Friday is move-in day for newest members of the Drury family

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 18, 2016 — The newest members of the Drury family arrive on campus this weekend as freshmen move into residence halls and begin to learn what it means to be a Panther.

The incoming freshman class at Drury is the largest in several years, and the three campus residence halls will be at 99 percent capacity once all of the boxes and laptops are moved and students are settled into their new homes.

Faculty, staff and upperclassmen will help the new students move their belongings into the residence halls on Friday morning. Parents and students will say their goodbyes on the Kellogg Green that afternoon, and a full weekend of orientation will follow. Orientation ends on Monday with two events that have become a Drury tradition – the community-wide Service Plunge and an on-campus celebration capped off by a fireworks show.

These four days are an excellent opportunity for local media to speak to students during their orientation experience and capture some great visuals, as seen in videos about Move-In Day and the Service Plunge & School Year Kick-Off Celebration from 2015.

Media are invited to cover any and all events throughout the weekend. Contact Media Relations Director Mike Brothers for more information about the full schedule. Major highlights are below.

Friday, Aug. 19

  • 8 a.m. to noon – New students move into residence halls. The best time for photos, video and interviews is typically between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.
  • 3 p.m. – Parent & Student goodbyes at Kellogg Green. This is the point at which parents and students split up after move-in day before families attend a presentation for parents and students join their CORE classes to begin their four-day orientation.

Sunday, Aug. 21

  • 6 to 8 p.m. – Dinner and dessert at various faculty members’ homes in the nearby Midtown neighborhood. Faculty and freshman are available for interviews during this uniquely Drury event.

Monday, Aug. 22

  • 10 a.m. to noon – More than 20 Community Service Plunge projects at various locations across Springfield, including:
    • Convoy of Hope
    • Ozarks Food Harvest
    • Urban Roots Farm
    • Arc of the Ozarks
    • Rare Breed
    • The Fairbanks
    • Springfield Art Museum
  • 7 to 9 p.m. – Finale celebration at the fountains in front of Findlay Student Center. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m. at adjacent Sunderland Field.

Evening classes begin at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 22. Students in the traditional Day School will begin classes on Tuesday, Aug. 23.


Media Contact: Mike Brothers, Director of Media Relations: (417) 894-9064 or

Drury University’s “Take Back the Night” event to be held April 26

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 25, 2016 — Drury University will cap off Sexual Assault Awareness Month with “Take Back the Night” at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 26. The event begins at the circle drive at the end of Drury Lane, outside Findlay Student Center. Drury students and community members will march to demonstrate Drury’s commitment to preventing sexual assault and to protest all forms of sexual, relationship, and domestic violence.

Take Back the Night events began as candlelight vigils in the early 1970s. They were women-only events meant to symbolize the experience of a woman’s individual walk through darkness and to demonstrate how women could unite to resist violence and fear. Today, these events typically involve men and women from across campus communities. Drury’s Take Back the Night is sponsored by student-led organizations V-Warriors and Greek Life.

“Take Back the Night is important because it sends a message that students will not be silent about sexual assault on Drury’s campus and on campuses across the nation,” said Rachel Ryan, president of the V-Warriors. “The march gives survivors of sexual assault a voice to stand up and say that this violence will not be tolerated, and it gives people who may not be as aware of the issue on our campus a way to educate themselves.”

To conclude the evening, luminaries will be lit in memory of sexual assault victims and survivors. Dr. Erin Kenny, associate professor and director of Drury’s minor in Women & Gender Studies, will discuss some of the history and controversies surrounding Take Back the Night events worldwide. Greek Life is also sponsoring a concert with performances from Blue False Indigo, Sam Hinson & Raeanna Duncan, and Lauren Goskie.

This event is free, but donations will be collected and raffles will be held to benefit the Victim Center in Springfield.

Drury University uses a number of avenues to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault among the campus community. They including the Panthers for Prevention group, the Green Dot program, a required online training course called Haven, discussions during freshman orientation, and other initiatives led by both students and faculty/staff.


Drury University recognizes faculty & student mid-semester accolades

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., March 22, 2016 — Drury University is entering the second half of the spring semester and would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge the academic accomplishments of various faculty and staff over the past few months.


  • Michael Buono, Emeritus Professor and former Director of Hammons School of Architecture, has been elected to the American Institute of Architects prestigious College of Fellows. Buono is the only the third AIA member from the southwest Missouri area to be elected.
  • For the 2nd year in a row, a Drury student has been accepted in the UDream Program at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. Olivia Freese has been selected this year. In 2015, Tamara Cartwright was selected.

Art & Art History:

  • Rebecca Miller, Associate Professor, will assume the leadership of Drury’s Arts Administration program in the fall.

Behavioral Science:

  • Dr. Patricia McEachern, Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professor for the Study of Animal Rights, has been invited on a permanent Fellow with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics at Oxford University in England. McEachern has been invited to teach in the Summer School there in July.

Computer Science:

  • Nine Drury students competed in the 2015 International Collegiate Programming Contest.


  • Dr. Kevin Henderson, Assistant Professor, recently had his essay, “Why Do You Make Me Do This?: Spectator Empathy, Self-Loathing Lawmen, and Nicholas Ray’s Noir Vision in On Dangerous Ground” accepted into the summer issue of the peer-reviewed journal Interdisciplinary Humanities.


  • Dr. Natalie Wlodarczyk, assistant professor, was elected to a 5 year term on the Board of Directors of the Certification Board for Music Therapists, the national credentialing organization for music therapy.
  • Dr. Tina Claussen, associate professor, became a member of the Missouri Jazz Orchestra.
  • Dr. Stephen Bomgardner, professor, had an original work selected for a lecture-recital at the National Conference of The College Music Society next October.


  • Jessica Kjeldgaard, Drury student, has received the Barbara Lotze scholarship for future teachers of physics from the American Association of Physics Teachers.

Political Science:

  • Several Drury students won awards at the Midwest Model UN Conference in St. Louis earlier this year.
    • Nargiss Pourmand, representing New Zealand, won an award for Best Position Paper in the Security Council.
    • Sheri Walsh, representing Chile, won a Best Delegate/Delegates’ Choice award chosen by her fellow students in the Security Council.
    • Christina FaoroAlex Johnson and Emma-Quin Smith, representing Spain, won an overall Best Delegation award for work in the General Assembly.


  • Drury senior Briana Hopkins served as a Student Arts Advocate in Washington, D.C. in March.


Students to launch community garden project for Make A Difference Day

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 22, 2015 — Drury University students will launch a new partnership with Springfield Community Gardens on Saturday during Make A Difference Day, the country’s largest nationally recognized day of service. DU students will also take part in a three other projects that day as they join millions around America in lending a helping hand to improve the lives of others.

The students will work to transform a greenhouse at Trustee Science Center into a space where Springfield Community Gardens can grow produce. They will also participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, assist with maintenance projects at Boyd Elementary School and organize donations at Sammy’s Window, which provides food, clothing and personal care items for foster families.

At Drury, Make a Difference Day is called the President’s Day of Service in order to honor President David Manuel and First Lady Betty Coe Manuel’s dedication to community engagement. The Manuels will be working alongside Drury students Saturday at Boyd Elementary.

The best times to catch students in action and get interviews will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Trustee Science Center greenhouse. Students will be turning soil and compost, potting plants and prepping the greenhouse and surrounding grounds for use as a community garden. The shared space will be used by Springfield Community Gardens to engage and enrich the Midtown neighborhood. It will also serve as a teaching space where students from area schools can come and learn about sustainable farming practices and how their food is produced. Trustee Science Center is located on Drury Lane just north of Chestnut Expressway.

Details on the other events:

  • Students will join Betty Coe Manuel in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk starting at 8 a.m. outside of Hammons Field downtown.
  • The Manuels and student volunteers will join with members of the Boyd PTA and Midtown Neighborhood Association for cleanup, organization and maintenance projects from 10 a.m. to noon at Boyd Elementary School, located at 1409 N. Washington Ave.
  • Student volunteers will be at Sammy’s Window, 1774 S. Grant Ave., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The students are supporting Sammy’s Window as part of this year’s All Collegiate Service Project.

“Being a part of the largest national day of service is exciting and the students truly enjoy opportunities to engage in the Springfield community,” says Courtney Swan, director of Drury’s Office of Community Outreach and Leadership Development. “The chance to serve alongside President and Mrs. Manuel makes the experience all the more meaningful.”

Media Contact: Ryan Gipson, Volunteer Services Coordinator. Cell: (417) 229-1451; email:


Physics Major Has Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Bag

Physics major Ebenezer Obasiolu never knew he had an entrepreneurial passion until he came to Drury and began pursuing an entrepreneurship minor. It was in these classes where he gained the knowledge and support to officially launch his business, O’Bazzië Classics.

Obasiolu, also known as EB, was motivated to start his business after his grandmother died in 2012.

“I was 12 years old when I left Nigeria, and that’s the last time I saw her,” said Obasiolu. “She had cancer and my family wasn’t able to fly her here for treatment, and I wasn’t able to go there to visit her before she died. After that, I thought, ‘What can I do right now to make sure that I can travel and make money?’”


Obasiolu says he likes to “dress nice” and has always had a love for fashion. His first product reflects that — he has created an all-purpose, leather satchel that both men and women can use for causal or business activities. These hand-made bags are made in the U.S., come in a variety of colors, and come in three different sizes to fit books, a laptop, tablet, and other items.

Obasiolu said it took him about 8 months to perfect his design. He asked many of his friends for their opinions, made changes, and then sent his design to a factory for production.

“I have about 29 designs that no one has seen,” he said. “I’m a huge perfectionist and I wouldn’t make something that I wouldn’t wear.”

O’Bazzië Classics is preparing to launch a website this spring as part of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship’s “StartUp Drury” Business Model Competition.

Obasiolu currently has an 8-person team working for him, helping him to manage social media, sales and marketing. Three members of the team attend Drury. Obasiolu has already created 46-page marketing plan and an 80-page business model. He is also planning to tour the West Coast this summer to Vancouver, Los Angeles, Portland and even Brazil for marketing and sales events.

Although Obasiolu wants to make a profit, he also has a philanthropic mission with his company. For every bag sold, O’Bazzië Classics will send a bag filled with school supplies to a child in Africa. O’Bazzië classics also plans to collaborate with an international humanitarian organization in the future. The idea of using O’Bazzië Classics to solve a social problem came out of taking a class called “Social Problems/Entrepreneurial Answers” with former instructor Kay Osborne.

“I will always be thankful to her,” Obasiolu said of Osborne. “That’s where I really realized my entrepreneurial potential.”

By next year, Obasiolu hope to sell at least 10,000 bags. You can currently view the products from O’Bazzië Classics on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To purchase the products, customers can email or message one of the company’s social media outlets.


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

Drury has more than 1,600 students on opening day 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Aug. 21, 2012 — Drury University has an opening day enrollment of 1,612 in the traditional Day School.

Dawn Hiles, vice president of enrollment management

“For the first time in our 139 year history, Drury has experienced three straight years of first day enrollments that exceed 1,600 students — and it’s easy to understand why. Prospective students and parents see Drury alumni in successful careers and moving on to top tier graduate schools after graduation. For many, the success of our alumni solidifies the value of a Drury education now and for years to come,” said Dawn Hiles, Drury’s vice president of enrollment management.

Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies (CCPS) expects that it will register more than 31,000 credit hours for the fourth year in a row.  Registration for CCPS classes continues into next week; go to for more information.

Classes in the traditional Day School began today, Aug. 21. Evening and graduate classes began on Monday, Aug. 20.

Official enrollment numbers will come out later this fall following the census of Drury’s main campus and its course delivery sites across southwest Missouri.


A Grand Opening celebration for Drury on C-Street

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 3, 2012 — “What’s good for Springfield is good for Drury, and what’s good for Drury is good for Springfield.” That statement from Drury’s Dr. Kelley Still is the philosophy behind Drury on C-Street, a Drury space on Commercial Street featuring academic programming, internships and art.

Drury on C-Street

On Thursday, May 10 at 11 a.m., Drury and the Springfield Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting for Drury on C-Street. That evening, Drury students, faculty, staff, donors and community members will celebrate the Grand Opening of Drury on C-Street from 6:30-9 p.m.  Drury on C-Street is located at 233 E. Commercial St. in Springfield.

“Drury has been doing projects on C-Street for 15 years, in classes and in co-curricular activities,” said Dr. Still. “Drury needed more space for its fiber arts classes and it gives our arts administration majors a gallery to run. At Drury, we do experiential learning very well, and Drury on C-Street gives our students more real-world opportunities.”

Drury on C-Street opened in September 2011, and during the last academic year it has offered many opportunities for students, including:

  • Fiber arts classes, including a weaving studio, which will be dedicated in

    Students working at C-Street

    honor of Harriet Mears at the Grand Opening.

  • The C-Street Business Resource Center gives students experience consulting with C-Street businesses and organizations on everything from marketing and social media to website design and accounting.
  • Arts administration students manage the gallery that gets more than 200 visitors on First Friday C-Street Strolls. Drury art students are also able to sell their work in the Student Gift Gallery.
  • Arts administration majors have facilitated music and art classes for special needs children. Programming is being developed for more outreach programs with fiber arts beginning in the fall.
  • Drury on C-Street will be busy this summer with interns working in the C-Street Business Resource Center, an Invitational Wildlife Art Show for the month of June and the VSA Arts & Disabilities Tour in July.
  • An architecture studio that currently houses the Professional Communications class. They have been concepting bike/bus hubs for the City of Springfield.

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) granted Drury a below market rate, “mission-related” loan to fund the build out of the C-Street space. During the last academic year, Dr. Still and Drury’s Development office have raised enough pledges from alumni and community members to more than pay back the loan within the five-year window. Now, Drury on C-Street is in the grant process with several foundations, and the community and alumni support Drury on C-Street has received will help demonstrate its sustainability.

“We are delighted to partner with Drury on this important project that will benefit not only C-Street and Drury students, but also the community overall,” CFO President Brian Fogle said. “Our mission- related investing program is designed for high-impact projects that help us achieve our desired double-bottom line of an investment return and an investment in the community.”

Besides its donors and CFO, Drury on C-Street would also like to thank: The Urban Districts Alliance, The City of Springfield, Commercial Club and the Commercial Street Merchants Association for their work in making the C-Street facility possible.

Media contact: Dr. Kelley Still, Executive Director, Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, Phone: (417) 873-7458, E-mail:


Drury students’ posters are designed to decrease underage drinking

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 30, 2012 — Drury University students took first and second place in the Community Partnership of the Ozarks Underage Drinking Task Force (UDTF) Higher Education Committee Annual Poster Contest. Drury sophomore design arts major Carlie Townsend’s poster was selected as the top overall entry. Nathan Harrison, a Drury fifth year senior majoring in architecture, was second. Both of the winning posters were designed in Dudley Murphy’s visual communications course.

Carlie Townsend's winning poster

Townsend and Harrison’s posters, along with the third place poster from Evangel University student Andrew Grumke, will be displayed throughout Springfield in stores, coffee shops, pools and parks to spread awareness about the dangers of underage drinking and the benefits of not drinking alcohol.

According to the Community Partnership, “Each year, this contest is held to engage college students to help increase awareness among their peers about underage and risky drinking behaviors and related consequences.” Data from the 2010 Missouri College Behavioral Health Survey is incorporated into each poster, such as, “The higher the GPA, the lower the average drinks per week,” or “70 percent of college students choose to designate a sober driver before they go out.”

Nathan Harrison's 2nd place poster

Media Contact:
Ed Derr, Director of Counseling, Office: (417) 873-7357, E-mail:


Working weekends to gain invaluable research experience

On a typical Saturday afternoon on the Drury University campus, while students are working, exercising, reading or relaxing; in a second floor lab at the Trustee Science Center, undergraduate students are performing research to earn credit and to help the scientific community.

A student-led "Roy-search" lecture

Commonly called “Roy-search” after Drury Chemistry Professor Dr. Rabindra Roy, students work Friday evenings and all day on Saturdays to earn anywhere from one hour to three hours for the course, depending on how much time they log in the lab.

Isaac Henson is a Drury senior who is headed to Washington University in St. Louis to pursue a doctorate in chemistry in the fall. Henson’s extensive “Roy-search” experience helped him take that next educational step, “I’ve been going on a lot of graduate school interviews. They always ask about your research experience, and I’m able to tell them I have 11 publications, and I’ve amassed 1300 hours of lab time. I’m learning how to be in charge of a group of students. I get teaching experience, troubleshooting experience and data analysis experience in a unique way that is important to graduate schools.”

The students gain practical lab experience, impressive resume entries and friendships forged over long weekends, but they are also collecting data that will help the pharmaceutical, chemical and biochemical industries.

“What we study is the way certain organic buffers behave. And what we want to do is find a way these buffers will behave like blood will,” Henson said. “Organs and tissues are designed to exist in blood. If we can find something close to that, the organs and tissues will be viable when they arrive at their transplant site.”

Two Drury students conduct "Roysearch"

“This is tough work, it’s interesting and what we do has real-world implications,” says Jaime Veliz, a Drury junior from Ecuador.

Dr. Roy has received numerous grants for his undergraduate research projects. Since 1966, the 72-year-old Roy estimates that he’s had about 650 students go through his research class and those students have made around 465 presentations at state, regional, national and international competitions. In fact, Dr. Roy’s weekend “Roy-search” class has been dubbed the “Drury model” by leaders in higher education for the way it effectively combines classroom knowledge, engaged learning and service to the healthcare industry.

“They are like my own children, I love them very much. They are willing to learn and I’ve learned very much from them also,” Dr. Roy said.


Drury’s learning and living leadership community

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov. 21, 2011 —Before starting my freshman year at Drury University, I expected what every prospective freshman expects: hard classes, immense amounts of homework, and making new friends. What I didn’t expect was that I would be taking care of homeless animals.

I have the privilege of being a part of the Summit Park Leadership Community. We live in nice, duplex-style homes, with a theme throughout the housing complex that focuses on broadening students’ leadership skills while emphasizing community service. In order to be a part of the community, students must complete a detailed application and present their community service project ideas to a faculty board.

Students meet to discuss their service project

My roommates and I have focused our project on the Castaway Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.), the only no-kill animal shelter in Springfield. Every week, we volunteer at C.A.R.E. by walking the dogs and cleaning their cages. We are also in the process of planning fundraising events for the fall and spring semesters. Even though C.A.R.E. is the main aspect of my Summit Park experience, there are nine other projects that Summit Park students are working on: the Salvation Army, Project AWARE Foundation, Boys and Girls Town, Rare Breed Youth Outreach, Special Olympics, Harmony House Family Violence Center, Pipkin Middle School, and Ravenwood Assisted Living.

Drury’s Vision Statement includes the term “servant leadership,” and the experiences my friends and I are getting are training us to become leaders and giving us an understanding of the inner workings and challenges of successful organizations.

Kelsey Emerson, another Summit resident, explains why she chose to live in the leadership community. “I wanted to give back to the community that I’ve grown up in and to be a part of a cause that makes a difference in others’ lives.” Kelsey is a part of the Rare Breed Youth Outreach group.

Getting accepted into Summit Park was difficult and the work can be hard, but through this experience I’m learning that the best leaders are those that truly embody the term “servant leader.”

Sheila Haskins

Sheila Haskins is a sophomore advertising and public relations major at Drury. She graduated from Marshfield High School in 2010.