SPRINGFIELD, MO., Oct. 28, 2022 — On Oct. 28, Drury University hosted a grand opening ceremony for the C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Enterprise Center and Breech School of Business Administration and Judy Thompson Executive Conference Center. Construction on the 67,348-square-foot facility began in 2020 and is Drury’s first new educational building in 20 years.
“This is truly a historic day for our university and for Springfield,” said Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “When Drury opened its doors nearly 150 years ago, we were the first institution in Springfield, and the surrounding areas, to offer higher educational opportunities. Today our legacy as a trailblazer continues.”
During the grand opening ceremony, the Springfield-Area Chamber of Commerce assisted with a ribbon-cutting and Springfield Mayor Ken McClure presented a proclamation. “The enterprise center reflects an emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation that keenly balances learning by studying and learning by doing.”
The building includes 11 classrooms, 46 faculty offices and five academic departments.
Anchored by the Breech School of Business Administration, this landmark structure will also house political science and international affairs, computer science and mathematics, the Meador Center for Politics & Citizenship and the Robert and Mary Cox Compass Center, to form the C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Enterprise Center.
The intersection of these distinctions will intentionally bring students under one roof to not only learn in the classroom, but from each other in shared, collaborative spaces. Whether in the cybersecurity lab, on the trading floor or over a cup of coffee in the Einstein Brothers Bagels cafe, the silos will be removed.
This is the first capital project in Drury’s 25-year master plan and was made possible exclusively by private donations raised between 2016 and 2021 during Go Beyond: A Campaign for Drury University. That campaign brought in $73 million, the largest fundraising effort in the university’s history.
“This speaks volumes to the passion and willingness of our donors,” said Drury Board of Trustee Chair Rita Baron. “Their support will help shape the leaders of tomorrow, leaving a lasting legacy for decades to come.”
The lead gift was made by O’Reilly family members Rosalie O’Reilly Wooten ’64 H ’17, Larry O’Reilly ’68, David O’Reilly ’71 and Charlie and Mary Beth O’Reilly ’88 H ’09, and honors their late father, Chub H ’22.
The building’s name also honors longtime Drury staff member, Judy Thompson, who was surprised at a naming ceremony in 2020 by two of the university’s most steadfast benefactors, John ’75 H ’13 and Crystal Beuerlein ’75. The name also pays tribute to business trailblazer, Ernest R. Breech, who, to this day, is still regarded as a model corporate manager.
Drury worked on this project with New York City-based architectural firm Cooper Robertson & Partners LLP, known worldwide for its work on college campuses such as Yale, the University of North Carolina. Cooper Robertson partnered with Trivers Associates Inc. of St. Louis; a firm graced with several Drury alumni. Nabholz Construction served as general contractor.
Drury students will begin classes in the new facility in January 2023.
Media Contact: Jasmine Cooper, Director of University Communications and Media Relations – (417) 873-7390 or JCooper020@drury.edu.