Best Value Private University Kiplinger's Personal Finance named Drury one of the best values in private colleges and universities for 2011-2012. Drury is one of only four private universities from Missouri to make the list. Kiplinger ranked 100 private universities and 100 liberal arts colleges that combine outstanding education with economic value.
Military Friendly School G.I. Jobs, a magazine for military personnel transitioning into civilian life, has awarded Drury the designation of Military Friendly School. The list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace America's military service members and veterans as students. Drury reported an enrollment of 2,094 active duty military personnel, veterans and military dependents for the G.I. Jobs survey, as of May 2011.
Fulbright Scholars Drury was recognized in the Oct. 24, 2011, edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars. Drury was second on the list of Master's Universities, with three Fulbright Scholars from our faculty this year: Erin Kenny (History), Elizabeth Gackstetter Nichols (Spanish) and Jeff VanDenBerg (Political Science).
The United States Green Building Council has awarded LEED Gold certification to the O'Reilly Family Event Center. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Drury earned 42 certification points—exceeding the 39 needed to achieve LEED Gold. Points are awarded for sustainable features in the building, such as: low flow water fixtures, a dedicated recycling area, a solar reflective roof and pavement materials. The following companies helped Drury achieve LEED Gold:
LEED Gold design is also good design, according to the American Buildings Company, which honored Williams Construction with the "2011 Building of the Year" award for the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
Drury conferred degrees to 393 students during Winter Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 17, of which 48 earned master's degrees.
President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO), Brian Fogle, was the graduation speaker. Fogle, who was named the 2010 Springfieldian of the Year by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony.
"I challenge you today to live deliberately," Fogle told the graduates. "Success comes not from how many friends you've accumulated on Facebook, but how you respond to their hopes, their dreams and their pain. Life, real life, comes not from the digital persona or an avatar, but from the joy of deep connections. Like Thoreau, live a life knowing that you lived, truly lived. Go forth today and love, live and hug often."
Fogle joins a list of notables who have received honorary degrees from Drury since 1906: composers Rodgers and Hammerstein (1949), comedian Bob Hope (1973), Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling (1973), Bob Barker (2007), and former presidential candidate Sen. George McGovern (2008).
Breaking ground: University Suites
A new apartment-style housing complex at the corner of Summit Avenue and Calhoun Street began taking shape this December. The University Suites 72-bed housing complex is scheduled to be complete by August 2012.
University Suites is being constructed to Silver LEED specifications, which include standards for water conservation and energy efficiency. Bryan Properties will construct the housing, which Drury will lease from Bryan Magers for a period of 25 years, after which Drury will own the property. "After reviewing housing surveys from Springfield students, I know what they are looking for most is privacy, security and a sense of community," said Magers. "The University Suites at Drury will offer all of those attributes."
Besides the housing project, Drury will also rehabilitate a house on the property that was once home to early 20th century artist and author Rose O'Neill, who is best known for creating the Kewpie Doll and was a leading illustrator at the turn of the century. O'Neill's great-nephew, David O'Neill, attended the ground breaking. He lived in the house as a young child and shared the home with his great-aunt Rose for a few years before her death in 1944. The home will serve as a community center for students with space for meetings and events.
Green Space brings nature to the center of campus
In October, the Drury community celebrated the dedication of the Kellogg Green Space and Terrace with a ribbon cutting honoring donors Tom and Camille Kellogg. Their generosity funded deconstruction of the vacant Belle and Turner Halls and provided funding for the green space, covered terrace, seating areas and garden spaces where students can enjoy the outdoors.
This spring the green space includes a new outdoor classroom, constructed out of recycled materials including limestone cores from drilling at the OFEC construction site. Benches are made from parapet stones of Belle Hall, which once stood near the site.
Wildflower gardens have also been planted in memory of Todd Parnell's parents, Ben '39 and Jean '42 Parnell. "My dad wasn't a gardener, but he loved flowers late in life," said Todd. Donations to Ben Parnell's memorial fund helped finance the garden and the outdoor classroom. A joint effort of Betty Parnell, Director of Sustainability Wendy Anderson, facilities staff and student volunteers helped bring the memorial garden to life.
The green space is a work in progress, including new fruit trees and a vegetable garden to be planted this spring. Donations will be accepted through the Alumni Office to support this growing effort.
Drury's "Most Influential Women"
Since the inception of Springfield Business Journal's "Most Influential Women" in 2000, 27 Drury alumnae, faculty and staff have been honored with the annual award. This year, Drury trustee Rita Baron '99 was honored, as was Dianna Maynard Parker '86.
A group of honorees gathered for a luncheon at Drury on Dec. 2 where President Todd Parnell congratulated them. "The first class at Drury was over half women. Drury will always be about gender equity." Parnell added, "You are valued by your community and you are valued by what you contribute to Drury."
(Back Row, l-r): Krystal McCulloch, Karen Sweeney, Kay Logsdon, Mary Beth O'Reilly, Kathy Clancy, Kelley Still, Kim Hamm, Dianna Parker, Dawn Hiles, Peggy Riggs, Karen Shannon, Jodie Adams, Betty Parnell, Todd Parnell. (Front Row, l-r): Rita Baron, Kim Flores, Elise Crain, Tijuana Julian, Julie Guillebeau, Wendy Garrison, Virginia Mee.
Go Courtside with the Fanthers:
NCAA "Game Environment Award Of Excellence"
Drury's "Fanthers" student athletic spirit group was honored by the NCAA as the Division II national winner of the "Game Environment Award Of Excellence" for 2011, announced at the annual NCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
The NCAA also commended Drury's "Front Row Refs," an energetic group of students who sit courtside wearing referee jerseys and themed outfits.
They join the Drury cheerleaders, poms and pep band to create a fun and entertaining student environment in the O'Reilly Family Event Center for home basketball and volleyball games, as well as DU baseball and soccer home games.
This award, according to the NCAA, "recognizes athletics programs that have displayed a special commitment to creating competition environments that stress civility, cater to the comfort of fans and participants, and are exciting."
It's all Greek to Todd
President Todd Parnell and his wife, Betty, experienced life as study abroad students while visiting Drury's campus in Greece. The 2011 move to Aigina has put students much closer to the cultural and transportation hub of Athens.
"I went to see the new campus, and I wanted to be able to assure parents who are sending their kids there that it's safe despite the media coverage, and it is," Parnell said.
Parnell and Betty spent several days touring Greece with the students and they engaged in the same course work: taking notes, keeping a journal and making sketches. Parnell was inspired seeing the students at Delphi, and laughed at competing in the 200 meter dash on the original race course at the site of the first Olympics.
Parnell, who studied abroad in London as a Drury undergraduate in 1968, says it is even more important for this generation of students to expand their perspectives. "They're not going to be confined to the Ozarks or the Midwest. Their world will stretch to Aigina and beyond, and Drury can provide students with experiences in those unique and rich venues."
Students learn and lend a hand in Joplin
View Joplin Impact Interviews
The May 22 tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., claimed 161 victims, but it impacted thousands more people physically and mentally. The goal of the Joplin Impact Project, research conducted by Assistant Professor of Psychology Jennifer Silva Brown and a group of her students, is understanding how these surviving victims deal with the physical, mental and emotional stress of living in the aftermath of the tornado.
Sitting among bundles of clothes and used appliances at Misti's Mission (a clearinghouse for donated goods) in Joplin, Silva Brown and seven undergraduates interviewed and submitted surveys to 89 victims of the tornado. The 100+ question survey determined if the victims were suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or other stress-related maladies.
"We're trying to distinguish those who are struggling from those who are resilient and healthy," said Silva Brown. "We also look at how survivors coped with the tornado, asking if they turned to such things as exercise, prayer, time with friends and family, or the use of drugs or alcohol. The ultimate goal is to understand which characteristics promote a healthy adjustment to post-disaster life."
Silva Brown is building this Joplin project from research she conducted in Louisiana after hurricanes devastated the Gulf Coast. "What we've learned from the survivors of Katrina and Rita has helped Joplin residents, and the research we're doing in Joplin will help the survivors of the next large-scale disaster. We're constantly learning," said Silva Brown. She hopes the research becomes a teaching tool for post-disaster recovery, which is essential for a community to rebuild.
Out of 25 applicants, seven students were selected to help with the project. For these students, it was a rare undergraduate opportunity to conduct field research. "This project is a wonderful opportunity to help the Joplin community," said student Paige Nichols. "In return, the Joplin community is enhancing my education by giving me a rare opportunity to go out in the field, interview survivors and then see the results."
Drury's Rolla campus moved in to a new 8,100 square-foot facility on August 26, 2011, just in time for the start of classes on Aug. 29. Faculty, staff and even students helped move to the location at 1034 S. Bishop Avenue. The new facility provides space for a student break area, a faculty work and prep area, and a bookstore.
Drury's campus in Monett moved in to a freestanding facility at 400 4th Street in the education building of the United Methodist Church. The facility is equipped with technology and meeting space for students to use when they aren't in class. This space for students to meet, use computers or work on group projects has already led to an increase in enrollment.
The Monett campus also received grants from the Bess Spiva Timmons Foundation ($8,000) and the BNSF Foundation ($8,550), which will be used for the development of a "high technology" classroom, as well as to advance the Monett campus Hispanic Initiative.