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Attending Drury is an unforgettable experience according to the Vaughan family.
Bill Vaughan, Allen Vaughan, and Kaitlyn Vaughan are three Drury alumni—father, son, and daughter. Each of them graduated with a degree from the Breech School of Business. They shared similar opportunities, but all have a different perspective on their years with Drury and Breech.
Starting out at Breech
The first step was learning. Throughout their time at Drury, the Vaughans started out taking introductory business classes. Some classes immediately gave them a challenge. One class even made them some money. Bill shares his memory of Dr. Evan’s accounting course, where he learned about the stock market.
“In this one particular class, we did a stock market simulation. We all had to pick a stock at the first of the semester, and we had to follow it the whole semester long,” Bill says. “Come to find out, he [Professor Evan] invested in the stocks that we had chosen and those students that were successful received the earnings. Professor Evan took the loss on the others. As a result, I was able to date Kathy Patterson who is now my wife for about a month on my earnings.”
Kaitlyn started classes at Breech during her freshman year. She was eager to impress her professors, and she was up for a challenge. She took Dr. Wyatt’s Business Foundations class--one of her most challenging classes.
“We had our very first test and I thought it was so hard. I posted on Facebook, I said, ‘Dr. Wyatt’s Business Foundations test kicked my butt!’ and I had made the mistake of accepting his friend request.” Kaitlyn adds, “When I came to class the next day he pulled up my Facebook—in front of the whole class—and read my status out loud, and said, ‘Who else felt like this?’ He was a tough guy and it was a tough class, but it was definitely one of my favorites.”
At Breech, students take what they learn in the classroom and they apply it in the real world. Before graduating from Breech, Allen had the opportunity to create a business plan in his senior class with Dr. Nowak. He never imagined that one day he would have to make his own business plan.
“We had gone through all the rigors, we had done everything, and then we had to put together a business plan. And here in my mind I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with that.” Allen explains, “I never saw myself in a position to use it or to do that, but it was fun and we were able to get in groups and it was with friends of mine. Then it turns out ten years later, we just wrote our first business plan and that was all I could think about.”
Going out in the world
Students at Breech not only get to use their knowledge in the community, but they also take it out of the country. Kaitlyn spent some time studying abroad and traveling with Students in Free Enterprise. During her time at Drury, she visited at least five different countries such as Poland, Germany, and the Dominican Republic.
“I’ve been abroad with SIFE. We went to Germany to watch the World Cup, and we were able to go into a high school in Hamburg and teach micro lending classes, so that was really cool,” Kaitlyn says. “We did a service project in the Dominican Republic where we installed a bio sand water purifier at an elementary school. Breech definitely offered me lots of opportunities to go abroad and learn new things.”
Life after Breech
The Vaughans left Breech with a wide variety of skills and experience that helped them get to where they are today.
“The Breech school did not teach me how to be a banker, but the Breech school gave me the ability to learn how to be a banker by challenging me to develop my critical thinking skills and giving me the confidence to take those skills out into the business world,” Bill says.
Breech not only gave them the confidence they needed to succeed, but also experience that opened many doors for them. “Breech helped me get to where I am now by the connections that they provided me and by realizing that the things I learned in the classroom are actually applicable to a real job, right out of college. I didn’t think that that would be possible, but it actually is,” explains Kaitlyn.
Where they are now
Bill graduated in 1974 with a degree in Business Administration and Economics. He currently lives in Urbana, MO and works as the president of the Bank of Urbana. Bill is currently serving on the Drury Board of Trustees. Allen continued his education and obtaining a Master’s in journalism at Northeastern University in Boston and then came back to Springfield where he now owns TAG Media. Kaitlyn graduated from Drury in 2010 with a degree in Finance. Kaitlyn was hired by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City where she spent a semester as an intern while in school.
Interview and article by Kaitlyn Schwers. Kaitlyn is a sophomore majoring in communication.