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A long-time Drury professor says “auf wiedersehen” after nearly four decades
Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Drury University congratulates Dr. Eltjen Flikkema on his retirement after 39 years of service at Drury. After earning his Ph.D. at Michigan State, Flikkema joined Drury’s faculty in 1972, expecting to stay for one year as a professor of German. He soon found that Drury suited him well. “You have to like people here,” he says, “You have to like students.”

He has held several positions, including: Director of Admission, Assistant Dean, and Chair of the Languages Department. He was the first Director of the Drury Honors Program, but it’s clear that teaching is the role of which he is most proud.

Flikkema’s German students, including many graduating seniors, gave him a surprise send-off today at the completion of his last class. Students remember Flikkema’s storytelling in the classroom and the life-lessons he imparted beyond his German instruction. “There were wonderful students 39 years ago,” he says, “but no more wonderful than these.”

When he was three years old, his parents immigrated to the U.S. along with his older brother. His parents spoke no English, and he credits this bilingual upbringing for his lifelong fascination with languages. A native of The Netherlands, Flikkema and his wife Jerri have two daughters. The 66-year-old gets up before dawn every morning to swim before heading to work at Drury. Upon retirement Flikkema plans to stay active and has plans to travel, including a summer trip to China with his wife to celebrate their upcoming 45th anniversary. He also hopes to volunteer with community organizations that address hunger in the Ozarks.

Betty Cole Dukert Will Receive Honorary Degree
Thursday, January 06, 2011

The faculty and trustees of Drury University have voted to award Mrs. Betty Cole Dukert with an honorary degree. She will receive her honorary degree during the Spring Commencement for the day school, Saturday, May 14, 2011. A pioneering female television producer, Betty Cole Dukert’s career included 41 years of producing the TV’s longest-running program, NBC’s “Meet the Press”.

Dukert attended Drury in 1946-1947, transferring in as a sophomore from Lindenwood College in St. Louis. During the year she spent at Drury, she was initiated as a member of the Pi Beta Phi Sorority. She later transferred to the University of Missouri-Columbia and earned her degree in Journalism in 1949. Dukert served on the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees for Drury University in Springfield, Missouri for 24 years and is now a Trustee Emeritus. As an Emeritus Trustee, she maintains active involvement with Drury and has graciously donated her time over the years to help organize and host alumni events in the Washington, D.C. area.

In 1956, she became an associate producer for the NBC-run show, Meet the Press. She became the program’s Producer in 1975, after the retirement of Lawrence E. Spivak, the long-time chief questioner/producer of the program. She retired in January 1998, as Executive Producer, after 41 years and some 2,000 interview programs of the famed news series. Finally being interviewed herself by Tim Russert in a special segment of”Meet the Press”. Through her many roles at Meet the Press, she brought political leaders and critical political discourse into American households on a weekly basis. The news program has long been recognized for its powerful and positive influence on America’s political processes.

In April of 1998, Dukert became the first recipient of the First Amendment Service Award of the National Radio and Television News Directors’ Foundation. This award was designed for individuals in a position to influence greatly their news product and, who “through the high caliber of their work, have standards of excellence that are the underpinnings of the First Amendment rights to freedom of the press”. In 1993, she received the Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, one of the oldest international awards in journalism, given for career-long excellence by the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Among other recipients of this medal are David Brinkley, Walter Cronkite, Winston Churchill, John Chancellor, Jim Lehrer and Judy Woodruff. She has received numerous other awards through the years.
Among her professional memberships are the National Press Club, American Women in Radio/TV, the American News Women’s Club, the Society of Professionals Journalists, the Radio and Television News Directors Association, the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, the International Women’s Media Foundation and the International Women’s Forum.

Upon retirement, for several years she led a discussion class on current events for seniors in the Washington, D.C. area. She served for several years as president of the Public Members Association of the Foreign Service U.S.A., an organization open to persons who have served as “public” representatives on Foreign Service promotion panels.

While based in Washington, she spanned much of the globe with “Meet the Press”, traveling with the program throughout the U.S., Canada, much of Europe, Chile, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, India, Vietnam, South Africa, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon.
Her favorite hobby, in fact, is travel. Dukert’s retirement present from her husband was a trip to Antarctica. They have now visited seven continents. She and her husband Joseph, an energy analyst and writer, live in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

Drury graduates and a professor collaborate to win a local design competition
Thursday, December 16, 2010

Competitors were tasked with designing a 1,500 square foot residence to be built at 1731 N. Clay Avenue.  Designers had to ensure that their submission could be built for $90,000 or less, was sustainable, adapted to the context of the Midtown Neighborhood and could be built by adolescent students from the Division of Youth Services with supervision.

“We are very excited and honored to have been selected by the jury, as there were some really impressive submissions,” said Whisenhunt. “We look forward to working with project CoRE over the next spring, summer, and fall to help them realize the potential impact of their endeavor.” 

The winning design incorporated a variety of unique elements including blue jean insulation (insulation made from denim), handicapped-accessible entries and hallways, as well as a safe room for severe weather. The house is complete with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a study. The concept for the Drury CoRE design was to embody a renewed sense of family and neighborhood, while serving as an educational marker for social and environmental issues.

Project CoRE was sponsored by Ozarks Technical Community College (OTC) Community Enrichment Center, State of Missouri, Division of Youth Services, City of Springfield, Mo., Urban Neighborhoods Alliance (UDA), Ozarks Green Building Coalition, University of Missouri-Extension and Drury University, Hammons School of Architecture, Center for Community Studies.

For more information contact: Blaine Whisenhunt, Asst. Professor, (417) 873-7484, e-mail: jwhisenhunt@drury.edu. Jason Mitchell, Architect, (417) 234-0856, e-mail: jmitchell@theworkshop308.com. Jay Garrott, AIA, Director of the Center for Community Studies, (417) 873-7371, e-mail: jgarrott@drury.edu

A Drury graduate’s movie is part of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival
Thursday, December 16, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Dec. 6, 2010 — Drury graduate Chris Beckman has been invited to attend the 2011 Sundance Film Festival where his video, oops, will be screened in the short film program. Beckman’s video was one of 81 short films chosen for the festival which will be held in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah January 20-30.

oops from Chris Beckman on Vimeo.
Beckman describes his video as, “A lucid, seamless voyage through the Internet’s infinite repository of ‘throwaway’ social documentation and into the humanity of everyday life – via YouTube’s clumsiest videographers.”
Beckman began the project by selecting 100-150 videos off of YouTube of people doing accidental things, such as, dropping the camera. Eventually, Beckman used portions of 40-45 YouTube videos. “It’s cool that people feel free enough to upload videos of them dropping the camera,” Beckman said. “It’s another thing that kind of attracted me to the videos. Salvaging almost useless things to make something that people want to watch.”
Beckman, who graduated from Drury in May 2010 with a degree in Fine Arts in the Department of Art and Art History, originally created the piece for a class called Video Art co-taught by Drury professors Blaine Whisenhunt and Greg Booker with assistance from Brian Shipman, a Drury video instructor.
On being selected for Sundance, Beckman said, “I was really surprised. Definitely pleased. When I first started this project I thought it was a class assignment that I could expand to play in a gallery. The fact that it got a life of its own and all kinds of people appreciate it kind of floored me. It’s exciting.”
Earlier this year, oops won a Vimeo Award, which honors videos that premiere online.
Beckman plans to attend the Sundance Film Festival next month. Eventually, he hopes to go to graduate school where he will study film or art.
Watch the video oops at Vimeo.
Read the full news release from the Sundance Film Festival.
Media Contact: Chris Beckman, Mobile: (417) 300-0486, E-mail: chriskbeckman@sbcglobal.net

Alumnus Paul Stillwell '66 to speak at Founder's Day Convocation
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Paul Stillwell, class of 1966, grew up on and near the Drury campus. During that time, he and his brother Mark absorbed values and inspiration from their father Carl, who was part of the college's administration for 25 years. In particular their dad, who was also a minister, preached and practiced the tenets of racial tolerance and understanding. For more info click here.


USA Today recognizes Drury's innovative bike program
Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Drury University junior Garret Shelenhamer ditched his car and gets to his classes and volunteer commitments using a shiny, new bike provided by the school.
Shelenhamer, 20, is one of a number of students across the USA taking advantage of free or low-cost bike sharing programs, which have become increasingly popular. To read entire article click here.

President Todd Parnell is quoted in USA Today
Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Drury President Todd Parnell was quoted in the article "Iraqi students come to U.S. colleges to help rebuild country" by Didi Tang.  Read the article and see Todd Parnell's comment by clicking here.

Drury Alumna writes a story for Fortune
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Award winning journalist Carol J. Loomis recently wrote an article for Fortune titled "The $600 billion challenge".  For the article she interviewed both Bill Gates and Warren Buffett about their plan to ask businesses to give to charity.  Loomis attended Drury from 1947 to 1949.  Read her Fortune article by clicking here.
Drury architects help open an "Ozzie's" in St. Louis
Thursday, June 10, 2010

Drury graduates John Odom '06 and Brad Waldrop '98 were both a pivotal part in opening the new Ozzie's in downtown St. Louis.  Here is a picture of the two with Ozzie Smith himself! 

Vote for a Drury Alum to be Oprah's Next TV Star
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Drury alumna, Mallory (McGowin) Jerett '07 is trying out to be Oprah's next TV star!  Mallory graduated from Drury with a degree in Integrated Media, and was also a student staff member at the Career Center. At graduation, she landed a position as a reporter for the CBS affiliate in Jefferson City. Now she is competing with over 2,000 other people to have her very own show. Only the top 5 get to audition in Los Angeles for Oprah. The winner is then selected from those 5 people. Voting ends July 3 and she will need more than 100,000 votes to be in the running (maybe more). Mallory would love to have the support of the Drury community in this competition! Watch Mallory's audition video and vote to make her dream of being Oprah's next big TV star come true by clicking here
A sneak peak of the new Panhellenic kitchen in Freeman Hall
Monday, May 03, 2010

Thanks to generous donations from Drury's sorority alumnae, the brand-new kitchen is ready to be unveiled in the Freeman Hall Panhellenic building. Please stop by on Friday, May 14 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. for an open house to celebrate the renovation.


Watch the Swim Team National Championship Celebration Parade
Friday, April 23, 2010

The Drury Swim Team won the NCAA National Championship for the sixth year in a row and the whole Drury campus came out to celebrate. Check out the video:

For more Drury videos, check out our video page.

Alumnus Ken Starnes '96 wins on Jeopardy
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Drury alumnus Ken Starnes '96 will be on Jeopardy tonight after a winning on the show last night. An economics major at Drury, Ken currently lives in Little Rock, Ark.

Congratulations Ken!

Springfield's own (and Drury supporter) Julie Blackmon on the cover of TIME!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Springfield photographer Julie Blackmon is currently featured on the cover of TIME Magazine. Julie has become internationally known for her prints featuring children and families. She recently donated a large print to Drury that now resides in the School of Education. Julie will be the featured artist at Drury's Pool Art Center in November, 2010.


Drury Alum Featured in Dwell Magazine
Monday, April 12, 2010

Check out Drury alumnus, Chris Kennedy ('99), whose interior design skills were featured in Dwell Magazine!



Alumni Profile: Murrs Across America
Tuesday, March 30, 2010

 What do you get when you combine two Drury alums, two bikes, and two toddlers? You get one adventure of epic proportions. Stuart and Kate (Brady) Murr, along with their two children, Jane and Brady, plan to pedal their way across America starting in April of 2010.

The Mission:
Inspiring families to get outside, welcome adventure, and playcreating lasting memoriestraveling in way that is local and personalpromoting sustainability and wellness emphasizing the treasures we all have, even in the time of an economic downturn: energy, time, family, and hope

The Why:
Stuart’s mother is the inspiration for Murrs Across America. The family experienced a pivotal moment when, in Stuart’s sophomore year at Drury, his dad died at age 54 after a 17 year struggle with cancer. After that, Stuart's mother, Elaine, whose mobility is now limited due to MS, told him that she regretted not traveling more with the family when they had the chance. Years later, Stuart is taking his mom’s message to heart and pursuing his dream of biking across the country with his family. Those who know Kate know she’s always up for an adventure, and this trip means a lot to the Murrs: they want their kids to learn first-hand how to work and play creatively, to make healthy and conscious choices, and to interact with people from diverse cultures. They also aim to nationally promote solutions for the relevant issues surrounding family engagement, health, and the environment.

The Message: The things you do outside with your family now will make our country healthier and more environmentally conscious in the future. Engage!

The Map:
The Murrs plan to travel from sea to shining sea (from St. Augustine, Florida to Seaside, Oregon) in four months! These 4403.2 miles will be completed in four to six hour increments, six days a week. This leaves plenty of time for them to camp, meet the locals, attend festivals, play in parks, and blog to the world about their awesome journey.

The Bikers:
Stuart (’97) grew up in Cabool, MO. His family owned the second generation Murr Drug and Dime store in his hometown. He graduated from Cabool High School. A graduate of the Hammons School of Architecture, he owns the architecture firm, Smart Designs, based on Commercial Street right here in Springfield, Missouri. He works to design and build custom homes while emphasizing sustainability. He is on the board of the local watershed committee and Habitat for Humanity. He also stays involved with various “green” programs at the community and state levels. His hobbies include wood working, furniture design, mountain biking, and adventure races.

Kate (’01) is the product of Anderson, MO, where her family currently owns the third generation Brady’s Jewelry store. Back when she was “Katy Brady,” she graduated from McDonald County High School. She has a background in sales, marketing, writing, and editing. She is a founding partner of UPsidEo, an avant-garde firm that offers coaching and communications consulting to develop Agents of Change. She is a board member of The Living Green Network, which helps people connect with environmental causes through an innovative web platform. She also acts as an advisor for Global Civic Engagement at Drury University. She runs, practices yoga, cooks, and reads.

Jane, at age four, is super excited to be traveling across America. She is very eager to see the ocean. She describes herself as an “art artist,” loves to dance, and has eight imaginary sisters. She plans on reading to her brother while riding on the road and will most likely bring her purse with her own gum on the trip, along with her soft blanket and Giada, her baby. She hopes they can camp out every night, but she points out that it might be the middle of the day in China sometimes when they're trying to fall asleep in their tents, so it might be harder than falling asleep at home.

Brady is two years old. He loves to sing loudly and thinks he’s a superhero. He is excited about the trip, and he wants to wear his flip-flops and lightning bug helmet on the way. He wants to “take pictures at Mommy,” play in lots of parks, and eat his birthday cake. He will bring Baby, his ratty elephant comfort blanket and maybe a few pairs of big boy pants!

The Merchants
Given their small town upbringings, the Murrs recognize the importance of supporting local merchants. This is why, for the bike trip, they are partnering with the Springfield Chamber of Commerce to identify merchants along their route, which winds through many rural communities. Their aim is to bring recognition to these businesses and to meet some incredible people, like their parents, who have contributed greatly to their communities.

The Events
Their ride will be introduced at the Robert F. Kennedy Public Affairs talk at MSU on April 16th. Since they're partnering with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board, a community event in Jordan Valley Park is planned for April 17th (more details to follow on their Facebook and Twitter pages). Springfield families are invited to join the Murrs on the Katy Trail in late May.

The WebPages
You can follow the Murrs on their journey through the following WebPages:
Facebook Fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=709833130#!/pages/Springfield-MO/Murrs-Across-America/284089620749?ref=ts.
Twitter: http://twitter.com/MurrsOnBikes;
Website :

By: Megan Waterman

Dake Wells Architecture Receives Awards
Monday, March 29, 2010

 Drury alumni Andrew Wells ’91 and Brandon Dake, the owners of Dake Wells Architecture, have been announced as the recipients of many awards in 2009 for their multi-purpose space within Exeter School. This newly designed space took the school’s need for a gymnasium, cafeteria, and theatre and combined them all to form a space that can be utilized to its fullest extent.
These awards include recognition from ARCHITECT Magazine's Annual Design Review and a Merit Award from Interior Design Magazine. For 2010, they are scheduled to be recognized as a winner in the 2010 Interiors Awards Competition sponsored by CONTRACT Magazine. If you would like more information about Dake Wells, the Exeter School project, or the awards received, please check out these websites:


By: Megan Waterman

Alumni Profile: Lisa Lilley '85/'94
Monday, March 29, 2010


Lisa Felin Lilley (B.A. '85, M. Ed '94) was named the 2010 National Language Teacher of the Year by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages at its annual convention in San Diego, California. Lilley is a Spanish teacher in the International Baccalaureate Programme at Central High School in Springfield, Missouri and is in her eighteenth year of teaching. On the same day that she was named the ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year, she also learned that she had achieved National Board Certification in World Languages Other Than English. Lilley is the president-elect of the Foreign Language Association of Missouri and has fulfilled various duties in other professional organizations.

A frequent presenter at state and regional conferences, her sessions have been featured as the “Best of Missouri” and “Central States Conference All-Star”. Lilley also serves her school district as the Curriculum Development Committee Chair for Foreign Languages and is charged with providing professional development opportunities to world languages teachers. In the summer of 2009, she organized an educator's trip to Costa Rica that attracted participants from throughout the state of Missouri.

Lilley was previously honored as Missouri’s Distinguished Foreign Language Educator and as the Central States Conference Teacher of the Year. She was also honored this past April as one of five finalists in the Springfield Teacher of the Year competition.

Lilley is a Springfield native and graduated from Central High School where she now teaches. In high school, her greatest challenge was learning to play the bagpipes in the Kilties Drum & Bugle Corps. While a Central student, Lisa was most influenced by her own Spanish teacher, Faye Jenne Pyatt, who opened the world to her students through her emphasis on culture and language. Lilley traveled with her teacher to Spain and Mexico. After her first trip, she knew that she wanted to master the Spanish language which led her to Drury and Dr. Phil Krumrich's classes where her language skills blossomed. He helped her to arrange a summer study program in Madrid, Spain in conjunction with Purdue University. At Drury, Lilley was also involved in Zeta Tau Alpha, serving as president and then as a national officer after graduation.

As an undergraduate, Lilley majored in Spanish and Political Science but never considered a career in teaching. But Spanish was always an interest and several years after graduation, she decided to return to Drury to take additional Spanish classes and begin work on a Master's Degree in Secondary Education. "I hadn't really given teaching much thought, but after only a few graduate classes, I was hired to begin at Reed Middle School in spite of never having gone through student teaching. They say that ignorance is bliss and if I really knew how challenging the first year of teaching is, I might have walked away from the opportunity and what has become my career." But Lilley decided to take on her new teaching assignment as she continued her graduate studies. She eventually received her certification and master's degree from Drury and moved on to Glendale High School where she taught for fifteen years. She credits her foreign language colleagues at Glendale for their support and sharing of materials that allowed her to develop her craft. In her new role at Central, she tries to assist new teachers, giving the kind of support that she received as a newcomer to the education profession. She also tries to emulate the example set by her own teachers of intertwining language and culture to open the doors of the world to her students.

She has been married for 22 years to her husband Jack who is an orthodontist. The Lilley's love to travel especially to Costa Rica where they have close friends with whom they stay and have reciprocated by hosting them in Springfield on several occasions.

As the ACTFL National Language Teacher of the Year, Lilley will travel to several regional conferences scheduled in New York City, Minneapolis, Alburquerque, and Winston-Salem as well as make contact with lawmakers during a visit to Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. The award is designed to draw attention to the importance of language learning and teaching. Throughout the coming year, Lilley will share the message that a 21st century education must include proficiency in at least one other language.

Alumni Profile: Jared Hoffpauir '10
Monday, March 29, 2010

Just Starting Out 

Jared Hoffpauir graduated at age 17 from Branson High School in 1999. Though he had a great desire to attend Drury in order to pursue architecture, he opted to take what he called the “easier road,” and attend Missouri State University (formerly SMS) in the fall of ’99.

Let It Rock

Always drawn toward music, Jared declared himself a music performance major and completed two semesters of school before dropping out to become a famous rockstar, he jokes. After he left school, he joined a band that played all over the Midwest. During these years, he met his wife, Joanna. Though they were both professional musicians and their bands’ music was greatly received throughout the Midwest, they both agreed that a rock musician’s lifestyle is difficult to sustain a family, so they settled down.

Back to the Drawing Board

Leaving his rockstar days behind him, Jared and Joanna bought a house in Branson. He found a job that he was happy to work and stayed there for three years. But after three years of working for someone else, Jared decided to pursue a dream he always had – the dream of owning his own business. He and his wife began their entrepreneurial endeavor in 2004, but it lasted only one year. Though this first business was short-lived, Jared felt that he and Joanna gained life experience from this venture of opening a business from scratch and from their own pocket books.

After that first entrepreneurial attempt, Jared felt as if something was left unfinished. It was then he decided to complete his associate’s degree. To accomplish this, he, Joanna, and their two children moved in with her parents, so that he could attend Crowder College and finish his degree and then continue with a transfer to Drury. He then enrolled in Drury’s summer architecture courses in 2005. After ten weeks of class, he finished his first year of the program.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Jared then realized that between the demanding schedule of an architecture student and family life, he would have difficulty finding a job that could adequately provide for his growing family. He felt that having a job unrelated to his degree would be counterproductive to his goals in life. Sparked by a childhood friend who works as a successful wedding photographer, Jared recognized that his high level of interest in photography. He and Joanna had been photographing their children for years – something they enjoyed doing together. This hobby paired with the flexible hours of a photographer led them to the purchase of their first professional grade camera in 2007. In the past two years, they are grateful to have photographed over 30 weddings, 50 families, 25 or more seniors, and multiple other commercial and portrait projects. This Christmas will mark the start of their third complete year as professional photographers. Jared states that, “It’s been so wonderful to get the great response we have received from all of our clients and we get to work with some of the coolest people we’ve ever met.”


Currently, Jared works part-time for the architecture firm, Mike Hughes Architects. He is scheduled to complete his architecture degree in the spring of 2010, but he is sure that photography will stay a part of his and Joanna’s lives. Their website is www.jdesignstudios.com where you can find an extensive portfolio of samples from their past and most recent work.

By: Megan Waterman

Extreme Makeover: Alumni web site edition!
Monday, March 22, 2010

We are currently undertaking the big task of creating a new and better web site for our alumni. Being connected is so critical in today's world and we want to make sure we are doing our best to stay in touch.

The new web site has a re-vamped online directory for finding old classmates, as well as a professional directory so you can search by industry. You will still be able to register for events online and make your annual donation - that hasn't changed.

We're hoping our new processes are more streamlined and user-friendly. Please send us your feedback! Email alumni@drury.edu if you like what you see, or if you have suggestions for how to make it better.

Lastly, this blog will be our central place of disseminating important information (in addition to our Twitter and Facebook pages), so subscribe to the RSS feed to stay informed.

Drury University · 900 North Benton Avenue · Springfield, Missouri, USA · 1.800.922.2274 · alumni.drury.edu