An open house is Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the university's Houston location.

A decision to locate a Drury University campus in Houston was praised by local leaders this week.

The university will become a tenant in a Spruce Street building that is owned by Houston Development Co., a local group that works toward the betterment of the community. Officials with the local group negotiated the lease, and most recently board member Don Romines and Mayor Don Tottingham traveled to the Springfield campus.

Some minor renovations are expected to the building before classes begin.

Drury University is set to sign the lease at 10:30 a.m. Thursday (today) at the new location, which will officially open June 1, and will offer evening classes soon thereafter. The campus will have its own dedicated staff of academic advisers and recruiters, and will hold regular business hours for interested students.

As a result of the opening in Houston, Drury will close its campus in Cabool at the end of the spring 2018 semester.

“We are grateful for the three decades of support from the Cabool community,” said Jana Neiss, dean of Drury’s College of Continuing Professional Studies. “Many outstanding successes can be attributed to this partnership. We look forward with great anticipation for the opportunities that await us in Houston.”


Degree programs previously offered in Cabool will now be available in Houston, including the university’s popular Health Dual Degree programs in nursing and health science. These programs are made possible through a collaboration with Cox College.

“Having Drury University move to Houston gives us an opportunity to have exposure to future nurses,” said Wes Murray, CEO of Texas County Memorial Hospital. “We need all the support we can to help keep them here locally.”

Other popular programs to be offered in Houston include bachelor’s and associate’s degrees in business administration, emergency management, psychology and organizational communication and development. These programs can be completed through a combination of evening and online classes or can be completed entirely online. 

Tottingham said there was a severe lack of and strong need for higher education opportunities in the city. He sees Drury’s new campus opening as an opportunity for all of the city’s residents to improve their job opportunities, and their lives.

“It means a lot for both the young and old residents of the city,” he said. 

Tona Bowen, Houston city administrator, says the new campus in town will be especially important for young adults and high school graduates interested in going to college but hesitant to leave home. 

“This directly impacts our youth. It gives them the opportunity to attend a university and stay at home,” she said. “In the long run it will provide better opportunities for our young people because they will be more educated.”

Looking toward the long-term economic impact of Drury’s Houston campus, Bowen says that a better educated workforce will bring new companies to the community offering new job opportunities.

“It will better our community as a whole,” she said. “College isn’t for everybody, but for those that are interested in attending college, this is important. It will have a great economic impact on Houston. When people are educated, it brings more and different jobs to the city.”

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Dr. Allen Moss, superintendent of the Houston R-1 School District, says there is a distinct need for higher education for not only the residents of Houston, but for the region. Moss has advised Houston Development Co. on the project.

“Just to have Drury’s presence here is big,” he said. “It means a lot for the education of our area since we are one of the 10 most under-educated communities and counties in the state.”

Bowen envisions a long and lasting partnership between Drury and the city of Houston, adding that the future for both look bright.

“We really look forward to our long-term relationship with Drury. We look forward to growing together,” she said.

HDC is exploring opportunities for the remainder of the building, including the possibility of workforce development and technical and vocation education opportunities.

For more information on Drury’s branch campuses and its evening and online programs through the College of Continuing Professional Studies, visit:

“Just to have Drury’s presence here is big. It means a lot for the education of our area since we are one of the 10 most under-educated communities and counties in the state.” 

—Dr. Allen Moss, Houston superintendent

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