Drury University announces 19th president

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Springfield, Mo., March 13, 2024 – Drury University is pleased to announce that on June 1, 2024, Dr. Jeff Frederick will become its 19th president.

“As we reflect on our 150-year legacy, I cannot think of a better time to welcome Dr. Frederick as Drury’s next president,” said Rita Baron, Chair of Drury’s Board of Trustees. “The board and I are confident that with his deep commitment to student-centric values and a wealth of experience in higher education, Dr. Frederick is the right person to build on Drury’s success and lead us into the next 150 years.”

Dr. Frederick, currently serving as Provost and Executive Vice President at Wingate University in North Carolina since 2020, will bring more than two decades of experience in business and academia to his new role.

“What could be more exciting than joining a team like Drury that is so focused on student-success and personalized learning,” said Frederick. “Drury University graduates engage in such meaningful lives in large part because of the dedication and expertise of the faculty and staff that prepare them for an unlimited future. I can’t wait to get connected on campus and in the community.”

Dr. Frederick will succeed Interim President John Beuerlein ’75, who has admirably served in the role since March 2023. “It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve this remarkable institution that has given so much to me, my family and my career,” said Beuerlein. “Drury holds a special place in my heart, and I am confident that Dr. Frederick will continue to uphold our cherished values.”

“We are deeply thankful for John’s leadership and contributions to Drury University. His commitment to our institution has been exemplary,” said Baron. “Additionally, I want to thank the presidential search committee for their diligent efforts in selecting the best candidate to lead Drury into the future.”


The search process:

Drury’s Board of Trustees approved Frederick for the role following a search process that began in October 2023. The process was led by Drury’s 2023-2024 Presidential Search Advisory Committee:

Trustees: Rita Baron, Chair, Steve Edwards, Walt George, Bill Hart, Tom Stout

Emeritus Trustee: Lyle Reed

Former Trustees & Drury Partners: Larry O’Reilly, Jack Stack

Alumna & Emeritus Faculty: Dr. Penny Clayton

Faculty: Dr. Allin Sorenson, Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, Dr. John Kiernicki, Dr. Jennifer Silva Brown

Staff: Bonnie Wilcox

More about Dr. Jeff Frederick:

Frederick holds a Ph.D. in History from Auburn University, a master’s in History and a bachelor’s in Marketing from the University of Central Florida. He has 21 years of experience in higher education including 17 years as faculty member, chair and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and four years at Wingate University as Provost and Executive Vice President.

As Provost and Executive Vice President, he is the chief academic officer and is responsible for the operations, planning, strategy and execution of the academic mission. During his time in that role, he has improved retention, led and managed the COVID-19 academic and related response, played an active role in relationship building and fundraising, co-chaired the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council and developed several new academic programs.

Frederick also has experience in private sector business and administration, working for American Medical Electronics as an Account Executive, Medical Resources, Inc. as Chief Financial Officer, Kendall Healthcare Products International as an Account Executive and Motorola as an Account Executive.

Frederick has authored several peer reviewed books, essays and articles, served as principal investigator and key collaborator on a number of funded grants and presented research findings and lectures at conferences across the country.

He has sat on several professional and community service boards and organizations and currently hosts a podcast on a variety of topics at Wingate.

His wife, Melinda Frederick, MS, LCMHC, NCC is currently Director of Counseling at Wingate University. She has provided individual therapy and assessment for people of all ages in all types of settings, and served as a leader, clinician and supervisor for other behavioral health professionals, as well as a Director of Quality Management and CEO.

The Fredericks have three sons, Logan (wife Grace), Jack (wife Brittany), and Quinton.


Media Contact: Jasmine Cooper, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications, Office: (417) 873-7390, Email: