On October 31, 2012, we introduced Dr. David Manuel as Drury's 17th President. Dr. Manuel and his wife Betty Coe will assume their duties on June 1, 2013.
The Drury community has much to be proud of in our year-long process to identify our next president. Our search committee was comprised of representatives from the board of trustees, faculty, staff, the student body, and our alumni. Under the capable leadership of trustee and alum James Bone, the committee invested countless hours in reviewing 65 applications and conducting personal interviews with multiple nominees before presenting the university with three exemplary candidates.
After their campus visits, each of these candidates was effusive in his praise for Drury's students, faculty and staff, commenting on the quality of our university and the refreshing atmosphere on campus. They were also highly complimentary of the Springfield civic and community leaders for the welcoming attitude with which they were received. We all know that both Drury and Springfield are special places, but it's great to hear that sentiment so strongly confirmed by our guests.
In its consideration of our finalists, your board of trustees was given an opportunity to have open and far-reaching discussion about the future of Drury University, and I know each board member felt a keen sense of history in the decision we were making. At the end of the day, the choice was clear, and the board voted unanimously to invite Dr. David Manuel to be Drury's next president.
Dr. Manuel's qualifications are impeccable. He has enjoyed a successful four-year term as chancellor and professor of economics at Louisiana State University–Alexandria, and he previously served as business school dean and subsequently as vice president for academic affairs at St. Mary's University in San Antonio. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated academic accomplishment and leadership skills that will be critical to our success here at Drury.
But beyond that, Dave is Drury—he understands and appreciates the unique culture of this institution and the Southwest Missouri area. I'm confident that both he and Betty Coe will quickly become an integral part of the greater Springfield community as we continue in our efforts to reach out and connect with our broader constituencies.
I know you will all join with me in welcoming Dave and Betty Coe as our next First Family and in wishing them well as we continue to take Drury to the next level.
Chairman, Board of Trustees