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Drury University announces lead gift for C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Enterprise Center

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 29, 2020 — Drury University’s first new academic building in 20 years will be named the C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Enterprise Center. A significant lead gift from O’Reilly family members Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten '64, who is a Drury emeritus trustee; Larry O’Reilly '69; David O’Reilly '71; and Charlie and Mary Beth O’Reilly '88 will honor the late Chub O’Reilly.

The name was unveiled at a groundbreaking ceremony today.

“It is fitting and inspiring for this family to place their patriarch’s name on this new space, given their history of leadership, business acumen and spirit of giving back to others,” said Rita Baron, chair of the Drury Board of Trustees, during today’s announcement.

Baron noted the O’Reilly family’s deep roots at Drury – Chub, Larry, David, Mary Beth and Rosalie are alumni, as are many of their children and other family members – and their history of philanthropy in the area.

“Their generous philanthropic gifts have made a huge impact on education, health care and children and families over the years,” she said. “They have touched many lives in our community.”

At the event, family members recounted the love Chub O’Reilly had for Drury, where he earned an associates degree in business relatively late in his life. He valued education, Rosalie O’Reilly said, and passed that value on to his children.

“We hope the spirit of Chub O’Reilly will live through the students who get educated here, and that what he did with his life will be an example for them,” she said.

Larry O’Reilly said his father also taught the family to give back to the community and to the causes that will improve people’s lives. He likened Drury to a beacon in the region, calling it “this rock solid school that is progressing” during a turbulent time.

“Drury is in our hearts every day,” Larry said. “So for us to give back – especially now – seems most important, not just for our family but for our community.” 

David O’Reilly said he was sure his father would be proud of this moment.

“This building is definitely going to be a continuation of what Drury represents, all of its best qualities,” he said. “We’re tickled to be a part of it and we know dad would be very proud to have his name on that new building.”

About the C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Enterprise Center

The three-story, 56,700-square-foot facility is the first major project of Drury’s campus master plan. The $27 million project is funded entirely through private donations. The space will:

  • Promote interdisciplinary learning by providing a new home for the Breech School of Business Administration and the Department of Political Science and International Affairs.
  • Reflect an emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation that keenly balances learning-by-studying with learning-by-doing: the ethos of the Your Drury Fusion curriculum.
  • House the Robert and Mary Cox Compass Center, which brings together academic advising, career planning and development, and academic life coaching in a one-stop-shop for students.
  • Feature an 10,500-square-foot Center for Executive Education attached by a colonnade to the main building. This conference center and flexible event space will be used extensively by the entire Drury campus and will be available for community use as well.
  • Include a cafe that will be open to the public.
  • Tie in with upcoming enhancements to the Central Street corridor as part of the City of Springfield’s voter-approved ¼-cent Capital Improvements Program.

“In the Breech School, we teach our students to look ahead to what’s next,” said Dr. Clif Petty, dean of the Breech School, at the ceremony. “We teach them that as business leaders, it will be their job to bring together the people, resources and ideas necessary to make a venture successful. This building is a great expression of that ethos.”

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