History::Drury University


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History Drury was founded as Springfield College in 1873 by Congregationalist church missionaries in the mold of other Congregationalist universities such as Dartmouth College and Yale University. Rev. Nathan Morrison, Samuel Drury, and James and Charles Harwood provided the school's initial endowment and organization; Samuel Drury's gift was the largest of the group and the school was soon renamed in honor of Drury's recently deceased son.

The early curriculum emphasized educational, religious, and musical strengths. Students came to the new college from a wide area, including the Indian Territories of Oklahoma. The first graduating class included four women.

When classes began in 1873, they were held in a single building on a campus occupying less than {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}}. Twenty-five years later the {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} campus included Stone Chapel, the President’s House and three academic buildings. Today, the university occupies a {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} campus, including the original historic buildings.

On April 28, 1960, Drury College was the setting for an episode of NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford. Tennessee Ernie Ford sang his trademark "Sixteen Tons" and the hymn "Take My Hand, Precious Lord".<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Drury College became Drury University on January 1, 2000.<ref name="Drury University: Drury History">Drury University: Drury History</ref>

The current president is David P. Manuel, formerly Chancellor of Louisiana State University at Alexandria. He began duties as president on June 1, 2013.

Religious affiliations

Drury, like Dartmouth and Yale, was founded by Congregationalist missionaries, and like these schools, it is no longer a religious institution. It remains affiliated with the Congregationalist church and its successor, the United Church of Christ. It has also been affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) since the founding of the Drury School of Religion in 1909.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

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