Drury confers nearly 500 degrees conferred at spring commencements

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 13, 2017 — Drury University awarded degrees to 466 graduates at its spring commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday. There were 282 degrees conferred during the ceremony for the College of Continuing Professional Studies and the College of Graduate Studies on Friday evening, and 215 degrees conferred during the traditional residential college ceremony on Saturday. Some students earned multiple degrees.

An honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters also was awarded to Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten on Saturday. Wooten, a Springfield native, was honored as a model business woman and philanthropist. After graduating from Drury, she taught high school English for 13 years. She spent most of her career as an Executive Vice President at her family business, O’Reilly Automotive, from 1993 to 2002, where she managed telecommunications, risk management and human resources.

Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten

Wooten serves on many boards, including a decade on the Drury Board of Trustees. During that time she has served on many committees and was a large influence in the conception of the O’Reilly Family Event Center. She has two children and six grandchildren and continues to reside in Springfield.

Jack Prim addressed the traditional undergraduates at today’s ceremony, and urged them to measure their success in life by their own definition of the term. Prim is the chairman of Jack Henry & Associates, the Monett-based company that is a leading provider of software for the financial services industry.

“Success has to be what you define it as, not what your classmates or friends define it as,” he said.

He also told the graduates that lifelong success means lifelong learning. He told them a Drury education prepared them well for further education, whether that means formal education, reading or asking the CEO of the company for advice.

“Your education doesn’t stop when you walk about of here today,” he said. “I would encourage you to never stop learning.”

Jack Prim

Bill Prince addressed the graduates on Friday evening, advising them to live by the “Three Be’s” – be involved in your community, be busy with work you are passionate about, and be kind to everyone you meet.

Bill Prince

Prince, who is the administrator of the Greene County juvenile and family court system and an adjunct instructor for Drury, stressed that kindness was perhaps the most important of the three. Today’s world is in need of much more of it, he said.

“We live in a time when people are not nice to one another; we live in a time when people are very divided,” Prince said. “Do not marginalize people. Recognize their worth and the fact that they, too, are trying to live for something better to come.”


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