Thursday service at Stone Chapel to honor victims of terrorist attacks 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 18, 2015 — Drury University will hold service to honor and memorialize the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut at 11 a.m., Thursday, in the Stone Chapel sanctuary. The service is open to the public and media are welcome to cover it.

Drury’s Chamber Choir will perform two selections. Dr. Cathy Blunk, professor of French, will speak about the events in Paris. Elio Challita, a Drury student from Lebanon studying economics and biochemistry, will speak about the attacks in Beirut that occurred on Thursday and claimed more than 40 lives.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families and friends as well as to the people of both France and Lebanon at this difficult time,” says University Chaplain Dr. Peter Browning, who will lead the service. “We also wish to lift up the international students from these two countries who study at Drury. We will gather Thursday to acknowledge the loss, pray for those most deeply affected, and focus ourselves on the task of working to create a world where all may live in peace.”


Annual education conference to focus on mindfulness in the classroom

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 28, 2015 — Drury University will partner with Springfield Public Schools on Friday, Nov. 6, to present the 15th annual Developing Success in Youth conference on the DU campus.

With the theme “The Emotional Art of Teaching,” the conference will focus on the concept of mindfulness and how it can help teachers and students reduce stress in the classroom. Mindfulness is defined as being highly self-aware of one’s consciousness from moment to moment.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Patricia Jennings, associate professor of education at the Curry School of Education at University of Virginia, who will lead four sessions throughout the day.

Dr. Patricia Jennings

Dr. Patricia Jennings

The social and emotional dynamics of the classroom play a key role in promoting student learning and fostering pro-social behavior. Drawing upon research in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and education, Jennings will provide information about how mindfulness-based approaches can help teachers manage the stressful demands of the classroom, cultivate an exceptional learning environment, and revitalize teaching and learning. In addition to the research behind these approaches, participants will learn some simple awareness practices for managing stress and promoting wellbeing.

The material will be relevant to all K-12 educators and administrators. The full cost is $150, and groups of 5 or more from the same school are $125 per individual.

Nearly 100 educators from across Missouri have already registered to attend. For more information and to register online, go to:, or contact Dr. Kristofor Wiley, assistant professor of education, at (417) 873-6397 or


Conference helps Midwest nonprofits sharpen communication skills

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 14, 2015 — Nearly 300 community leaders representing organizations from across Missouri and several surrounding states will gather Friday, Oct.16, at the Ramada Oasis Convention Center for the 2015 Nonprofit Communication Conference.

The annual event has grown to become the largest one-day conference of its kind in the state. Representatives from many of the region’s largest health systems, universities, charitable and civic groups will receive training on a variety of topics including crisis communication, advocacy, grant writing and fundraising. The conference is presented by the Drury University Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which is a statewide leader in training, research and outreach in the nonprofit sector.

According to the IRS, there are more than 1,500 registered nonprofit organizations in Springfield – including many of the region’s top employers. A 2014 study by the Center revealed Springfield’s nonprofit organizations comprise more than 50 percent of the city’s total private workforce – almost 40,000 people daily.

“Springfield is a model nonprofit community when it comes to collaboration and a willingness to take on social issues,” says Dan Prater, conference organizer and director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at Drury. “This conference always features a lot of great energy as we learn from one another and share our experiences.”

Major conference sponsors include DL Media, KPM CPAs, Ollis/Akers/Arney, Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Panera Bread.

For more information, contact conference organizer Dan Prater at (417) 873-7443 or via email at, or visit:


Drury will host national home school debate tournament in 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 3, 2015 — The Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau announced today that Stoa, a speech and debate organization for Christian homeschooling families, selected Springfield for its 2016 National Invitational Tournament of Champions.

The event is expected to bring about 3,000 high school and junior high students, parents, coaches and spectators to the city May 20-28, 2016, said Mark Russell, president elect of Stoa. The championships will take place on the Drury University campus.

The CVB expects the city to be bustling with families staying at hotels, shopping, dining and visiting attractions when they’re not busy at the tournament. The CVB estimates spending of about $125 per person per day.

Russell said Springfield was a natural choice for the annual tournament, which rotates to the east, west and central parts of the country.

“Springfield truly has a strong reputation with homeschoolers with the National Christian Homeschool basketball tournament,” Russell said.

That tournament brings more than 8,000 people to the city and is the largest annual group event in Springfield. The city also hosts the National Christian Homeschool Spring Basketball Nationals, Fall Basketball Nationals, Fall Volleyball Nationals and Fall Tip-Off Basketball Tournament.

“This is a great event for Springfield made possible by the collaboration and cooperation of Drury University – a key in Stoa’s selection process,” said Tracy Kimberlin, president/CEO of the CVB.

“Drury is extremely pleased to play host to the 2016 Stoa national tournament,” said Rob Fridge, Drury’s chief financial officer. “We’re excited to help bring this group of high-achieving students and their families to Springfield, and we expect nearly every room on our campus to be bustling with activity over the course of eight days next spring.”


Event gives business women a welcoming space to learn, network

Research shows that women start businesses in greater numbers than men, yet they typically don’t grow their businesses to the same extent as men do over time.

There are many reasons for this, says Dr. Kelley Still, director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Drury. But one important factor, according to research, is that the business world remains a primarily male-oriented arena.

While the Ozarks is rich with business networking opportunities, few focus on women. Connecting and empowering female business owners is the sole purpose of the Edward Jones Center’s annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium, now in its seventh year. The 2015 event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

“There are a lot of really great opportunities in town to get technical training about business plans or how to keep your books,” Still says. “We really focus on hearing from other women entrepreneurs who can share how they’ve solved problems and moved their business forward.”

In such an environment, women are more apt to speak up, ask questions, and discuss both good and bad experiences.

“There’s a feeling of camaraderie,” says Claire Faucett, owner of social media marketing company engage5w, and a panelist for this year’s event. “If you’re a woman in business you subconsciously put up a wall at times, and I think you allow yourself sort of take the wall down when you’re around other women.”

The keynote speaker is Catherine Johns, a Chicago radio personality who’s climbed ladder in the broadcasting industry and now speaks to women about reaching for new heights in their careers. Panels will examine topics such as owning a business with your spouse, mixing business and friendship, social media and more. Participants can even schedule one-on-one time with subject matter experts like CPAs and attorneys. And despite the focus, men are welcome, too.

The day caps off with awards honors the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year and Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year.

Cost is $25 for the general public, which includes breakfast and lunch. Registration remains open until the day of the event. For more information call 873-6357 or visit


Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium will be held March 21

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Feb. 26, 2015 – Drury University’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship will hold its seventh annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium (WES) from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, March 21. WES provides women entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of owning a business, network with other entrepreneurs and visit with a wide range of exhibitors. The theme of this year’s symposium is “7 Years of Empowering and Celebrating Women Innovators.”

The event is $25 for the general public, which includes breakfast and lunch. Registration remains open until the day of the event. Register online at WES will take place at the O’Reilly Family Event Center on the DU campus.

For the third year, WES will award honors to some of the area’s top female entrepreneurs in the following categories:

  • Women Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year

The award winners remain a secret until the symposium luncheon at noon. The media are invited to attend the ceremony. To qualify for an award, a woman must own at least 50 percent of a business and operate within 30 miles of Springfield. The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year nominees must have been in business for at least five years, and the Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year nominees should have been in business for less than two years.

The keynote speaker this year is Catherine Johns, long-time Chicago radio personality who broke out of the broadcasting industry “boys’ club.” Now she works with women who are ready to reach for new heights in their business – and their life. Panels will examine topics such as owning a business with your spouse, mixing business and friendship, the current social media landscape and more.

Catherine Johns

Catherine Johns

Speakers and panelists will include Joan and Gary Whitaker, 417 Magazine; Hannah and Paul Catlett, Studio 417 Salon, 417 Blow Dry Bar and Hudson Hawk Barber & Shop; Jennifer and Brad Feurbacher, Brown Derby International Wine Center and Derby Deli; Claire Faucett, owner of engage5w; Molly Riddle, Project Manager for Mostly Serious; Rita Baron, Developer and Principal of Baron Design & Associates, LLC; and Terry Reynolds, owner, partner and manager of the C. Arch Bay Company.

For more information about the event visit, or contact Dr. Kelley Still, Executive Director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, at (417) 873-7458 or


Center for Nonprofit Communication to Host Free Seminar on Financial Accountability

The Drury University Center for Nonprofit Communication will host a free half-day seminar on financial transparency and accountability for nonprofit organizations on Friday, Jan. 31.

There will be three sessions conducted by CPAs from local accounting firm Elliott, Robinson & Company, LLP. They include:

  • “I’m not an Accountant!” – Clarifying the Confusion
  • Protecting Organization Assets with Internal Controls
  • Ten Things to Consider When Filing IRS Form 990

There will also be a panel discussion and Q&A session with the CPAs.

“There are hundreds of non-profit organizations in the greater Springfield area and most do a good job when it comes to fiscal accountability,” said Dan Prater, director of the CNC at Drury. “But very often the difference between right and wrong isn’t always clear. We believe going over some best practices can be of great help to non-profit leaders and boards members.”

Holding the seminar free of charge keeps the barrier to entry low for even the smallest organizations, and is in keeping with the CNC’s mission to enhance the impact of non-profits in the area.

The event is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday, Jan. 31, at the Findlay Student Center on the Drury campus in Springfield. Participants can register online at The registration deadline is Jan. 25. For more information about the event, contact Dan Prater at 417-873-7443 or

More information about the CNC can be found at

Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra to perform at Evangel on Tuesday, May 1

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 25, 2012 — The Springfield-Drury Civic Orchestra (SDCO) will hold its final performance of the season on Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Evangel Chapel Auditorium.

Simfoniya Poema will feature Maurice Ravel’s Bolero, Joseph Haydn’s Concerto for Cello and Aram Khachaturian’s Symphony No. 3. Khachaturian’s work was written to celebrate the end of World War II and features a large orchestra, a choir of 15 trumpets and a virtuosic piece for pipe organ.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the SDCO website.

Media Contact: Dr. Christopher Koch, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestra & Wind Symphony, Office: (417) 873-7298, E-mail:


Drury’s Pool Art Center to showcase the work of a ceramic artist

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 29, 2012 — Drury’s Pool Art Center Gallery will feature the works of Amanda Small in a solo exhibit titled (Some)Where We Meet in March. The exhibit opens Friday evening, March 2 from 6-9 p.m. with an artist talk scheduled from 6-7 p.m. The exhibit will be on display through Friday, March 30.

Small received a Master of Fine Arts in Ceramic Art from Kansas State University in 2009. Her work has been seen in a number of exhibitions from Manhattan, Kansas to New York City, Canberra, Australia and, most recently, Copenhagen, Denmark.

“I signify my ideas about a living web through metaphor, using sacred geometry, radials, and lattice patterns to reference architecture found within living structures,” Small said. “Repetitive patterns common in nature act as an allegory for a collective identity, and reference the inter-connectedness of living things.”

Media Contact: Greg Booker, Pool Arts Center Gallery Director, Office: (417) 873-7203, E-mail:


Green building expert to speak at Drury on Thursday, March 1

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 28, 2012 — Dr. William Braham will illustrate the importance of architecture and the environment in his discussion on Thursday, March 1 at 11 a.m. in Clara Thompson Hall at Drury University.

Braham (pronounced Bram) believes that a building is only as energy efficient as those who live or work within it. Braham studies how the places where we live affect the planet. Braham teaches graduate courses on ecology, technology, and design at the University of Pennsylvania where he is director of the Master of Environmental Building Design.

Bill Braham

Braham received an engineering degree from Princeton University and a master’s and doctorate in architecture from Penn, where he has taught since 1988. He is currently working on a book called Ecology, Technology, and Design.

Drury University’s 2011-2012 convocation series, The Changing Planet: Our Role in Nature’s Economy, considers human connections to the environment, while also examining potential solutions to current problems.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more details about speakers visit or contact Theme Year Director Dr. Sean Terry at (417) 873-6963.