Drury has held to its core values since its establishment as a small liberal arts institution in 1873. These values find their origins in the university's unique church affiliation. They are responsible for an academic and spiritual environment that provides students with distinct opportunities and advantages to learn, question and grow.
Drury’s tradition encourages students to explore ethics and spirituality in a non-judgmental, tolerant atmosphere that cherishes diversity. This atmosphere is described in early 20th century college literature:
"Nothing is more important than individuals working out for themselves a satisfactory philosophy of life. While avoiding the offenses of sectarianism, the church-related college is able to give its students definite help in arriving at adequate standards of value in relation to religion and the spiritual life."
The need for a satisfactory philosophy of life has not been diminished in the complex global community that characterizes the twenty-first century.
For more than 140 years, Drury has maintained a commitment to small classes and personal interactions among students, staff, faculty and administration. Early 1900s college literature emphasized small size as a means to:
"...maintain a personal relationship between students and teachers, as well as among the students themselves. This affords a distinct advantage for youth seeking to find their proper place in life and to develop the latent resources of character and personality."
In an America quite different from the time those words were written, these advantages are still vital, desirable and available at Drury.