From the President
We live in the Ozarks. What's not to love about that? Ticks, chiggers, copperheads and tornadoes, you say? No excuses there. At Drury University we study such things and don't fret about them.
The Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks are blessed with abundant natural waters: rivers, streams, lakes and springs. A curious combination of clear rushing water, limestone-laced karst topography, ancient water-carved mountain faces, glades, heavily wooded hillsides, seasonal rains to flush the system clean, and diverse habitats and species provides an infrastructure of unique beauty and allure. The mountains are short, but the valleys are deep. There is no cauldron of geography, geology, climate, heritage and water quite like these Ozarks.
This is Drury University's personal laboratory. This is where our students study and get their hands wet and dirty. Why? So they can lend their passion and expertise to protecting our special natural heritage. Our Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies students research such things, and all of Drury's rigorous programs challenge students to put their dreams to work for future generations. That is what sustainability is all about to us lay folks.
This issue of Drury magazine is about sustainability. This is not a new discussion on campus. Dr. Dorothy Leake, Drury class of 1914, was preaching it from the banks of Crane Creek into her 90s. Dr. Wendy Anderson and others teach it now and rally Think Green! students to action each fall. Professor Traci Sooter and students built a LEED Platinum Habitat for Humanity House. Dr. Eric Dannenmaier, Drury Class of 1981, spreads the word globally. Dr. Sean Terry takes his Alpha students to the amazing Buffalo National River in northwest Arkansas each spring to float, camp and touch the water. Pete Radecki manages the construction of the new O'Reilly Family Event Center to an anticipated LEED Gold conclusion. Drury University was one of the first 25 signatories to the American College and Univer sity Presidents' Climate Commitment, now embraced by more than 650 institutions of higher education. The document hangs with purpose in the hallway in Burnham. We take sustainability seriously, and you will read herein of the creative initiatives our faculty, staff and students are generating on campus and beyond.
We are proud of our location in the heart of the Ozarks. We are proud of our tradition of environmental stewardship. And we are confident that the values and knowledge this generation of Drury students will take into the world will help us as a civilization confront the threats to our environment.
Todd Parnell '69