Weston and Caitlin Pierce Kissee '08/'09

Scott Hurst '95

Scott Hurst and wife

“I think it’s important that you support the things that made you what you are, and Drury is a pretty critical part of what I am. So, when I was in a position where I could start giving money to important institutions, or institutions I deem important, it was pretty natural for me to give to Drury. I want to support those things that put me on the path that I’m on today.

Reflect on the friends you made, what you learned, and what was important to you. And then decide, if those things have led you to where you’re at today, where you feel like you could give a piece of what you are back to something bigger than yourself.”

The Schneider Foundation

Jim and Patt Dailey Spangler '61/'61

Bill and Kathy Vaughan '74/-, P'01, P'10

Bill and Kathy Vaughn

Bill and Kathy Vaughan ’74/-, P ’01, P ‘10 MBA ’14 have been dedicated supporters of Drury University for many years. Through their generous contributions of time, scholarships, and facility improvements, their primary focus has always been student success.

“I am just so proud of our faculty and their ability to adapt their methodology to help the students and be sure that they succeed. It’s wonderful,” says Bill. “[Drury is] a place that is so progressive educationally and with a faculty that cares and is willing to care about the students. They care about the students; they care about their success.”

And as Bill reflects on his career, he says, “I appreciate all that Drury gave me- among most things that I appreciate the ability to think critically and the ability to have confidence in myself. It has served me well during my lifetime and I am excited for other people to experience that.” 

Kathy says beyond the quality education they, and current students, receive, it is the lifelong friendships and lasting memories that hold significant meaning. “We still get together with the people [we met there] and not just the occasional Christmas card, but we vacation together. I hope other students can make those [deep connections].”

During the Fortify the Future Campaign, the Vaughans emphasize the importance of reflecting on the impact Drury has had on one’s life and passing that legacy onto future students. They encourage others to consider the influence Drury has had on them and contribute to the continued success of the university and its students.

Tom and Kim Prater

Doyal Bryant ’75

Drury University’s inaugural Fusion Day on campus was a celebration of academic achievement. The highlight of the showcase included more than 150 posters as part of students major capstone presentations. Kicking off the event the evening prior, Doyal Bryant ’75 gave an immersive and memorable presentation to community and alumni assembled in Clara Thompson Hall. The founding member of Hyperreal Digital, Bryant spoke about its beginnings and provided insight into the future of technology. Hyperreal Digital – a world-leading metaverse entertainment and media company specializing in the making of digital humans – has worked with celebrities such as Paul McCartney and David Bowie in the design of a 3D digital likeness called hypermodels.

“Drury was an educational experience I treasure both inside and outside of the classroom. I am a living example of the liberal arts and Fusion as I pursued a role that combines my passion for business, the entertainment industry, music, computer science and entrepreneurship daily. I wish to make a difference at a place that gives so much to Missouri and beyond.”

Robert “Kris” Feuerbacher ’03

“I’m the third generation of my family to go to Drury. My grandfather went there before World War II, my aunts and uncles went there, my parents and my twin sister went there.

During my time at Drury, what made the difference for me were the connections because connections, are what push us forward. At Drury you start out as a freshman and you know everyone older than you. By the time you’re a senior, you know everyone younger than you and you come away with thousands of friends.

I really valued the personal connections at Drury, and it helped me develop as a person, especially in the business world.

I give to Drury to so that future generations can continue to enjoy the institution the same way I did. There’s a lot of value in it and it’s going to a good cause – you can see how much investment the school’s making.”

Ron and Cathy Cox Neville '69/'71

Ron Neville ’69 and Cathy (Cox) Neville ’71 are long-time donors to their alma mater. In fact, Ron made his first gift to the university the year after his graduation while Cathy was still a student. They met at Drury but didn’t start dating until after Ron started grad school. As young graduates, they made it a priority to give to Drury, even if it was what they considered a modest gift. They have continued to grow their support and are some of the university’s most loyal donors.

In addition to their financial support, Ron has served as a trustee since 1988. He’s assisted on several committees and helped lead the university through growth and challenges over the years. Ron has stayed involved with Lambda Chi Alpha and worked as an advocate for all Greek life at Drury. Cathy was also a part of the Greek system as a member of Pi Beta Phi. Their involvement and loyalty are extensive and when asked why they give so much of themselves, it comes down to a very simple answer.

“We both treasure our experience at Drury, and we are proud to be graduates. We are pleased to be able to make it possible for other students to have the same great educational opportunity we had.”

Edwin “Cookie” Rice ’52

“College is a formative time when kids work on becoming adults. Going to Drury University is more than just getting a degree. It is a total experience in education and the influences of that experience stay with you throughout your life. They taught us to explore all paths of an issue using critical thinking and problem-solving. A Drury education has benefits far beyond graduation, not just for the degree you earn, but the lifelong friends and memories you make along the way. Drury helped me to grow up.

The [C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly] Enterprise Center [and Breech School of Business Administration and Judy Thompson Executive Conference Center] is close to my heart because I want to support what Drury did for me and my wife, who was also a Drury grad. Giving to Drury is helping to secure a bright future for the school, her students today and long into the future.”

Anthony Tolliver

son of Donna Lewis ’75 M.Ed ’84

This summer, former NBA player Anthony Tolliver traveled to Drury University to announce an endowed scholarship in his late mother’s name. Tolliver’s mother, Donna Lewis ’75 M.Ed ’84, was a Drury University alumna. During her life, she dedicated herself to education through her 32 years of teaching in the Springfield Public School system.

“What better way to honor a woman who was all about education, giving back and selflessness, than to help kids through school. At her funeral, there was person after person who stood up and talked about how Donna Lewis changed their lives. From that day it’s become my personal mission to use everything I have to help other people and try to continue to build on her legacy.”

The Donna Lewis Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to a full-time undergraduate student each year.