Alumnus Faulkner to speak, lead discussion on race & diversity

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Jan. 21, 2016 — Drury University will hold a campus- and community-wide discussion about race and cultural diversity on Jan. 28. The public is invited to attend.

The event will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 28 at the Diversity Center (the former Washington Avenue Baptist Church) on Drury Lane. It will be led by Rev. Darren Faulkner of Kansas City, a Drury graduate with more than 20 years experience in counseling, prison ministry, and nonprofit management.

“Drury University is a very welcoming and inclusive community,” says President Dr. David Manuel. “Nevertheless, our perspectives of diversity and inclusion can always broaden and become more thoughtful. Those perspectives are interrelated with the issues Rev. Faulkner will raise, and I am confident that his insights will help us deepen Drury’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

Faulkner will speak about the connections between the issues of race relations, economic dignity and cultural diversity. He will then lead a discussion session with Drury students, faculty, staff and members of the public. The President’s Council on Inclusion organized the event.

Rev. Darren Faulkner

Rev. Darren Faulkner

“We have come a long way since Jim Crow and the 1960s, however there are several things that occur today that would make the average person question just how far we have come,” Faulkner says. “I will be addressing these issues and making the argument that there is a correlation that cannot be denied.”

Faulkner received degrees in criminal justice and political science while at Drury and has been an ordained minister since 1993. He serves on the advisory board of the PBS affiliate KCPT, and is a member of the Heartland Community Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas City NAACP.


Media Contact: Greg Booker, Assistant Professor of Art & Inclusion Council Chair. Office: (417) 873-7203; email: gbooker@drury.edu.

Entrepreneur Ed Mareth to speak at winter commencement

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 7, 2015 — Drury University will confer nearly 300 degrees to graduates during its winter commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 12 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Entrepreneur and humanitarian Ed Mareth will deliver the commencement address to graduates.

Mareth has 25 years of professional experience in business management, entrepreneurship and private capital deployment, including executive management roles at three of the nation’s top agricultural companies. Mareth has been involved in multiple startup companies and humanitarian projects around the globe specializing in agriculture, technology, medical services, manufacturing and real estate. He is currently president of Mareth Enterprises, LLC, which he founded in 2002 and has holdings in socially responsible companies serving specialized markets.

Ed Mareth

Ed Mareth

Mareth holds five corporate board seats, serves on the Purdy R-II Board of Education, and directs Project Genesis of Purdy, a community economic development company that he and his wife, Julia, founded in 2008. Mareth graduated from Missouri State University with a BS in agricultural economics. He lives in Purdy with his wife and their three children.

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 2015 graduates.

Public contact: Dr. John Taylor, (417) 873-6356, jtaylor3@drury.edu.


Drury Architecture professor to speak at Crystal Bridges Museum of Art

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 2, 2015 — A Drury University professor will give a lecture that draws on both personal and professional experiences at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, this week.

Hammons School of Architecture professor Nancy Chikaraishi’s lecture will look at the process and shared boundaries of creating space in art and architecture. It will include work from her previously released exhibit “Life Interrupted,” a collection of drawings and paintings portraying her parents’ stories from their time in a Japanese Internment camp in Rohwer, Arkansas, during World War II. The presentation is at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 and will include several new pieces created by Chikaraishi that were inspired by the CORE Performance Company.

Nancy Chikaraishi

Nancy Chikaraishi

Chikaraishi worked as a visual artist with CORE Performance Company on “Gaman,” a dance/theatrical performance that explores how challenges can be overcome by courage; and expresses the conflicting emotions of sorrow and joy, confinement and liberation experienced by the interned Japanese-American citizens. A public performance of “Gaman” will be held at the University of Central Arkansas on Nov. 9 and at Crystal Bridges on Nov. 11.

“Hopefully, we can shed light on these kinds of events and prevent them from happening again,” Chikaraishi said. “A lot of people still don’t know that there were camps in Arkansas. I think it’s very important that we understand our history when it comes to issues of race and discrimination.”


Supreme Court expert Jeffery Toobin speaks at Drury on Oct. 28

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 23, 2015 — Noted legal analyst and Supreme Court expert Jeffery Toobin will speak at Drury University next week as the L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship’s inaugural guest lecturer.

The longtime New Yorker staff writer and CNN analyst will speak on the topic “Inside the World of the Supreme Court” at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 28 at Clara Thompson Hall. The event is free and open to the public. The speech kicks off the Meador Center’s 2015-16 theme “Created Equal: Civil Rights, Liberties & Citizenship.”

Jeffrey Toobin_headshot 1

Toobin has covered all the major legal stories of the last two decades, ranging from the nomination of four Supreme Court Justices to the trials of Michael Jackson and George Zimmerman. He has provided legal analysis on the nation’s most provocative and high profile cases, including the O.J. Simpson civil trial and the Kenneth Starr investigation of the Clinton White House. His most recent book, The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, was a New York Times best-seller, as was his previous book, The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, which received the 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Prize for Nonfiction.

“Toobin has spent decades reporting and analyzing the Court and its place in our political system,” says Dr. Dan Ponder, Meador Chair of Political Science at Drury. “He is an insider who has interviewed the justices but he has done so with the independence and discernment of a journalist.”

About the Meador Center

Dedicated to the academic inquiry of political engagement, the L.E. Meador Center was founded this year as 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. Meador was a revered civic leader who played key roles in shaping the current Missouri Constitution and Springfield City Charter.

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 carries out that mission in two ways: an annual speaker series and financial support of student scholarship, internships and study away/abroad opportunities.


Author David Harrison reflects on time and success at Alumni Convocation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 8, 2015 — At today’s inaugural Alumni Convocation, noted children’s author and community leader David L. Harrison ’59, reflected on how his Drury experience shaped a life that has taken several unexpected but highly successful turns. The convocation was part of the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend at Drury, which brings more than 400 people back to campus.

Harrison studied biology at Drury but the seed was planted for his writing career during his years on campus thanks to the university’s liberal arts foundation. He recalled a number of professors by name, noting the close connections he forged with them as a student. Harrison became a scientist in the world of chemical research after earning his undergraduate and masters degrees, but never lost sight of the muse that he first encountered in a writing class with Dr. Clark Graham, who privately urged him to consider a career as a writer.

Harrison mug

Harrison, who has been Drury’s poet laureate for decades, peppered his speech with several short poems. He also compared the passage of a lifetime to the way light travels in both particles and waves. Life-altering moments are particles, he said, that form the ongoing waves of one’s life.

“Some of those moments didn’t seem that important at the time: merely random particles moving with the flow, or the wave, or my existence,” Harrison told the alumni, faculty, staff and students gathered in Stone Chapel today. “But looking back, I see how those moments were connected to what happened to me along the way. Now I see them clearly, strung together in an ever-changing helix that has formed the DNA of my life.”

Harrison credited his blend of liberal arts education and scientific training with getting him into graduate school and his first job. It also gave him the confidence to make a career change when he joined Hallmark Cards in Kansas City as an editor for children’s cards in 1963. Harrison began writing more and more in his spare time and his career as a children’s author grew from there. He has written more than 90 books over the years, but is just as well known locally for his community service and advocacy for literacy. After returning to Springfield in the 1970s and successfully running for the School Board in 1982, he became involved in a number of children’s literacy and reading programs such as Sky High on Reading, Reading Roundup, Family Voices and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

“It’s important to think beyond our own boundaries, to find interest in the broad spectrum of the human endeavor, to become part of something larger than ourselves,” Harrison said. “Becoming involved often requires little initial training and a vocabulary of a single words: yes. No matter what we have done with our lives or plan to do with them, we are responsible for the next generation.”

Drury University honored David Harrison with a Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement in 1981.


Author to speak about “Place in Fiction” at Pop-Up Writer’s Talk

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 2, 2015 — Author Andrew Bynom will give a Pop Up Writer’s Talk at Drury on Friday. Bynom, currently a teacher at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, will explore the topic “Place in Fiction” as it relates to his new novel, “The Executioner’s Race.”

The talk takes place at 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 4, in the Harwood Reading Room of Drury’s Olin Library. The event is free and open to the pubic.

This Pop Up Writer’s Talk is sponsored by Ginkgo Tree Review and the Missouri Arts Council. Ginkgo Tree Review is a literary magazine produced and published by the English Department at Drury University. It was one of a select few literary magazines in the state to receive a Missouri Arts Council grant in support of community events in the literary arts this year.

Bynom lived and worked in Istanbul for many years. “The Executioner’s Race” is the story of a female calligrapher in 19th century Ottoman Istanbul who is condemned to death and imprisoned for turning holy prayers into faces and animals – for “reassembling the word of God.” Her only chance at life – a privilege rarely granted to a woman – is to win a race against a bostanci, one of the Sultan’s guards and executioners.


SIVA visiting artists to give public lectures at Springfield Art Museum

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 18, 2015 — The Summer Institute for Visual Arts (SIVA) at Drury University is pleased to present SIVA Currents, a new summer lecture series presented in partnership with the Springfield Art Museum. SIVA Currents gives the public an opportunity to hear from the program’s Visiting Artist Fellows, a diverse group of international artists representing a range of contemporary practices and disciplines. The artists will discuss their work and careers during the presentations.

All lectures are free and open to the public and begin at 6:30 p.m. More information about each artist can be found at the SIVA website.

Thursday, June 11: Visual artist Matt Borruso. Borruso’s work examines processes of replication in various forms such as paintings, wax castings, found sculptural objects and digital files.

Thursday, June 25: Performance artist Ben Kinsley. Kingsley’s projects have ranged from directing surprise theatrical performances in the homes of strangers to planting a buried treasure in the streets of Mexico City (yet to be found).

Ben Kinsley

Ben Kinsley

Thursday, July 9: Video artist and educator Chelsea Knight. Knight’s recent subjects include a United Nations diplomat, interrogators from the Iraq War and Tea Party members.

Thursday, July 23: Artist Christine Laquet. Based in Nantes, France, Laquet uses of different forms of expression to challenge binary constructs such as self versus other and nature versus culture.

About SIVA

Since 2007, SIVA has offered students an opportunity to earn a Master of Arts degree by working alongside visiting artists in a critically driven environment. Participants study under the guidance of visiting artist fellows, faculty and staff, who provide first-hand understanding of contemporary art issues. The program – a unique model in the Midwest – allows students to earn a Master of Arts in Studio Art and Theory over the course of three two-month summer sessions.

Applications are currently being accepted for this year’s session, which runs from June 1 to Aug. 7. For more information, go to www.drury.edu/SIVA.


Media Contact – Sarrita Hunn, Director of Summer Institute for Visual Arts: shunn@drury.edu.

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.


Paleontology and pop culture combine as Drury alumnus speaks in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 24, 2015 — Paleontologist Jack Conrad of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) will present a lecture titled “Dinosaurs in Cinema: Facts and Fallacies” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 28. The discussion will take place in Springfield at the Missouri Institute of Natural Science, at 2327 W. Farm Road 190. The event is free and open to the public.

Conrad will address topics as basic as what a dinosaur is and as complex as endothermy (metabolic regulation of temperature). Included in the discussion will be dinosaur sizes, feathered dinosaurs, and how we know what we know about the lives of dinosaurs.

Conrad was born and raised in Hurley, Missouri, and graduated with a degree in biology from Drury University in 1999. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has traveled the world in a quest for fossil specimens and has been on expeditions in climates varying from the Sahara Desert to the Arctic Circle. He has searched for fossil mammals in the Andes of Bolivia and for ancient crocodile fossils in Kenya, and has, with his colleagues, named seven new fossil reptile species with research pending on five others. He currently works in the Department of Vertebrate Paleontology at AMNH and in the Department of Anatomy at New York Institute of Technology’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The Missouri Institute of Natural Science is the non-profit organization that manages Riverbluff Cave in Greene County. Riverbluff Cave was discovered accidentally on September 11, 2001, while blasting for a new road. The cave was announced to the public in April of 2002. Inside are fossils and other findings which have been dated at approximately Pleistocene in age, the time period that spanned from 1.8 million to 11,000 years ago.


Architecture symposium highlights the role of design in small towns

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 6, 2015 — The Hammons School of Architecture will host a symposium titled “Design in the Middle: Making Place in the American Small Town” from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, April 10 in the HSA Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium will investigate the role of design in shaping public life and giving identity to smaller towns in the American landscape. In such locations, creative and critical architecture challenges the widely held view that design serves merely as aesthetic gloss or a budgetary luxury. Award-winning architects from around the region will present significant projects executed by their firms, which will serve as a starting point for a roundtable discussion.

The speakers include Marlon Blackwell of Marlon Blackwell Architects in Fayetteville, Ark.; Jeffery Day of Min Day in Omaha, Neb., and San Francisco; David Dowell of el dorado in Kansas City; Steve McDowell of BNIM in Kansas City and Drury alumnus Andrew Wells of Dake Wells Architecture in Springfield.

The symposium is part of the HSA 2014-2015 Lecture Series “Locating Design,” which explores the practice of critically engaging physical sites through the act of design.

For more information about the Hammons School of Architecture, visit drury.edu/architecture.


Media Contact: Dr. Saundra Weddle, Professor of Architecture, “Locating Design” lecture series chair; Office: (417) 873-7437 or email: sweddle@drury.edu.