graduation

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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More than 50 Drury graduate degrees to be conferred Sunday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 12, 2015 — A hooding and conferral ceremony will take place at 1 p.m., Sunday, August 16 at Stone Chapel to recognize 53 students earning graduate degrees from Drury University.

The College of Graduate Studies offers master’s degrees in business administration, communication, education, teaching, 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. “Our small class sizes, outstanding faculty, and curricular innovations provide students with a powerful and rewarding graduate education.”

For more information, visit Drury.edu/graduate.

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Media Contact: Dr. Regina Waters – Dean, College of Graduate Studies. Office: (417) 873-7251; email: rwaters@drury.edu.

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.

2015 Commencement 3

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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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.

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Studying abroad helps architecture grad gain global perspective

Not many 23-year-olds can say they’ve travelled the world, have a master’s degree and had multiple internships during their college career. Wil Toedtmann can. He graduated Drury this month with a degree in architecture and a minor in Design Arts and Global Studies.

The Hermann, Missouri, native became interested in architecture in high school when he would sketch buildings on his notes during class. He came to Drury for the five-year Master of Architecture program.

During those years, Toedtmann counts his travel abroad opportunities as some of his biggest learning experiences. In total, he visited seven countries, including China, Italy, Spain, Greece and the United Kingdom.

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“Studying abroad was such a life changing experience and I not only learned about other cultures, but I also learned a lot about myself and what my values were,” Toedtmann says. “It really changed my whole perspective on life. I think traveling is one of the best ways to learn and it really gives you a global perspective.”

This past spring break, Toedtmann and two other Drury students traveled to China to present their fifth year urban design projects to the Suzhou Industrial Park Design & Research Institute. The projects focused on the anticipated future growth of an area west of Shanghai, and looked at redevelopment strategies addressing issues of sustainability, culture and population density.

“One of professors was actually born in Beijing, which made the trip even better because it was like having a personal tour guide,” Toedtmann says. “I was really glad he came with us because he showed us authentic Chinese cuisine, which was great!”

Aside from his study abroad travels, Toedtmann also appreciates the networking opportunities Drury has provided him. Because of a Drury connection, Toedtmann was able to spend a week in New York City working with Daniel Libeskind, one of the world’s most well-known architects. Another Drury connection helped him secure a part-time job at Casey Architecture, where he works today. He hopes to move to a large city in the future.

“I honestly feel like Drury couldn’t have done any more to better prepare me for the field of architecture,” Toedtmann says. “I am not only grateful for the degree and education I received, but more importantly, I am grateful for all the relationships that were created through my experiences and the opportunities that molded me into the person I am today.”

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, an English and Writing major at Drury. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader. 

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.

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Five Pound Apparel: “Everything we sell gives back.”

“I was in college and driving to coach soccer in Fair Grove and my friends and I saw a guy stranded on the side of the road. We helped the guy push his car out of danger and he used one of our cell phones to call for help. It was a good feeling to help that guy and my friends and I thought about how we could incorporate helping people into the rest of our lives,” said Bryan Simpson, who will earn a Master of Business Administration from Drury on Sunday.

That event, while Simpson was a college undergraduate, was the inspiration for Five Pound Apparel, a social business based in Springfield that donates five pounds of food for every one of the branded t-shirts it sells; but Simpson and his partners had a rocky start.

Simpson playing soccer during his Drury undergraduate days

A 2006 graduate of Kickapoo High School, Simpson came to Drury to play soccer. A broken foot in his sophomore year put an end to his soccer career and sent him to another local college where his father worked and Simpson could attend for practically nothing. After helping the man with the broken down car in the spring of 2010, Simpson and his housemates bought a screen-printing starter kit and began watching how-to videos. Simpson and his partners started a business called Global Tees, and they were taking orders and making t-shirts, but they didn’t have a business license and weren’t supposed to be manufacturing anything in a single-family home. Global Tees had a choice, shut down the t-shirt production or get fined for every day it continued to make t-shirts.

“We should have thought about quitting. One of the realities with screen-printing is that college kids can start it in their living room. Entry is easy, but profit margins are low,” Simpson said.

Simpson and his partners did not quit, and Simpson’s dad helped them out. He pushed back his retirement and bought a building, which Simpson and his partners lease, so the business could have a legal, appropriate location. When the company re-opened as Five Pound Apparel in December of 2010, it had a new vision.

Simpson in front of Five Pound Apparel with his girlfriend Bethany Forrester

“Our message is that everything we sell gives back. For every shirt we sell from our brand, we provide five pounds of food to Nepal nutrition,” Simpson said. Nepal Nutrition provides food for children in Nepal and was founded by a fellow Kickapoo graduate Mark Arnoldy.

Simpson is the first to admit, that he did not have a business plan and got lucky, “I’m actually glad I hadn’t gone to Drury for my MBA before I started Five Pound Apparel because I learned how stupid it was to start that business,” Simpson said. “If I had evaluated everything, I probably wouldn’t have done it.”

Now, Five Pound Apparel is profitable and Simpson and his partners are ready to expand to an additional location and a more robust online presence, and he’s prepared to succeed with the knowledge he’s earned from his Drury MBA.

Simpson has come back to Drury to speak to undergraduates about how to start a business, “I tell them to take a low risk first step. They’ll either be successful and can build on that idea or they’ll fail, but they won’t lose their life savings,” Simpson said. “But they should do it while they’re young. I don’t even have a dog, no one gets hurt if I fail.”

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Story by Mark Miller, associate director of marketing and communications at Drury.

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.

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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

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