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News & notes from the Martin Alumni Center

Notable & Newsworthy: Alumni in the spotlight

2012 Woman of Achievement
Kappa Delta alumna Carolyn Boewer Cotta '60 has been selected as a 2012 St. Louis Woman of Achievement for "youth dedication" for her 45+ years of volunteer work with the South Side Day Nursery. She will be honored at a luncheon on May 17. Created in 1955 by the St. Louis-Globe Democrat newspaper, the St. Louis Women of Achievement Award is the oldest ongoing program in the area whose sole mission is to honor and recognize the volunteer efforts of women.

Chamber Springfieldian Award
Mary Beth (Murney) O'Reilly '88 was honored with the Springfieldian Award presented by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce at its 2012 annual meeting. A hardworking healthcare advocate in her professional and personal life, O'Reilly founded the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks in 1996. She also serves as board member for the Child Advocacy Center and Trust Company of the Ozarks.

Tulsa Press Club "Media Icon"
Carole Lambert '73 received the "Media Icon" award on March 1, 2012. Lambert was weeknight news anchor for Tulsa's KTUL TV for 29 years, where she produced the weekly "Waiting Child" series that resulted in the adoption of 4,000 special needs children.

In 2009, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Lambert resigned her position from KTUL last summer to return to her hometown of Springfield. She is active in the Drury Women's Auxiliary and the Springfield Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club.

Presidential Honor
Amy Strickland '06, project manager for Ozarks Center for Sustainable Solutions, has been selected for the Presidential Management Fellowship Class of 2012.

The PMF Program serves as the flagship leadership development program operated by the Office of the President, with the goal of recruiting and training top candidates for careers in the federal government. The two-year fellowship provides opportunities for leadership training, special developmental assignments, and rotations through multiple federal agencies.


Cancer advocate makes headlines
David Oliver '64 has received national attention for his positive outlook in the face of illness, with features on the CBS Early Show with Charlie Rose, ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, and in the Washington Post.

A University of Missouri medical school professor specializing in aging and end-of-life care, Oliver was diagnosed with stage IV cancer last fall. He created a video blog to share news with family, which has since become an inspiration to friends and strangers alike.

Oliver approaches his situation with honesty and humor, hoping to help others overcome the natural awkwardness that can result from supporting a friend or family member who is experiencing illness.

Video Blog: Follow David Oliver's Journey

He was a member of Sigma Nu while at Drury and went on to earn a Ph.D. in gerontology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He and his wife, Debra, have five children, including Drury alumnus and Panthers supporter Brad Oliver '91.

Weaving a Legacy: A Celebration of Harriet Mears

By: Megan Waterman '13

Drury on C-Street is home to the new Harriet Mears Weaving Studio, which will give students and community members the opportunity to learn the art of weaving.

Young Harriet Mears found her passion for weaving in the Appalachian hills. While strolling the North Carolina paths with her two small children, Mears came upon a weaving school, a remnant of Roosevelt's WPA program. She learned to weave and perfected her skills by making kitchen dish towels. In 1971, she and her husband moved back to Springfield, where Dr. Richard Mears began to teach English at Drury College.

Her weaving career at Drury began when Mears came across a handmade loom tucked in the attic of Pearsons Hall. She and her husband took apart the loom and reassembled it in Wallace Hall. After several sessions with this wobbly loom, a student passing through Wallace saw Mears weaving and asked if she would teach her to weave. Mears agreed, and the Drury weaving program was born.

Mears helped the program grow until her retirement in 1992. The fiber arts curriculum survived thanks to Cheryl Maples and Paula Rosen. Maples, a gifted and respected artist, took over the program and stayed involved with the weaving program until almost the day she passed away in 2010.

The weaving studio lost its space during the Wallace Hall renovation in 2010, but the fiber arts program has found a new home at Drury on C-Street and a new leader whom Harriet Mears mentored for over 30 years, Paula Rosen. Throughout Rosen's teaching career within the Springfield Public Schools, she has shown her fiber art in the Springfield Art Museum and the Pool Art Center.

Rosen and her husband, William K. Rosen, have pledged the lead gift to the Dr. Harriet Mears Weaving Studio fund. Drury trustees and former weaving students Terry Reynolds and Beth Pile have also pledged gifts, creating momentum to found this campaign.

Drury will raise $25,000 to name the studio after Harriet Mears and support the weaving program for years to come, with plans to dedicate the studio during the grand opening of Drury on C-Street on May 10, 2012. Contact Vice President of Alumni & Development Krystal McCulloch at (417) 873-7258 to lend your support and ensure that the Harriet Mears Weaving Studio will carry on a legacy of learning and creating to future generations of Drury students.

Facebook Timeline Photos

Show off your Drury pride on Facebook with one of these pre-formatted Timeline Cover photos highlighting the Springfield campus. These photos are already sized to fit the Facebook Timeline and available for you to download and use. Let everyone know that you're proud of your alma mater! Visit for the full inventory of available photos.

Drury University Alumni Council Update


This program has honored outstanding alumni, faculty and friends of the university since 1951. Each year at the Distinguished Alumni Awards reception, held in conjunction with Reunion Weekend, the Alumni Council recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in their careers or in their communities.

Complete the nomination form at for the following awards by June 1, 2012. For questions, contact Director of Alumni & Development Meleah Spencer at (417) 873-7444 or

Distinguished Alumnus—Career Achievement
Recognizes an alumnus who has earned special distinction in his or her career, reflecting honor on
the university and its alumni.

Distinguished Alumnus—Community Service
Honors an alumnus who has served his or her community in an exemplary way, sustaining a record of leadership and dedicated service.

Distinguished Young Alumnus Award
This award is given to a person who graduated within the last 15 years and whose accomplishment set a standard for lifelong excellence.


Good News: We've updated our website!

Visit, and you'll find a more user-friendly site with all new features designed to help you stay connected with Drury and reconnect with fellow alumni. You can:

  • Check your giving history
  • Search the alumni directory
  • Connect with career services
  • View and RSVP for upcoming events
  • Read alumni spotlights
  • ... and more!

To take full advantage of the site, you'll need a username and password. Already have one? You're good to go.

If you need to set up your username, send an email to We'll issue a username and password to you. This one-time process will allow you full access to the site, where you can also update your profile information so other alumni can reconnect with you.

Be sure to visit and "Like" the Drury University Alumni Facebook page, where you can keep up with alumni events in cities across the country. You'll also see photos, contests, and exclusive pre-purchase details for events at the O'Reilly Family Event Center.
If you have any questions or comments, please email or call (417) 873-3690. Enjoy!

Q&A: Steve Edwards '88

Steve Edwards '88 was promoted in January 2012 to president and chief executive officer of CoxHealth. We sat down with Steve and asked him to reflect on his time at Drury and how it helped prepare him for his career in healthcare administration.

Q: How did Drury's liberal arts education prepare you for your studies at Washington University, where you completed your master's in healthcare administration?

A: One of the surprises I had after leaving Drury was reflecting on the amount of education I received outside of the classroom.

When I went to graduate school, I was a little anxious about having this broad liberal arts degree as I sat in the first day of class with individuals who had specific degrees like law, medicine and finance. But I realized that my liberal arts background had provided me with an important foundation that I soon found myself drawing upon regularly, especially in classes that were focused on case studies where I had to formulate a response to an ethical dilemma.

Every decision you make should be based on some ethical platform. And that's most certainly the case in healthcare. Drury helped me explore and formulate my own set of values and make them concrete. The classroom experience taught me the fundamentals and the extracurricular activities brought the learning to life. The opportunity to not just learn in the classroom, but to then apply it outside of the classroom, helped forge my way of thinking. It cemented it for me.

Q: What activities were you involved in during your time at Drury?

A: The smaller campus size allowed me to get involved in a variety of activities. I was in Student Senate; I was president of the Interfraternity Council and also president of the Sigma Nu fraternity. I was on Mortar Board, the Drury Ambassadors Program and Model UN.

Q: What advice do you have for Drury students?

A: When I was exploring what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I wrestled with this notion that I needed to be the best person I could be and there is a higher calling than just pursuing a job or a career. I could have decided that I just wanted to focus on being the best healthcare administrator I could possibly be, and that's okay. However, my time at Drury helped me realize that the job needs to lead you to become the best person you can be.

Interview by Jann Holland, executive director of Marketing & Communications.

Save the Date:

Thursday, May 10, 2012
C-Street Grand Opening
Tour Drury's new art gallery, architecture studio and weaving studio space on Commercial Street, while greeting current students and fellow alumni.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012
Founders Day
Founders Day will be observed in Stone Chapel this year, on the traditional day of Drury's founding. President Elect of the American Bar Association Jim Silkenat '69 will be the speaker.

Alumni Reunion: October 5-6, 2012
Rekindle. Relive. Return. Reconnect.
Celebrate the classes of '62, '87 and '02, plus enjoy fun events for all alumni and families!

Visit for details on these events and more.


President Parnell reconnected with two LXA fraternity brothers from days gone by, a reunion many years in the making, as Todd hadn't seen Mark since his graduation in 1966. See more alumni event photos at or search "Drury University Alumni" on Facebook.

Connected to Tomorrow's Leaders: Lyndsay Lowe '86

"Leaders, particularly women leaders, are so important in the world today. I know that the leadership opportunities I had at Drury helped me be a more effective leader in every position I have held in my career since graduating. I use skills every day that I learned at Drury and want to help students who will be our leaders of tomorrow."

Lyndsay was a leader at Drury, active in student government, tennis, Kappa Delta sorority and the Drury Singers. She thrived as a student, making lifelong friends and learning lifelong skills. The drive to give back to her university community was instilled in Lyndsay by her parents Sandy and David Lowe, who worked in higher education throughout their lives.

Lyndsay has been a consistent donor to Drury since her graduation in 1986, establishing the Lyndsay Lowe Leadership Award and becoming a member of the Founders Society by providing for Drury in her estate plans.

To learn more, visit or call Darla Harmon at (417) 873-7478, toll free (888) 353-7879, or email

Office of Alumni and Development
900 N Benton
Springfield, MO 65802