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Mary Beth O'Reilly

Mary Beth O’Reilly and Dan Beach to Address Drury Graduates on May 16

For Immediate Release: April 24

Mark Miller
Director of Media Relations, University Communications
Office: (417) 873-7390
Mobile: (417) 839-2886

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., April 24, 2009 Philanthropist, breast cancer survivor and Drury alumnus Mary Beth O'Reilly will send off 258 graduates from the traditional Day School on Saturday, May 16 at 2:30 p.m. O'Reilly will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Also, as part of the traditional Day School ceremony, Drury's Student Body President Javier Detrinidad will provide what is being called a Salute to the Graduating Class. Detrinidad is a native of Nicaragua and is graduating with a degree in management and marketing.

Drury's Dr. Dan Beach will address 352 graduates from the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies at noon. Three hundred and eleven students will receive undergraduate degrees; 41 will earn a master's degree.

That morning, Drury alumnus Paul Davis '50 will be the featured speaker at the Day School's baccalaureate services in Stone Chapel.

A Missouri resident since the age of 3, O'Reilly graduated from Drury in 1988 with a degree in nursing and has completed work toward a master's in education. A breast cancer survivor, O'Reilly founded and developed the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, which provides resources and support for individuals diagnosed with breast cancer and as well as their families.

“I would wish other communities would have someone like her who cares for others the way she does” says Rob Fulp, one of the founding board members of the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. “They would become better places to live.”

A member of the Drury family for nearly three decades, Dr. Daniel R. Beach is the associate dean for graduate programs in the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. Beginning in 1983, Beach served as the director of teacher education for Drury University and the chair of the Drury School of Education and Child Development. In this role he supervised the undergraduate and graduate programs and taught secondary education program courses and graduate-level courses. Beach is a former principal at Springfield's Parkview High School and Hickory Hills middle and elementary schools.

“I am looking forward to hearing what Dan will say to CGCS graduates at the May 2009 commencement. I know his words will be both meaningful and heartfelt. This is because he possesses so many of the qualities which exemplify what Drury University is and what the institution aspires to be,” says Parris Watts, dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. “It is unlikely we have ever had a CGCS commencement speaker with a better understanding of the mission of CGCS and has better known, from personal experience with so many of our working-adult students, the impact of Drury's graduate and undergraduate educational programs on their lives.”

Baccalaureate speaker Paul Davis graduated from Drury in 1950 with a bachelor's degree in English and went on to earn a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry. A former member of the Drury Board of Trustees, Davis served at churches in Kansas and Missouri throughout his career. Davis has written three books of poetry. He has five children.


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