Alumni Spotlight: Darin Wedgeworth '95
Hutchins Advertising is a small, unsuspecting little building in downtown Springfield. Inside, though, it holds three Drury graduates and a true entrepreneurial success story. Hutchins is owned and operated by Darin Wedgeworth, a 1995 graduate of the Breech School of Business and the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences Department of Communication. Darin has a magnetic personality, a zest for life, and a commitment to offer superior promotional products and other branding tools with unmatched customer service.
A native of Rogersville, Mo., Michael Thomas recruited Darin to attend Drury while he was in high school. He was no stranger to Drury, as his father had completed his degree through Drury’s evening school, and upon visiting he knew it would be the right fit.
“I needed a small class setting. Drury offered me a situation where I knew my professors and they knew me,” Darin stated. What he did not know he needed was exactly what he received from Drury, and that is an encouragement to think beyond Springfield and even Western culture in general.
“Drury pushed me to think more broadly and to gain a little expertise in everything. I am a more well-rounded person and businessman because of my Drury degree. That’s the liberal arts education; that is the Drury difference.”
After graduating from Drury, Darin worked with his father selling legal malpractice insurance and later sold insurance with another company. After a pending company buyout, he knew a change needed to be made. He decided to go work for his Sunday School teacher selling promotional products. Darin’s uncle also sold promotional products and clothing ultimately leading Darin to buy Hutchins Advertising from him.
His secret to success is simple: treat people well; the way you would want to be treated. “Big or small, customer service is key. We differentiate ourselves in that way. Drury taught me how to interact with a diverse group of people. Dr. Clifton Petty’s classes on ethics case studies sharpened my personal commitment to identify and do what is right.” Darin encourages current students to get involved on campus and to begin early on to find a balance between what they can and cannot control. “Not my circus, not my monkeys,” he says with a laugh.
For students and alumni, Darin says to get out of your comfort zone and try new things, encouraging all to make the most of what Drury has to offer both students and alumni. Darin has been involved in Drury’s Alumni Council for many years, and is an advocate of planned giving. His guiding mantra is Psalm 61:2: “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
In his free time, Darin enjoys spending time with his two children.