Unique Program Opens in Greece
A unique academic and cultural experience awaits eight students this fall, as they become the first to spend a semester at Drury's newest off-campus location: The Drury Center in Volos, Greece. Drury is the only American university with a permanent site in Greece for its students. Alkis Tsolakis, associate professor of architecture, drew on his connections to the city to develop the program; he has moved to Volos as its coordinator.
"Volos is the perfect place for American students to experience global learning," says Tsolakis. "The city itself is rich in history, tied to the heights of classical Greece, but also a modern city with a tradition of music and theatre. It has also been an intersecting point for Greek, Middle Eastern, Balkan and European people, and so it will provide a challenge for students when they are asked to think in a culturally alert way."
The courses and mission of the program parallel those of Drury's Global Perspectives 21 curriculum. In Volos, students will tackle global issues by addressing actual concerns in the city and the surrounding area. The signature course, Global Studio, brings together students from different areas of interest to focus on a single project. For this fall, students will be asked to develop an archaeological park in the town of Demetrias in a way that respects the cultural and historic environment. "This combination of highly interactive, hands-on studio teaching and more traditional styles of teaching, and the union of styles from different departments, was difficult at first because it required students and faculty to move beyond their more familiar teaching styles and disciplinary boundaries," says Dr. Charles Ess, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, "but the results will be far richer than you'd usually get from keeping the two separate."
As the program continues, Drury expects to open the Volos Center to students from other universities; the Office of Study Abroad Programs, and its director Dr. Thomas Russo, have already fielded inquiries from at least two.
Alumnus Kabuki Scholar Honored
Leonard C. Pronko '47 was honored for his explorations of Kabuki, a dramatic style of Japanese theatre, during an April conference at Pomona College in Claremont, Cal. Pronko joined Pomona's department of theatre and dance in 1957. In 1963, during a Guggenheim fellowship to study Asian theatre, he discovered Kabuki and was awed. He became the first non-Japanese to study Kabuki at the National Theatre of Japan. In 1967 he published Theatre East & West, a groundbreaking analysis of Kabuki. As one of the genre's first and most prominent Western scholars, Pronko has been honored time and again, including a Drury Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1980 and the Japanese Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1986.
Revived Business Honor Society Successful
Less than a year after students asked to re-establish a chapter of business honor society Phi Beta Lambda on campus, members have won national honors. At the competition in Houston, Texas, Jeff Clark, a junior from Ozark, MO, took third place in economics and Jeremy Clopton, a sophomore from Fair Grove, MO, placed fifth in public speaking. Clopton, Clark and senior Sarah Norris also claimed first place honors at the state competition this spring.
More Housing! Nicer, Too!
Almost 10 years ago Drury anticipated a major shift in student life away from traditional dorms and toward more apartment-like residence halls. The university responded with College Park, begun in 1993 and still under construction (a new house for the Sigma Pi fraternity was started this spring). College Park is home to nearly 330 students, and it's a favorite place for students to live, on or off campus.
Building on College Park's popularity, construction begins this fall on Summit Park, a similar (though smaller) group of buildings north of campus, across the street from Smith Hall. The development was approved by the Midtown neighborhood association (see Building Blocks of Trust). The old Summit Place apartments were cleared from the site this spring. About 40 students will live in the five-house complex.
Moving to Midtown
The Midtown neighborhood isn't just the blocks surrounding Drury; it's also home to an increasing number of faculty, staff and administrators; a recent count shows at least a dozen Drury households. Chemistry chair Mark Wood '81 is planning to build a home on Washington Ave. where the Kappa Alpha house stood. Director of University Communications Tristan Davies and his family recently moved into a historic home on Benton Ave. Vice President for Administration Rusty Worley '92 BA '94 MBA has purchased the former Sigma Pi house at 1215 N. Benton; after renovations this summer, it will be ready for his family. "Having so many Drury people close to campus is important," says Worley. "It builds that connection between the university and its neighborhood and emphasizes our commitment to each others' continuing good health. I'm also looking forward to a shorter commute."