilton, Nelson and Kelley Still Nichols, Colorgraphic Printing, Drury University, Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture and the L.E. Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship.


Media Contact: Nancy Chikaraishi, Professor of Architecture: (417) 873-7459 or