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Bob Barker gives $1 million to establish endowed professorship at Drury

For Immediate Release: October 27

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Mark Miller
Director of Media Relations, University Communications
Office: (417) 873-7390
Mobile: (417) 839-2886
E-mail: markmiller@drury.edu

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 27, 2009 — Former “Price Is Right” host and Drury University graduate, Bob Barker, gave his alma mater $1 million today to establish the Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professorship of Animal Rights named in honor of Barker’s late wife. In 2008, Barker gave Drury $1 million to establish the Drury University Forum on Animal Rights that led to this semester’s Animal Ethics course.

“This is the first course of this type to be offered by any undergraduate school in the United States. But, as a result of this class, educators tell me that they expect similar courses to be offered by colleges and universities throughout the country in the near future,” said Barker.

Dr. Patricia McEachern, the Director of the Drury University Forum on Animal Rights, will be the inaugural professor to hold the Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professorship of Animal Rights. In her new position, Dr. McEachern will devote all of her time to the Animal Rights Forum, which will include developing future classes in the study of Animal Rights. Currently, she coordinates the Animal Ethics class. The multi-disciplinary course is designed to acquaint students with contemporary and historical animal-rights issues.

“The Animal Ethics class is already offering students at Drury University a one-of-a kind educational opportunity. But there is so much more that we can accomplish. Bob Barker’s generosity provides me with the precious gift of time and allows me to devote myself entirely to this work,” said Dr. McEachern.

Photo Gallery: Bob Barker Press Conference
Barker was surprised during the news conference when he was presented with his old basketball jersey by another former Drury basketball player Chris Ijames. Barker attended Drury on a basketball scholarship and another alumnus recently found the uniform. Barker signed it and happily agreed to have the number 28 jersey displayed in Drury’s new O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Barker attended Drury College on a basketball scholarship and, despite having his college career interrupted by World War II, graduated from Drury in 1947 with a degree in economics. He began his broadcasting career at KTTS-FM in Springfield while attending Drury and in 1956 launched his long run on national television as the host of “Truth or Consequences,” which he once broadcast from Drury’s Weiser Gymnasium in 1972. That same year Barker began hosting “The Price Is Right,” and he continued on that program until his retirement in 2007.

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