Drury University announces second-largest donation in history as part of Fortify the Future campaign

Drury University > Newsroom > Newsroom Archives > Drury University announces second-largest donation in history as part of Fortify the Future campaign

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 27, 2023 — Drury University is pleased to announce a significant philanthropic contribution of $7.8 million from the Richard Grant Lydy Trust. This generous donation marks the second largest single gift in the institution’s 150-year history and bolsters the ongoing Fortify the Future campaign. The campaign’s ambitious goal is to raise $50 million by May 2027, with the current total reaching over $27 million.

Under the umbrella of the Fortify the Future campaign, Drury University has identified three key priorities: (1) supporting student success through scholarships and programs, (2) ensuring long-term strength and innovation through a robust endowment, and (3) enhancing the living and learning community by upgrading heritage buildings. These priorities aim to enrich the Drury student experience, and the recent contribution will serve as the cornerstone for substantial improvements to historic buildings on campus.

“We are very grateful to the Lydy family for remembering Drury in their estate plan in this way,” said Drury University President John Beuerlein. “We look forward to investing these funds to enhance the student residential experience on campus!”

Born on December 27, 1895, Richard Grant Lydy, Sr., earned his degree from Drury College in 1910 and was bestowed an honorary degree in 1966. In the 1920s, Richard G. Lydy and Ben Kissel, pioneers in the parking industry, acquired aging structures in downtown Chicago and successfully transformed them into parking facilities. Expanding on this business venture, Mr. Lydy established the renowned “R. G. Lydy Parking Co.” alongside other notable investments. Richard Grant Lydy, Sr., was married to Joan Littlefield Lydy and had two children, Richard Grant Lydy, Jr., and Joan Richardson Kulow.

“The landmark gift, thanks to the Richard Grant Lydy Trust, couldn’t come at a more important juncture for Drury University. As we kick off the 150th anniversary of Drury and focus on fortifying the future, this support will allow us to have an immediate impact on beloved heritage buildings, which are critical for student success and happiness,” said Executive Vice President of Advancement, Marie Muhvic.

Specific details regarding the heritage building projects to be funded by the Richard Grant Lydy Trust are currently being determined.

Find out more about the Fortify the Future campaign at


Media Contact: Jasmine Cooper, Director of University Communications and Media Relations – (417) 873-7390 or