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Matt Miller, Drury's Executive Director of Athletic Administration, speaks at a press conference announcing the new Drury Athletic Fund. Image by Chase Snider / KTTS News
Athletes in Drury University's seventeen sports will now have a dedicated foundation for athletic funding. The Drury Athletic Fund was announced at the O'Reilly Family Event Center Friday afternoon.
Larry O'Reilly, who attended the college in 1969, started the fund off with a $1 million gift.
"One of the main things I think I can say for myself and my family is that we've always been taught that if you are or become a success, you try to give back to what got you there," O'Reilly, a former basketball player for the Panthers, said.
"Giving to Drury has always been a natural thing for us, and sports is so important and such a healthy part of a school and its educational environment. I can't think of a school that does that and brings it all together better than Drury."
Drury hopes the fund which already has almost $1.5 million in the bank will provide a solid future for the university's athletic system.
“The formation of the Drury Athletic Fund seeks to provide long-term, financial sustainability that will help ensure and protect the operational funding necessary to sustain such quality athletic teams," said Matt Miller, Drury's Executive Director of Athletic Administration.
Other initial donations came from Stanley Ball who gave $50,000 in the name of current Drury president Todd Parnell's parents, Ben and Jean Parnell.
Jeff Collins also established the Kathy Collins Scholarship for Leadership and Character, which will be given female Drury student-athlete in memory of his late wife.
DU softball senior Denise Taylor was named as the first recipient.
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