Longtime Drury Staffer Surprised with Building Naming Honor

Two benefactors of Drury University joined together to honor a long time employee of the school by naming a new building after her.

Judy Thompson, a fundraiser and alumni relations leader for over 45 years, was honored Thursday as the namesake of the new executive conference center within the C.H. “Chub” O’Reilly Enterprise Center and Breech School of Business Administration.

Judy Thompson (photo courtesy Drury)

“I’m at a loss for words,” Thompson said, clearly shocked by the announcement. “That doesn’t happen very often.”

“It is hard to overstate the role Judy has played in shaping Drury University – both its physical campus and our ability to carry out our mission of transforming students’ lives,” Drury President Tim Cloyd said. “Judy has been the driving force behind the scenes of every major building project of the last half-century and guided our endowment from about $5 million in the 1970s to nearly $100 million today. Thousands of graduates have benefited from countless scholarships and financial aid awards over the years thanks to her work. And generations of alumni have an affinity for Drury because of the relationships Judy has nurtured with them.”

The naming honor was at the behest of donors John and Crystal Beuerlein, two long time supporters of the school. John Beuerlein said Thompson was “the wind beneath the wings for change.” He called her someone who shares compelling visions of Drury’s future.

Thompson accepted the honor by recalling those who she’s worked with through the years.

“I’m the one who’s been blessed by working with all you; all of our donors whom I’ve loved,” Thompson said. “There’s a whole line of people, many of whom couldn’t be here today because they’ve gone on to be with the Lord, who have made this school what it is today.”

Drury officials provided the press with a list of projects that Thompson helped bring to the school, including the Olin Library, the Hammons School of Architecture building, Shewmaker Hall, Trustee Science Center, the O’Reilly Family Event Center, Freeman Hall, four new fraternity houses, the renovation of Bay Hall and the forthcoming Enterprise Center.

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