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Office: (417) 873-7228
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News media invited to tour the O'Reilly Family Event Center on Sept. 30

Media Advisory: September 20, 2010

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 20, 2010 — Members of the news media are invited to tour the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 11 a.m. led by O’Reilly Family Event Center Director Myra Miller, Drury President Todd Parnell and Vice President for Athletics Dr. Edsel Matthews. Parking is available in Lot 7, just to the north of Harrison Stadium.

The next day, Oct. 1, the O’Reilly Family Event Center opens to the public with a free concert and barbecue on the plaza on the north side of the new arena. This will mark the public’s first look inside the $13.5 million arena and kick off a month celebration of the arena’s opening. The barbecue begins at 6 p.m., M-Dock band begins playing at 6:30 p.m., former Lady Panther Liz Moriondo takes the stage at 8 p.m. and fireworks begin around 9:15 p.m. There is no charge for the event, but those wishing to enjoy the barbecue are asked to RSVP at www.drurytickets.com.

Other events during the month include:

  • Saturday, Oct. 2, the O’Reilly Family Event Center will be the start and finish for the Panther Run benefiting Care to Learn. The event features 10-kilometer and 5-kilometer runs and a 2-mile run/walk. The Panther Run is the first race in the Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners’ Triple Crown series. Go to www.active.com to register. The race begins at 8:30 a.m.

  • Friday, Oct. 8, will feature the first sporting event in the O’Reilly Family Event Center when the Panther volleyball team hosts the University of Missouri of Science and Technology at 7 p.m.

  • Saturday, Oct. 9, the O’Reilly Family Event Center will play host to the Springfield Symphony Pops concert series featuring music from famous movies. Call the Symphony at (417) 864-6683 for tickets.

  • The middle of the month marks the start of basketball practice and the Panthers and Lady Panthers will entertain fans with Hoops Hysteria on Friday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. Admission is one can of food.

  • Saturday, Oct. 16, is the Hammons School of Architecture’s 25th Anniversary Gala Event in the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

  • The ninth annual Drury Athletics Auction is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23, at 5 p.m.

  • On Thursday, Oct. 28, music will fill the O’Reilly Family Event Center when Axel and the Equators take the stage at 7 p.m. for a night of swinging blues music. Tickets are $25.

  • Lifehouse brings its “radio-ready” sound to O’Reilly on Friday, Oct. 29. The band broke out in 2001 when its single “Hanging by a Moment” became the most played radio song of the year. Lifehouse is joined on the card by 2009 American Idol winner Kris Allen. Tickets cost $29, $25 and $20.

  • Saturday, Oct. 30, features the building dedication and ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. The Grand Opening Finale Concert with Aretha Franklin is that night at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available.

The big events continue into November with former Hootie and the Blowfish front man Darius Rucker and funny man Bill Engvall scheduled to appear at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

Tickets can be purchased at the O’Reilly Family Event Center box office or at www.drurytickets.com, unless otherwise noted.

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Drury is an independent University, church related, grounded in the liberal arts tradition and committed to personalized education in a community of scholars who value the arts of teaching and learning. Education at Drury seeks to cultivate spiritual sensibilities and imaginative faculties as well as ethical insight and critical thought; to foster the integration of theoretical and practical knowledge; and to liberate persons to participate responsibly in and contribute to a global community. For more information, visit www.drury.edu/strategicplan.

University Communications staff are available to news media 24 hours a day at (417) 839-2886. Visit the Office of University Communications online at http://news.drury.edu. Resources include a searchable Expert Guide, staff contacts and downloadable print-quality images and logos.