speakers

Political heavyweights Tom Nichols, Sarah Kendzior to speak in October

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 6, 2017 — Drury University’s Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship kicks off its 2017 speaker series in October with two of the most active voices in America’s online political landscape today, representing views from both the left and the right.

From the left, St. Louis-based writer and journalist Sarah Kendzior will speak at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 3. From the right, political scientist and author Tom Nichols will speak at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 30. Both events will be held at Lay Hall Auditorium and are open to the public.

The Center’s theme this year is “Politics, Activism, and Voice: A Toolbox for Democracy,” with speakers and events focused on empowering citizens to engage with government and civic life.

“Tom Nichols and Sarah Kendzior both exemplify what it means to be actively engaged in American political life,” says Dr. Daniel Ponder, professor of political science and director of the Meador Center. “They are academic experts in their field, regular commentators on the national stage, and passionate writers who care deeply about the future of our democracy.”

Kendzior is best known for her reporting on St. Louis and coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Her best-selling essay collection, “The View From Flyover Country,” was published in 2015. She is currently an op-ed columnist for the Toronto-based Globe and Mail, and has written for POLITICO, The Guardian, Slate, The Atlantic, The Chicago Tribune, Fast Company, The New York Times, and more. She is a frequent guest on NPR, Al Jazeera, BBC World Service and other outlets, and is a recurring guest on MSNBC’s “AM Joy.” Kendzior holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Washington University. Her academic research focuses primarily on the authoritarian states of the former Soviet Union and how the Internet affects political mobilization, self-expression, and trust.

Nichols is a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College in Rhode Island. He is a former Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., and taught international relations and Russian affairs at Dartmouth College and Georgetown University before joining the War College. He is the author of several works on foreign policy and international security affairs, including “No Use: Nuclear Weapons and U.S. National Security” and “Eve of Destruction: The Coming Age of Preventive War.” His most recent book, “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters,” was published this spring. Nichols is also a five-time undefeated “Jeopardy!” champion, and is listed in the show’s Hall of Fame. This week he was named to POLITICO’s annual list of “50 idea blowing up American politics – and the people behind them.”

Both Nichols and Kendzior are extremely actively on Twitter, where they engage issues and their fellow citizens daily. They have nearly 400,000 combined followers. You can follow them at @RadioFreeTom and @sarahkendzior.

More speakers in the 2017 series will be announced throughout the year.

###

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.

DSC_0024_2_pp

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

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.

###

Mental illness advocate, speaker to visit Springfield on March 20

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 13, 2017 — Drury University and NAMI Southwest Missouri are partnering to bring speaker Joan Becker to Springfield next week. Becker will share her family’s gut-wrenching story about finding help for their son, Mark, whose struggle with paranoid schizophrenia led to a loss of life that made national headlines.

Becker will speak at 7 p.m., Monday, March 20 at the Schweitzer Brentwood Branch Library, 2214 Brentwood Boulevard.

becker

Becker speaks regularly to colleges, churches, NAMI groups, and mental health providers. In 2015, she published a book about her family’s experience with mental illness titled “Sentenced to Life: Mental Illness, Tragedy and Transformation.” The mother of five was thrust into the national spotlight when Mark took the life of a beloved local football coach. The coach, Ed Thomas, was known across the country. The story was covered by ESPN and other national media. A 10-minute documentary about incident aired as part of the 2010 ESPY Awards.

Though she will cover a range of topics related to mental illness awareness, Becker will emphasize how challenging the process of attempting to secure care can be for both the individual and their family.

Becker will be available for one-on-one media interviews Monday just prior to the speaking event. Contact Ed Derr, Director of Counseling, Disability Services and Testing, to make interview arrangements: (417) 873-7457 or ederr@drury.edu.

###

Carl Bernstein & P.J. O’Rourke to speak at Drury University in September

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 16, 2016 — Drury University’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship will bring two of the most renowned political writers of the past 50 years to campus this fall for an insightful and thought-provoking look at Washington and the state of national politics.

Carl Bernstein and P.J. O’Rourke will appear together at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 12 at Clara Thompson Hall. Their program, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House,” is the first event of the Meador Center’s 2016-17 theme “45” – an examination of the 2016 presidential election and the administration of the 45th President of the United States.

The event is free and open to the public.

P.J. O'Rourke (left) and Carl Bernstein

P.J. O’Rourke (left) and Carl Bernstein

O’Rourke, a conservative, is a research fellow at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute, and is a widely recognized political commentator. He is the author of 20 books, and has written for Rolling Stone, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Weekly Standard. He is currently a weekly columnist for The Daily Beast. Bernstein, a liberal, pursued and broke the Watergate story along with fellow reporter Bob Woodward, and co-wrote the best-selling book “All the President’s Men,” which was later adapted into a classic film of the same name. He has also written books on subjects such as Pope John Paul II and Hillary Clinton. He has worked for a number of outlets including The Washington Post and CNN.

The evening will include remarks and observations from the two writers on relevant political and economic developments, followed by a moderated discussion and audience Q&A.

“American politics is so polarized today that it is often beyond comprehension that people can have a civil discussion from different sides of the political divide,” says Dr. Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Endowed Chair of Political Science. “Bernstein and O’Rourke will bring their playful, yet powerful and serious message, to Drury and the community to illuminate points of agreement as well as division.”

About the L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship

Dr. Lewis Elbern (L.E.) Meador taught political science at Drury College for nearly 50 years beginning in 1913 and was a revered civic leader who played key roles in shaping the Missouri Constitution and Springfield City Charter. Inspiration for the center’s 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 Center carries out that mission through financial support of student scholarship and an annual speaker series addressing a range of pressing political and civic issues.

###

Media Contact: Dr. Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Endowed Chair of Political Science: (417) 873-7394 or deponder@drury.edu.

Bill Rohlf & David Mercer will address graduates at May commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 4, 2016 — Retiring economics professor Dr. Bill Rohlf and attorney and humanitarian David R. Mercer will deliver the keynote addresses to graduates at Drury University’s two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 14 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Rohlf will speak at the first ceremony, for Day School and graduate students, which will be held at 11 a.m. Mercer will speak at the second ceremony, for the College of Continuing Professional Studies, which will be held at 3 p.m.

Dr. Bill Rohlf

Dr. Bill Rohlf

Rohlf has been a faculty member at the Breech School of Business Administration since the early 1970s. He is known among Drury students and alumni for his ability to communicate and explain economic principles to undergraduates. His intense interest in explaining the economy to students eventually led to a highly successful basic economics text first published in 1988 and now in its eighth edition. Affectionately known to his students as “Dr. Lovable,” Rohlf is a caring but demanding teacher, who is highly respected for his innovative methods and teaching style.

Mr. David Mercer

Mr. David Mercer

Mercer graduated from Drury in 1984 with degrees in biology and philosophy. He earned a masters in education from Drury and a law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Following judicial clerkships in Missouri and federal appeals courts, Mercer took a hiatus from law and worked for Food for the Hungry (a non-profit Christian relief and development organization) as a journalist reporting on poverty, hunger and development in the Third World. He also spent time in Bolivia, Rawanda, Zaire, Uganda and Kenya doing humanitarian work. In 1995, Mercer returned to the United States and the practice of law. For the last 15 years, he has been an attorney for the Federal Public Defenders Office for the Western District of Missouri where he has devoted his legal practice to defending indigent clients in federal court.

Members of the news media are invited to cover the graduation ceremonies. Please contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers at (417) 873-7390 at mbrothers@drury.edu about coverage plans or for more information about 2016 graduates.

###

Guest lecturer brings music & marketing expertise to Drury March 31

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 29, 2016 — The Self-Employment in the Arts Lecture Series, sponsored by the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, will bring world-renowned opera singer Michael Spyres to campus for a lecture at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 31 at Carole Lambert Studio in Shewmaker Hall. The talk is open to the public.

Spyres was recently named artistic director of the Springfield Regional Opera. Born and raised in the Ozarks, he is one of the most sought after tenors of his generation and has performed extensively throughout Europe and North America.

During his talk, Spyres will share the story behind his success as a self-employed singer in a dizzyingly competitive industry. The event comes just before he leads the SRO in performances of Mozart’s classic comic opera “The Marriage of Figaro” on April 1 and 3 at the Gillioz Theater.

About the Series and the Edward Jones Center

The Self-Employment in the Arts Series features successful, entrepreneurial artists from across the country for small-group sessions, lectures and the occasional performance on Drury’s campus. The series will bring Drury alumnus and professional opera singer Michael Spyres to campus on Thursday, March 31.

The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship was made possible by the generous contribution of John and Crystal Beuerlein and Edward Jones, Inc. All parties feel passionately about entrepreneurship and believe in the idea of helping people create new businesses. They are also eager to provide employees of existing corporations with tools to continually refresh and reinvent their organizations as markets and business environments change.

###

Alumnus & musician to give talk, host performance March 31

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 23, 2016 — Springfield musician and Drury alumnus Arthur Duncan will give a presentation and host a musical performance at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 31 at the Drury Diversity Center. The Center is located on Drury Lane, just north of Bob Barker Boulevard. The event is free and open to the public.

Duncan attended Drury in the 1970s and studied music. In the decades since, he has led numerous jazz, gospel and R&B groups in Springfield. He is also the minister of music at Higher Ground Ministries under Pastor Larry Maddox.

Duncan, a pianist and songwriter, will talk about his experience as a student at Drury in the 1970s and will lead his jazz trio in a performance of various styles of music from his repertoire. He will also discuss music and the creative process as part of his presentation, including how he writes songs.

The President’s Council on Inclusion is sponsoring the event.

###

Media Contact: Rosalyn Thomas, Diversity Support Service Coordinator: (417) 873-6827 or rthomas005@drury.edu.

Meador series guest lecture to focus on race, inequality and politics

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Feb. 29, 2016 — Drury University’s L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship continues its inaugural speaker series with a lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday by Dr. Rodney Hero, immediate past president of the American Political Science Association. The event will be held at Lay Hall Auditorium and is open to the public.

Hero is the first Latino to hold the top position with the APSA, and his research and teaching focus on American democracy as viewed through the lenses of racial and ethnic politics. In his 35-year career, Hero has taught at Notre Dame and the University of Colorado at Boulder and is now the Haas Chair in Diversity and Democracy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Hero’s lecture, titled “Race, Ethnicity and (In)Equality in American Politics” is part of the Meador Center speaker series “Created Equal: Rights, Liberties, and Citizenship.” The Meador Center was established in the fall of 2015 as a nexus for student pursuits, faculty scholarship, and thought-provoking community programming and events.

“The issues of race, ethnicity, and inequality are always of vital importance in politics, and they are magnified in an election year,” said Dr. Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Chair of Political Science at Drury. “Professor Hero is the leading expert on these issues, and with Super Tuesday just two days before his lecture, his insights are particularly timely.”

In conjunction with Hero’s visit, a roundtable discussion on the topic “Race & Ethnicity on Campus” will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, March 4 at the Drury Diversity Center; it is also open to the public. Besides Hero, other roundtable participants will include: Lawrence Anderson, manager of diversity and inclusion for Springfield Public Schools; Hadeil Ali, Drury political science major; Professor Greg Booker, chair of the Inclusion Council at Drury; Lyle Foster, owner of Big Momma’s Café; Yolanda Lorge, president of Grupo Latinoamericano; Abram McGull, assistant United States attorney; and Wes Pratt, assistant to the president at Missouri State University.

About the L.E. Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship

Dr. Lewis Elbern (L.E.) Meador taught political science at Drury College for nearly 50 years beginning in 1913 and was a revered civic leader who played key roles in shaping the Missouri Constitution and Springfield City Charter. Inspiration for the center’s 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 Center carries out that mission through financial support of student scholarship and an annual speaker series addressing a range of pressing political and civic issues.

###

Media Contact: Dr. Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Chair of Political Science: (417) 873-7394 or deponder@drury.edu.

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.

###