Drury’s New President & First Lady

Dr. David Manuel

Thibodaux, La.HIGH SCHOOL
Immaculata Seminary, Lafayette, La.

B. A. Nicholls State University
M. A. and Ph.D. University of Mississippi
Graduate, Harvard University’s Management and Leadership in Higher Education Program

President, Southern Business Administration Association
Co-Chair, Leadership San Antonio
Trustee, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, Texas Public Radio
Chair, AACSB national Candidacy Committee
Supervisory (Audit) Committee, San Antonio Federal Credit Union
Board of Directors and Vice Chair, CHRISTUS Health Central Louisiana

Chief Academic Officer Internationalization Forum, American Council of Education
American Council of Education Commission on Effective Leadership
Accreditation teams: SACS Commission on Colleges, AACSB U.S. and South America
Board of Trustees, SACS Commission on Colleges
Member, President’s Council of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

Betty Coe and I are delighted with the warm welcome that the Drury University community has offered in the first few months following the Board of Trustees’ announcement on October 31, 2012. We have met students, faculty, staff, alumni, members of the board, and community leaders as we begin the transition process. At the top of our “thank you list” are President Todd Parnell and his wife, Betty. They have been wonderful assets in this process, introducing us to the Drury family, sharing Springfield contacts and selflessly answering our many questions. We are confident that we are on the path toward an excellent transition into Drury and the region, and, after we arrive in May, we anticipate that “drinking from the fire hose” will probably accelerate even faster.

Many of you have asked about my reading habits and they will probably not surprise you. I usually begin the day with scans of The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and of course, now, the Springfield News-Leader. For more irregular, but anticipated reading, I have been a longtime fan of Change magazine and The Futurist; both are generally very insightful and The Futurist tends to be a little more “outside of the box” thinking for me. My longer reading spans the gamut of professional higher education and works in economics, history, current events and trends, biography and some fiction; for instance, in the fiction category, I’ve read everything written by James Lee Burke.

Over the years my hobbies have matured, but generally revolve around furniture refinishing and repair, small woodworking projects and gardening. The latter has almost always centered on herb gardening and some cultivation of bonsai trees. (One of my favorite places to visit in Washington is the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum at the National Arboretum.) I was fortunate to be introduced to fly fishing about 40 years ago and it has become part of my life’s more relaxing moments. In addition, tying flies is another part of this sport that has captivated me and just doesn’t seem to want to let go! The real joy for me has been that both sons have taken up the sport and have fished with me since they were both about 10 years old.

As you will learn, Betty Coe is a wonderful cook and since both of my parents and my grandparents were great cooks, you won’t be surprised to learn that cooking has become an important part of our family’s culture. Our sons, Edward and Robert, and our daughter-in-law, Haddy, all enjoy the kitchen; so we are comfortable offering our regular favorites to our friends and also experimenting with new recipes. The fresh herbs are always a treat for great dishes!

The Drury community has been extraordinary as it opens its doors and welcomes Betty Coe and me. In the last few weeks, we have talked often of how we are looking forward to our years at Drury and to becoming part of the fabric of the university. We feel particularly fortunate to be part of the long academic tradition and the rich history of Drury University in the Springfield community.  The added treat for us will be participating as fully as possible in the active campus life and the service outreach that is so important in the Drury mission.

Betty Coe Manuel

Memphis, Tenn.HIGH SCHOOL
St. Mary’s Episcopal School

B.S., Home Economics Education, University of Mississippi
M.Ed., University of Southwestern Louisiana

Parent-Teacher Association
Junior League of Lafayette, La. & San Antonio, Texas
Altar Guild, St. James Episcopal Church, Alexandria, La.
Board Member: Tom Peyton Arts Festival
Red River Chorale
Alexandria Garden Club
President of the Board of Directors, Kent Plantation House, Alexandria, La.
Zeta Tau Alpha
Alumnae Chapter of ZTA, Lafayette (La.), San Antonio (Texas), Alexandria (La.)
National Officer since 1992: District President, Mentor, Alternate Delegate for National Panhellenic Team
National Extension Team
National Council: Vice President for Alumnae, Area II
Currently serves as Chairman of the National Membership Review Committee

I am thrilled to be joining the Drury community and appreciate the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Betty Coe (Cruzen) Manuel. Cruzen is my maiden name, and I am called “Betty Coe.” My mother’s maiden name is Coe and as she has always said, “If men can name their sons after themselves, why not women?”

Community service has always been at the core of who I am, being actively involved in various community organizations including PTA, Junior League and my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. In fact, most of my volunteer experience has been with my sorority. I look forward to getting involved in the Springfield ZTA alumnae chapter and the entire Panhellenic community at Drury.

Throughout the years, my interests have led me to involvement in numerous book clubs, garden clubs, and other civic organizations, such as the Symphony League, Arts Council, Arts Festival and the Chorale Board of Directors. I have also been a member of the Altar Guild at my Episcopal church. Recently, I served a two-year term as President of the Board of Directors of Kent Plantation House in Alexandria, La., a historic plantation home built in 1796, one of the oldest standing structures in Louisiana.

These volunteer experiences have enhanced skills that I hope will be helpful in my new role at Drury: alumnae recruitment, extension, organizational abilities, team building, and volunteer recruitment. I look forward to partnering with David in fundraising and alumni development.

My hobbies and interests center on cooking, gardening, reading, and entertaining. In 2010, David and I completed the Master Gardener Program offered through the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service. I have enjoyed working with the LSUA Campus Beautification Committee and with the Kent Plantation House gardeners. I love to bicycle and walk our Cocker Spaniel, Bailey, each day. She is sure to be a lovable fixture on campus, and she looks forward to her new role as “First Dog,” following in the paw prints of Marley Parnell. In fact, she already has a Drury-appropriate red, black and grey jacket for cold mornings! When you see us around campus, please stop and say, “hello.” She’s a friendly girl who has never met a stranger.

David and I are excited about living on campus, in the midst of all that goes on there and will work hard to make the president’s house a point of pride for Drury and Springfield. We are eager to get involved on campus and in the community, representing Drury in a way that will hopefully make you proud.

Thank you for the warm welcome we have received. This is a vibrant community, and we look forward to being a part of it and helping to make a difference.





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