Kiplinger’s Names Drury a Best Value

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has included Drury University on its list of the country’s best values in private universities. Kiplinger’s annual list ranks 100 private universities and 100 liberal arts colleges. Drury was ranked 70th among private universities. 

The 2014 lists represent the colleges that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable cost during continued tough economic times. The colleges exemplify the attributes parents and students look for in higher education, including small class sizes, a good freshman retention rate and a high four-year graduation rate.


Best Value for Veterans

U.S. News & World Report ranked Drury 3rd among Best Regional Colleges for Veterans in the Midwest. U.S. News & World Report established the rankings to help veterans pursue a college education under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Schools reported on their veteran benefits as part of the broader survey and data collection of undergraduate schools by U.S. News during spring 2013. Out of 234 ranked schools, Drury is the highest ranked university in Missouri.


US. News Best College 2014

Drury was recently ranked 8th among Midwest Regional Universities and recognized as Missouri’s number 1 Midwest Regional University in the publication U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges 2014.


Award-Winning Curriculum

A research-based curriculum that Dr. Brant Hinrichs, Drury professor of physics, field-tested last spring as part of the CORE curriculum, won a Science Magazine Inquiry Based Instruction (IBI) prize. The curriculum is called “Inquiry into Radiation (IiR).” The Science prize for IBI was established to encourage innovation and excellence in education by recognizing outstanding, inquiry-based science and design-based engineering education modules. 


Williams Joins Board of Trustees

Drury University’s Board of Trustees welcomed Clarence R. (Reggie) Williams to the board in October.

Williams is retired from his position as the president/CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation, where he helped facilitate tremendous asset growth, community outreach and programmatic initiatives for community improvement. Prior to the San Antonio Area Foundation, Williams served as senior vice president of information systems operations at USAA, and in the United States Air Force, where he achieved colonel ranking.

“Reggie Williams brings an enormous amount of experience and energy to the Drury University Board of Trustees,” says Drury President Dr. David Manuel. “The university stands to gain an important asset that will help it break new academic ground.”

“I can see that the future is very, very bright for Drury University,” Williams says. “The opportunity to be a part of that is something I’m very excited about.”


Drury Continues to Help Joplin Rebuild 

During fall 2013 and spring 2014, Drury students and faculty continued with community outreach projects that are helping to rebuild tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo. 

A team of students, led by professors Traci Sooter, Design/Build Program Director, and Nancy Chikaraishi, were in Joplin in November to orchestrate a “blitz build” of a pavilion, water features and benches at the Butterfly Garden and Overlook in Cunningham Park. The project was designed by third-year architecture students. The work is part of the “Landscapes of Resilience” project funded by a major TKF Foundation Grant and investigates how planning and stewardship of open spaces can help communities and individuals recover from tragedy.


In addition, Drury’s “Smart Mob!” traveled to Joplin help with the build. “Smart Mob!” is an on-campus student-run organization that combines the fun of a “flash mob” with the ideal of helping others by quickly pulling together students to aid with emergency rescue and community service. 

In April, The Weather Channel featured “Landscapes of Resilience” and the students who worked on the project for the channel’s annual Tornado Week.

This summer, Dr. Jennifer Silva Brown, assistant professor of psychology, and her student research team will return to Joplin to continue their investigation of psychosocial recovery among tornado survivors. Student researchers will include Erin Barry, Kayla Honeycutt, Ashley Marmouget, Rachel Ryan, Sara Schupbach, Carson Teague and Charles Woods. They will examine the impact of newly created green space on community recovery. 


Students at Drury partnered with other local universities to present more than 9,500 pairs of donated shoes to Springfield-based Sole Food in October at Hammons Field. The donation was the result of the “Stomp Out Hunger All Collegiate Shoe Drive,” which was incorporated into this year’s Theme Year.

Drury Helps Fight Hunger with Shoe Drive

Students at Drury partnered with other local universities to present more than 9,500 pairs of donated shoes to Springfield-based Sole Food in October at Hammons Field. The donation was the result of the “Stomp Out Hunger All Collegiate Shoe Drive,” which was incorporated into this year’s Theme Year.

Women In Business

The Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the 6th annual Women in Entrepreneurship Symposium in February. The event provides women the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of owning a business, network with other entrepreneurs and visit with a wide range of exhibitors. The theme of this year’s symposium was “reinvention.”

Keynote speakers were Emily Church, founder and owner of Everything Kitchens; and Sandy Edwards, deputy director of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. Other speakers and panelists included Sally Hargis, Vice-President of Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Co.; Christine Daues, owner of Granolove; and Meghan Chambers, founder and owner of STAXX.

The conference’s closing luncheon included two awards. Hurts Donut Co., co-owned by Kas Clegg, was chosen as the Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year. Jennifer Wilson, founder and principle architect at nForm Architecture, was chosen as Woman Entrepreneur of the Year.


Student Writes Post for U.S. News Website


Vikas Jagwani, a Drury student from the United Arab Emirates, has been tapped by U.S. News & World Report to serve as a guest blogger this year for the education section of the magazine’s website. Current international students write for the blog, which is designed to give new and prospective international students an idea of what to expect when they arrive here and offer tips for making the most of their experience. 

Read Vikas' Blog Posts


CCPS Dual Credit Program Growing

The College of Continuing Professional Studies now partners with more than 30 public and private high schools for their dual credit program. A new agreement allows Drury’s dual credit/dual enrollment Introduction to Personal Leadership class to fulfill some of the requirements for Drury’s day school Leadership Certificate, providing students from participating high schools a head start on completing the certificate.


Manuel Named to CoxHealth Board

Drury University president Dr. David Manuel has been appointed to serve on the CoxHealth Board of Directors. The CoxHealth Board of Directors is comprised of 30 business and community leaders who volunteer their time and talent providing direction and policy to ensure the quality, safety and financial stability of the health system.


Missouri Sports Hall of Fame Inductees with Drury Ties


Dr. Mark Adams visits Drury before his induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on Jan. 26.

Jack Steck, Drury’s head swimming coach from 1968-1983 and Dr. Mark Alan Adams ’75 were inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on January 26.   

Jack Steck set the stage for what is today one of the most respected swimming programs in the nation. His 1968 team was little more than a club team, but within 10 years the Panther swimming team was finishing regularly in the MAIA’s Top 10. The 1981 and 1982 teams claimed the school’s first national championships. 

Dr. Adams has provided physician services to the New England Patriots and Boston Bruins.  In 1990, he became the orthopedic consultant to the University of Missouri athletic program and in 1993, the team’s physician. He has also volunteered his time to serve five other colleges in central Missouri as well as the Columbia public school system.  Adams served as a team physician for the 1996 and the 2000 U.S. Olympic teams, specifically the U.S. women’s soccer team.  He also served as a team physician for the 1999 women’s soccer World Cup championship team. In 2000, Adams was named as the Arthritis Foundation Humanitarian of the Year.

 “I have a passion for what I do,” Dr. Adams says. “I’m very thankful for my Drury education, which put me on this path. It’s a real honor to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and I’m very humbled.”


Ceremony Honors WWII Pilot

Bill Garvin, Drury University’s archivist, recently conducted research on World War II airplanes sitting on an abandoned runway at the Rolla National Airport. One airplane, he found, had quite a history. The plane, a 1942 Douglas C-47, was flown on D-Day by Lt. Phillip Sarrett of Ada, Okla. In the early morning hours of June 6, 1944, Lt. Sarrett flew the plane, which he had named “Ada Red,” to drop paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division into Normandy, France. Less than a year later, Lt. Sarrett was killed in combat while flying in a different aircraft.

Garvin managed to find and contact Lt. Sarrett’s family. Mrs. Margaret Ray, Lt. Sarrett’s sister who is now in her 90s, traveled from her home in Oklahoma to Rolla to see “Ada Red” last year.

This “reunion” touched Ed Schmidt and Lee Maples, owners of Baron Aviation and co-owners of the airplane, so much that they decided to donate a piece of the aircraft to Lt. Sarrett’s family. They sent Garvin the pilot’s steering yoke and manufacturer’s data plate. Garvin then contacted a friend to have a cherry display case built for the mementos.

Mrs. Margaret Ray receives the display case containing mementos from “Ada Red”

Mrs. Margaret Ray receives the display case containing mementos from “Ada Red” / Photo credit: Gary Daniels, Daniels Design

The presentation ceremony took place in a World War II-era hangar in Frederick, Okla., which now serves as the headquarters of a living history group known as the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team, or ADT. Mrs. Margaret Ray was in attendance to receive the presentation case, along with Phillip Ray and Jim Boiles, Lt. Sarrett’s nephews; Marsha Funk and Elizabeth Williams, Lt. Sarrett’s nieces; and Scott Nelson, who is Lt. Sarrett’s great-nephew.

“I think this is a good example of what research can accomplish,” Garvin says, “how research sometimes allows us to discover a poignant human story behind a relic or artifact."


In the fall issue of Drury Magazine, we failed to mention that Dr. Trish Morris, sociology professor, won the Faculty Award for Scholarship at Drury’s Matriculation Convocation in August.