history

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.

Chikaraishi

Chikaraishi

“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.

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Media Contact: Nancy Chikaraishi, Professor of Architecture: (417) 873-7459 or nchikaraishi@drury.edu.

Education professor studies George Washington Carver on sabbatical

As a someone who teaches future teachers, Dr. Ed Williamson has always been fascinated with one of America’s most storied educators: George Washington Carver.

“(Carver) was born into slavery in the 1860s,” Williamson explains. “Then he contended with all the racism and prejudice of the day, eventually becoming arguably the most well-educated African-American of his time and a world-renowned scientist, inventor and humanitarian.”

Williamson has taught in Drury’s School of Education and Child Development since 1999. His work teaching courses on science instruction led him to build a connection with the staff at the George Washington Carver National Monument outside Diamond, where he would often take students on field trips.

When it came time to take a sabbatical this year, Williamson knew he wanted to spend it at the pastoral Carver Monument – in the archive and in the field as volunteer park ranger.

Williamson at the Carver National Monument site.

Williamson at the Carver National Monument site.

His research focused on the early years of Carver’s life and education. He used primary sources from the Monument’s archive, as well as secondary sources derived from oral histories and a swath of existing scholarship.

Williamson came to know the resiliency of the young Carver, who he says had an “I can” outlook on life from early on. Carver’s thirst for knowledge led him to leave his adoptive home at age 12 and go to school in nearby Neosho, never to return.

The research also led Williamson to a man named Stephen Frost. Frost was Carver’s first formal teacher at the Neosho Colored School. Carver left not long after arriving there, however.

“The story was that Carver was there about six months before he realized his new more than his teacher and then left,” William says. “But as I got more in depth, Frost became more interesting to me.”

Frost had only learned to read and write a few years before teaching in Neosho. He may not have had much formal education himself, but he was doing what he could.

“He was giving back what little he had,” Williams said.

Frost has a connection to present-day Drury, too. He came to Springfield in the late 1870s and became a pastor at the historically black Washington Avenue Baptist Church. That church is now the Diversity Center on campus. He returned to the Neosho Colored School a few years later and finished out his career there, teaching an entire generation of black students in that area.

As for Carver, his “I can” attitude in many ways matches the current push to teach perseverance and “grit” to youth. Researching that arc of achievement led Williamson to admire his subject even more.

“We ought to use George Washington Carver as the prime example of overcoming adversity and being resilient,” he says.

Carver eventually earned two degrees from what is now Iowa State University and was recruited to teach at the Tuskegee Institute in 1896 – the same year the Supreme Court made “separate but equal” the law of the land. He died in 1943, a decade before that precedent was overturned.

“So his entire career was under that shadow,” Williamson said. “It’s really remarkable what he was able to do, even with all the handicapping social conditions he faced.”

Williamson has lectured about his research once already at the Carver Monument and will do so again this November on the Drury campus.

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Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Drury researcher helps family discover details of service and sacrifice

As Drury’s university archivist, Bill Garvin seeks out the details that make the past come to life. It’s more than a job; it’s a passion – one that can result in information and discoveries that impact real people’s lives in a meaningful way.

About two years ago, Garvin’s research took him to field full of retired aircraft in Vichy, Missouri. He discovered that a particular Douglas C-47 had been flown on D-Day and connected the plane with a pilot from Oklahoma named Lt. Philip Sarrett.

Garvin, who has a deep interest in World War II research, eventually found Sarrett’s family and helped fill in details they’d never known. They revered Philip for his sacrifice but there were unanswered questions.

Lt. Philip Sarrett piloted a Douglas C-47 during WWII.

Lt. Philip Sarrett piloted a Douglas C-47 during World War II.

“An 18×24 (inch) picture had always hung in my bedroom. So I grew up with the photographs, but I never had any detail on much of his life – or how it ended,” says Philip’s niece, Marsha Funk.

Garvin’s research of military records helped Sarrett’s family truly understand his service, and his place in the war. They never even knew that he had piloted an aircraft on D-Day, for example. Sarrett’s assignments often involved flying paratroopers over the battlefields of Europe, behind enemy lines and amid enemy fire.

“We’re now just incredibly blessed to know he had so many successful missions, and so many important ones, too,” Funk says.

Marsha Funk

Marsha Funk

In early 2014, a ceremony was held at the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team Museum in Frederick, Oklahoma, to present Sarrett’s family with the restored control wheel of the C-47, which had been nicknamed “Ada Red.” His sister, Margaret Ray, now in her 90s, accepted it on behalf of the family.

Margaret Ray, Philip Sarrett's sister, accepts a the restored "Ada Red" control wheel. Bill Garvin is at right.

Margaret Ray, Philip Sarrett’s sister, accepts a the restored “Ada Red” control wheel. Bill Garvin is at right.

But that was not the end of the story. Sarrett made the ultimate sacrifice months after D-Day, in spring 1945. Garvin wanted to know more, so he continued digging.

With the help of German researcher Ortwin Nissing, Garvin eventually found the spot where Sarrett had died after the unarmed plane he was piloting was shot down by the Germans.

On March 24, 1945, during Operation Varsity, Sarrett flew the unarmed, unarmored C-47 into an area that was defended by a concentration of 350 Nazi flak positions. Despite the fact that his plane had been hit and was burning, he made sure that his stick of paratroopers exited the aircraft (though one was badly wounded and went down with the plane) and that his entire crew got out.

“The care Philip took to make sure that these men got out of the plane alive meant that he lost his life,” Garvin says. “ ‘Heroic’ is a word that gets tossed around a lot these days, but Philip’s actions were nothing short of that.”

After learning these details, Funk and her husband planned a trip to visit this location on the 70th anniversary of the crash.

The Clostermann diary.

The Clostermann diary.

Once in Germany, they found much more than a point on a map. They found people willing to help fill in the decades-old blanks. Nissing acted as a guide and translated for them. They met Erich Winter, 83, who witnessed the wreckage as a 12-year-old boy, and shared vividly remembered details of what he saw. And they met Ralph Clostermann, whose family has owned the land since the 19th century. He showed them his mother’s diary with descriptions of the day of the crash. She had been living in the basement because British troops were occupying the main floors of the family’s home at the time. She had seen the wreckage, too – and the two crosses erected there by the Brits.

Bullet holes on side of the Clostermann's barn  from the anti-aircraft fire that hit Sarrett's plane. It was never repaired because the owners felt it should remain as a reminder about the war.

Bullet holes on side of the Clostermann’s barn from the anti-aircraft fire that hit Sarrett’s plane were never repaired because the owners felt it should be a reminder of the war.

Though her mother, Philip’s sister, wasn’t able to make the trip, Funk relayed all of these details – and lots of photographs – to her. She wanted to know as much as possible.

“I think maybe it just brought some closure for her – just answering unanswered questions,” Funk says.

It’s been a gratifying process for Garvin.

“I’ve been truly struck by the willingness of complete strangers to help people they don’t know discover what happened to their lost loved ones in the war,” Garvin says.

Without Garvin’s work the family would never have “completed the puzzle,” Funk says.

“We felt a great sense of connectedness,” Funk says. “It’s hugely important to me. It’s helped me keep the story alive and share it with the rest of the family. It’s an important story.”

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Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Passion for media and history come together in propaganda research

As a filmmaker and TV production professional, Nathan Maulorico knows that every shot tells a story – sometimes ones the viewers may not even be aware.

Lately, Maulorico has been putting his passion for history to work in order to find the stories behind the shots themselves.

The recent Drury graduate was invited to present findings from an undergraduate research paper at the annual Mississippi State University Symposium for Undergraduate History Research earlier this month. The paper examines how film propaganda techniques of the past influence the visuals we see in modern advertising and movies.

Nathan Maulorico

Nathan Maulorico

Maulorico, 33, has been making short films since his teen years and has worked on reality TV productions for about a decade with credits that include “Dance Moms,” “Clash of the Ozarks” and work with Bobby Flay. He graduated from the College of Continuing Professional Studies in December with degrees in advertising, public relations and history. Drury was the right place to combine these interests, he says, and this research was a rewarding way to cap off that experience.

“This project was a personal challenge to me to figure out how I can mesh all of those together,” he says.

Maulorico watched more than 30 films and clips of many others as part of his research. They dated from 1912 to modern times and came from nearly a dozen countries. He watched with an eye for known propaganda techniques, and for continuity between eras.

“I looked for the techniques that were being used in those early films and they were adapted in modern films, advertising and news media,” he says.

While much writing and research has been devoted to old propaganda vehicles – particularly films made in Nazi Germany – there’s been less written about the parallels in modern media, Maulorico says. Most of us don’t think propaganda affects us, but it’s out there.

“People think it only has to do with these old Nazi movies but really, propaganda is happening all around us,” he says. “Whether it’s politics or advertising, somebody is trying to influence what you’re doing every day.”

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

Seeking global insights in Morocco, a cultural crossroads

A recent study abroad trip brought 10 Drury students to a place where two continents, myriad cultures and hundreds of years of history intersect: Morocco.

The group included students majoring in history, political science, business and more, including two minoring in Middle East studies. All sought to gain a better understanding of the Islamic world through their travels and coursework.

It was a “hands-on experience in a country that is the meeting point of Europe and the Islamic world,” said professor of political science Dr. Jeffery VanDenBerg, who led the trip along with Dr. Shelley Wolbrink, professor of history.

Among the cultural sites Drury's group visited in Morocco was the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, the largest mosque in Africa.

Among the cultural sites the group visited in Morocco was the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, the largest mosque in Africa.

Located in North Africa, Morocco is just nine miles from Spain across the Strait of Gibraltar. In the Middle Ages, Muslim rule and influence spread from Morocco across the Mediterranean Sea into what is now Spain. European colonization and influence in North Africa would later flow the other direction into Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.

Senior international political studies major Mai Baldwin[cq] says studying a culture through literature, textbooks or film is worthwhile but no substitute for actually being there.

“I understood not just the macro-level things I read about such as economic structures and how the government worked, but also the day-to-day way of life for many Moroccans,” she says. “I loved experiencing their renowned hospitality, seeing the vibrant food markets, and witnessing the joy with which so many people lived.”

The Drury study abroad group with Berber guides in the Sahara Desert while exploring Morocco.

The Drury study abroad group with Berber guides in the Sahara Desert while exploring Morocco.

More than half of Drury undergraduates study abroad during their college careers. But this trip took on an added impact when the terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris occurred just as the group prepared to return to Springfield.

That act clashed with the way students saw religion in everyday life during the prior two weeks in Morocco, a majority Muslim country that cultivates a strong national identity.

“The trip allowed us to form our own opinion,” said John Cantrell, a sophomore accounting and finance major. “We got to go over there and see for ourselves.”

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Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations. A version of this story first appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.

Display of Medieval documents draws parallel to today’s Information Age

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 1, 2014 — The Medieval and Renaissance Studies program at Drury University will hold a public viewing of medieval and early modern documents from noon to 1:45 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 3 in the Rare Book Room at Olin Library.

The collection of documents includes manuscript leaves on vellum and paper, as well as early printed books, some of which are in their original leather bindings. The oldest item on display is from the mid-13th century, and the oldest book in the display was printed in 1492. Campus and community members are welcome to come and go at their leisure. The display will be a learning experience for students to compare these documents to today’s world of texting, tweeting and updating.

William Garvin, university archivist and interim director of the Olin Library, says viewers will get a sense of the sweeping change that took place during the span of time represented in the display.

“Those changes are similar to the digital information revolution that we’ve lived through over the last thirty years,” Garvin says. “Think of it this way: to a great degree, the Protestant Reformation was possible because the printing press allowed the ideas of Luther and other reformers to ‘go viral’ throughout Europe. The technology of the printing press made that revolution possible, in the same way that social media technology has aided the revolutionary movements in the Arab Spring uprisings.”

Dr. Shelley Wolbrink, director of the Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program, says evidence suggests new and more visual methods of print and book making aided European dialogue on touchstone issues – for better or worse.

“I don’t think we take the same care with communication today, and I wonder where this will leave historians of the greats — like presidents — and the ordinary — like husbands and wives,” Wolbrink says. “I hope witnessing an artifact firsthand will help others understand this period of history.”

Media Contact: William Garvin, university archivist, (417) 873-7482 or wgarvin@drury.edu.

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Livesay named 2014 Sherman Emerging Scholar

Dr. Dan Livesay, assistant history professor at Drury, has been named the Sherman Emerging Scholar for 2014. Livesay will travel to the University of North Carolina Wilmington in late October to deliver a public lecture about his research, speak in a graduate class and share his expertise with other scholars.

The Sherman Emerging Scholar award is a national award presented by UNC-Wilmington annually to a promising young scholar. It gives the winner a platform to discuss perspectives, research, concepts and approaches to modern issues and theories in history, politics and international affairs.

Dr. Daniel Livesay

Dr. Daniel Livesay

Livesay’s lecture, titled “Race and the Making of Family in the Atlantic World,” will relate his research about mixed-race families in the 18th century to modern day debates about race and family in the United States. Growing racial complexities and family belonging were important issues then as they are now.

“Because I was selected by a committee of historians working on lots of different periods of time and topics, it was very encouraging to discover that my particular research had something of a broad appeal,” Livesay says. “It’s also very exciting to present my work to a large group of people who know absolutely nothing about my area of expertise. As academics, we can sometimes feel that we are only talking to a very narrow group of people about our research, and so I’m thrilled that I can present it to people from all different walks of life and intellectual interests.”

In total, Livesay spent 10 years researching, writing, and revising his work, which is now in the process of being published in book form by UNC Press.

The Emerging Scholar Award comes at the heels of another honor – the National Endowment for the Humanities “We the People” Fellowship in African American History – which allowed him to spend this past summer researching at the Rockefeller Library in Williamsburg, Va.

Livesay conducts most of his research during the academic breaks and focuses on teaching during the semesters, but he does devote some time in the mornings to continue researching throughout the school year. As a scholar and professor, Livesay says he inevitably finds documents and sources that he can use in his syllabus. He also incorporates some his own research and findings into the classroom.

“I think students get excited to see what their professors are experts in,” Livesay says. “They give good feedback and often show me something I hadn’t thought about before—they add a new perspective.”

Livesay received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in 2010 and came to Drury in 2012. He teaches courses on the history of early America, transatlantic slavery and indigenous people in the Americas.

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

Fellowship Allows Professor to Study Lives of Former Slaves

Dr. Dan Livesay, assistant history professor at Drury, will spend July 2014 piecing together bits of history in hopes to uncover the life stories of slaves living during the colonial era.

Livesay was awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities “We the People” Fellowship in African American History, a completive fellowship at the Rockefeller Library in Williamsburg, Va. The library contains the only existing records for several prominent Virginia planters of the eighteenth century. It also contains a specialized collection of books, manuscripts, letters and records from colonial America.

It is difficult for historians to understand the everyday struggles of those who lived through slavery — partially because many slaves could not write, did not have the resources to write, or simply because the records did not survive history.

Livesay hopes to illuminate the lives of slaves beyond the time they spent laboring.

“Scholars have looked at slaves’ lives primarily through the work that they did — picking cotton, cutting tobacco, harvesting sugarcane, etc.,” Livesay says. “My hope is that by fleshing out that later period in slaves’ lives, we can continue to uncover the humanity and lived experiences of those individuals whose lives were spent in extreme oppression.”

Daniel Livesay

A veteran of the research process, Livesay expects some tedious work, but he is excited by the possibility of what he may uncover.

“You never know what you’ll find,” he says. “Sometimes you can go days without turning up any relevant information. And some days you can be overwhelmed with information, and not have enough time to take it down. That’s both the frustration and thrill of doing work in the archives.”

Livesay received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Michigan in 2010 and came to Drury in 2012. He teaches courses on the history of early America, transatlantic slavery and indigenous people in the Americas.

Livesay hopes to present his findings to the university and public this fall.

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Story by Kaleigh Jurgensmeyer, a junior English and writing major at Drury. A version of this story first ran in the Springfield News-Leader. 

Drury will host a celebration to commemorate its 137th birthday

For Immediate Release: September 24

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 24, 2010 — Drury University President Todd Parnell will cut the first slice of cake to help the campus celebrate the 137th anniversary of its founding. A celebration in Burnham Circle will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 27.

Drury was established in 1873 and organized by Congregational home missionaries who felt the need for an academically strong liberal arts college in the Ozarks. Patterned after other Congregationalist liberal-arts colleges such as Oberlin, Carleton, Dartmouth, Yale and Harvard, Drury would offer an environment of strong academic discourse and intellectual achievement.

After much debate, Springfield was chosen over Neosho, Mo., as the college’s location. Four men then joined to organize and endow what they first named Springfield College: James Harwood and Charles Harwood of Springfield, The Rev. Nathan Morrison of Olivet, Mich., and Samuel Drury of Otsego, Mich. Drury’s gift of $25,000 was the largest, and the college was renamed for his recently deceased son. Morrison was chosen as the first president.

Drury’s early curriculum emphasized educational, religious and musical strengths. Students came to the new college from a wide area, including the Indian Territories of Oklahoma. The first graduating class in 1875 was made up entirely of five women.

When classes began in 1873, the campus occupied one building situated on less than 1½ acres. Twenty-five years later the 40-acre campus included Stone Chapel, the President’s House and three academic buildings. It now comprises nearly 90 acres.

The Monday afternoon ceremony will include a re-enactment of the first ringing of the bell by The Rev. Nathan Morrison, who rang a hand bell to announce the start of classes on Sept. 25, 1873.

Media Contact:
Mark Miller
Director of Media Relations, University Communications
Office: (417) 873-7390
Mobile: (417) 839-2886
E-mail: markmiller@drury.edu

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visitwww.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.