The Drury Difference

Director's Message

Architects combine the raw materials of site, shelter, and human need to make significant places—places that are useful, durable, memorable, and inspiring. This equation is both incredibly complex and ancient. Today, however, the architect’s traditional tasks are supplemented by new ones: architects are leaders, collaborators, organizers, entrepreneurs, strategists, researchers, and inventors.

The expanding demands placed on today’s architects require training beyond the limits of a strictly professional curriculum. Drury graduates are well prepared to meet these challenges with an education that is not only professionally rigorous and technically sound, but also broadened and enriched by the foundation of a top-caliber liberal-arts curriculum. Our graduates think critically and creatively, communicate clearly and effectively, and empathize with their clients and the communities they represent.

The Drury Difference begins with a unique setting—a more than 140-year-old liberal arts institution committed to preparing students to think outside the limits of a particular discipline. Minors and double-majors are common and encouraged. Students have close one-on-one working relationships with faculty—facilitated by a student/faculty ratio below 14 to 1. For many graduates, these relationships lead to long-term and meaningful professional and personal mentorship.

In addition, the Drury Architecture curriculum extends beyond the design studio:

- all Drury Architecture graduates study abroad for a minimum of five weeks, and most spend a full semester living and studying at the Drury Center in Greece, located on the picturesque island of Aigina. This exposes students not only to great architectural works and settings, but also fosters a broad cultural awareness that is essential for professionals and leaders.

- all Drury Architecture graduates engage communities directly through participation in Community Studies studios, which provide needed design and planning input to towns and cities throughout the region. Through these experiences, students learn to look and listen closely—developing sensitivity to the real concerns of community members and putting into practice the principles and skills they cultivate in classrooms and studios.

- all Drury Architecture graduates complete internships in architecture or related fields. This exposes students to possible future professional settings, and to the kinds of collaborative leadership needed to excel in a changing world.

This sensitivity to the profession’s wider context is reflected in our student-body. While many students hail from the American Midwest, international students represent over 20% of our community. They are attracted by Drury Architecture’s rigorous professional program, but also by its difference—its emphasis on an education of both depth and breadth, its intense engagement with its local setting, and its commitment to the global dimensions of contemporary practice.

Robert Weddle
Interim Director