New students add to momentum of Drury’s unique Honors Program

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 10, 2017 — Drury University has welcomed 38 new students into its growing Honors Program for the 2017-18 academic year.

The program has been expanding steadily over the past few years, from a total enrolment of 54 in 2015 to 95 this year. This growth has fostered a stronger honors community that features on-campus residential honors communities for freshmen, the Honors Student Association’s peer mentoring program, and the Honors House for sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

The growth of the program is second only to the growth that happens within its individual students.

Honors director Dr. Richard Schur“Drury’s Honors Program is focused on hands-on learning,” says Honors Program Director Dr. Richard Schur. “Honors classes involve students in research, problem-based learning, service learning, and primary source instruction, and this makes the Drury Honors Program stand apart from other honors programs across the country.”

Honors graduates are accepted into and receive scholarships to attend graduate schools around the country and the world. Last year’s seniors were admitted into graduate schools at Washington University, Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Washington, Cornell University, University of Pittsburgh, University of London, and Sussex University, among others.

This year’s incoming Honors students had an average ACT score of 30 and an average high school GPA over 4.0. However, rather than relying solely on past academic performance, the best candidates for the program are those students who exhibit curiosity, ambition, motivation, and dedication to intellectual inquiry and engagement.

The 2017-18 Honors Program class includes the following students:

  • Natalie Beck, Accounting from Ankeny, Iowa (Ankeny Centennial High School)
  • Olivia Biles, Environmental Biology from Rogersville, Missouri (Park University-Transfer)
  • Laura Blankenship, Music Therapy from Shawnee, Oklahoma (Shawnee Senior HS)
  • Sarah Buxton, Communication from Strafford, Missouri (OTC transfer)
  • Andrea Campbell, Elementary Education from Nixa, Missouri (Ozark High School)
  • Elaine Choate, Pre-Medical from Half Way, Missouri (Marion C Early High School)
  • Hayley Cobb, Advertising and Public Relations from Nixa, Missouri (Ozark High School)
  • Shaylin Dalton, Pre-Medical from Monett, Missouri (Monett High School)
  • Emma Demers, Elementary Education from Springfield, Missouri (Central High School)
  • Jessica Evans, Biochemistry from Bolivar, Missouri (Bolivar High School)
  • Esther George, undecided from Eldon, Missouri (Eldon High School)
  • Raven Graham, Biochemistry from Willard, Missouri (Desert High School)
  • Kaitlyn Greenwood, Behavioral Neuroscience from Benton, Kansas (Circle High School)
  • Cale Harper, Writing from Monett, Missouri (Monett High School)
  • Matthew Harrison, Chemistry from Walnut Grove, Missouri (Willard High School)
  • Grace Hayter, Psychology from Walnut Grove, Missouri (Walnut Grove High school)
  • D’Andre Hill, Animation from Fort Worth, Texas (Trimble Technical High School)
  • Bayler Hinz, Pre-Medical from Olathe, Kansas (Saint Thomas Aquinas High School)
  • Riley James, Pre-Medical from Springfield, Missouri (Central High school)
  • Alathia Keith, Architecture from Clever, Missouri (Clever High School)
  • Ryan Kuhl, Biology from Wichita, Kansas (Maize High School)
  • Christopher Maples, Pre-Veterinary from Clever, Missouri (Clever High School)
  • Anna Meadows, Environmental Biology from Bolivar, Missouri (Bolivar High School)
  • Sarah Merlenbach, English from Florissant, Missouri  (Hazelwood West High School)
  • Wiley Miller, Pre-Medical from Falcon, Missouri (Plato High School)
  • Victoria Monroe, Fine Arts from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma (Bishop Kelley High School)
  • Paul Parrish, Biochemistry from Springfield, Missouri (Kickapoo High School)
  • Alexandria Pasternak, Behavioral Neuroscience from Raymore, Missouri (Raymore-Peculiar HS)
  • Sara Petifurd, Political Science from Pleasant Valley, Missouri (North Kansas City High School)
  • Tristen Rand, Biology from Berryton, Kansas (Shawnee Heights Sr High School)
  • Cindy Reyes, Music Therapy from St. Louis, Missouri (Lindbergh High School)
  • Allison Smith, Environmental Biology from Osage Beach, Missouri (Transfer from Hanover College)
  • Quincy Standage, Pre-Law from Springfield, Missouri (Home School)
  • Rylee Stover, Behavioral Neuroscience from Chula, Missouri (Chillicothe High School)
  • Forest Swisher, Political Science from Cabool, Missouri (Cabool High School)
  • Megan Tersteeg, Pre-Medical from Defiance, Missouri (Francis Howell High School)
  • Mariah Trujillo, Architecture from Montrose, Colorado (Montrose High School)
  • Ronnie Warren, Architecture from Nixa, Missouri (Nixa High School)


Contact: Dr. Richard Schur, Director of Honors Program: (417) 873-6834 or

Share on Social