Long Time Drury President Reflects on Years on Campus

By Brett Martin | bmartin@kolr10.com

Published 05/08 2014 06:52AM

Updated 05/08 2014 08:13AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Dr. John Moore came here in 1983 as a young educator with a background in elementary and secondary education but when he retired in 2005, he left a lifelong legacy.

He graduated from Yale University in 1965 and has lived all across the United States but when the opportunity came up for the President’s Chair at Drury University, he took it.

For more than two decades, he called Drury University home.

"I've put a lot blood, sweat and tears into the institution. It was a great ride, I had a wonderful time, a lot of good people. I think over that period we built Drury up in a lot."

Today, the retired Moore spends time working with Springfield organizations.

"I'm still on I think three foundation boards, a church counsel, a bank board, I belong to the Rotary Club of Springfield, I keep bees which keep me out of trouble."

During 22 years as the College President, he expanded the liberal arts institute in many different ways.

"I stayed long enough that I couldn’t blame anything on my predecessors, it was all on me and we had a great run."

Dr. Moore played a huge role in constructing buildings on Drury's campus like the Trustee Science Center. He also expanded the campus by adding student housing on the west side of Benton and making College Park and Summit Park on the east side of campus.

After all the buildings he had built, he says the Olin Library was still his most prized possession.

Although concrete evidence stands tall, Dr. Moore says it was more than just buildings.

"We built a lot of buildings and we built a lot of programs up. We added some news programs and we started the School of Architecture."

Jay Garrott was the founding director of the Hammons School of Architecture and says Dr. Moore did the unthinkable by adding the program.

"We have become very well know regionally and nationally for the integration for liberal and professional education," says Garrott, who is the Director for the Center for Community Studies.

He says the campus would not be what it is today without Moore’s leadership.

"John was very instrumental in getting this university turned around."

Dr. Moore says it was a combination of many strong leaders.

"It takes a lot of people to make an institution strong and we were fortunate to have that great support."

he says while he misses sitting at the President's desk, the university is in good hands.

"I think when I left we had developed the place to a point it was ready to continue, I had hoped the momentum at that time, there was a strong sense of momentum of what we wanted the college to be."

He says he looks back with no regrets.

"There were high points and I don't really remember very many low points."

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