CCPS Alumni Profile: Dr. Archie Russell

Drury is no stranger to famous celebrities on campus, but when news spread that Clint Eastwood was sighted strolling down Drury Lane, students would always be mistaken. It was someone much more important.

Dr. Archie Russell (’39), a man of strong jaw and rough-and-tumble exterior, was a great asset to Drury University. His memory and love for Drury inspired his family to contribute a $1 million gift to the sustainable renovation of Stone Chapel, the oldest stone structure in Springfield, as well as sponsor several scholarships to benefit Drury students.

Dr. Russell felt great camaraderie with Drury as the institution provided him with a home during his schooling, as well as an environment that not only fed him academic ideas, but nurtured his own faith.

In a past interview, he reflected, “There was the academic side of the college, the things I learned about economics and other subjects, but there was a spiritual dimension to it, too. As I look back on my life, the important values that I have were developed at Drury and strengthened there.”

Dr. Russell utilized the skills he learned at Drury, and went on to graduate from New York University with a degree in business management. His professional career began in New York working for Prudential Insurance. Working his way up, he later became vice president of Chase Manhattan Bank.

Dr. Russell’s professional success did not distract from his desire to give back to his alma mater. He served on the Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1977. This year marks the fifth anniversary of his death. He would have been 94.

His support for the university continued throughout his life and beyond. His belief in the power of education and his want to help students earn their own degree resulted in several scholarships set up by his family. These scholarships include:

Lillian Bangs (Marion Bangs) Annually Funded Scholarship

  • This scholarship has been funding students since before 1974
  • Initially a $500 fund and now is funding as much as $10,000 to students
  • Criteria: music scholarship

Archie Russell Annually Funded Scholarship

  • Established 2006 by Marion Russell and children
  • Began funding $20,000 to students, now funding $120,000 annually
  • Criteria: student demonstrates financial need; finance, economics, accounting, and business degree

Dr. Archie Russell Memorial

  • Annually funded for students of the College of Continuing Professional Studies
    • $15,000 distributed per semester
    • $2,000 funds one grad student per semester
    • 13 undergrad students with unmet financial need funded $1,000