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Higher education available early.

Springfield's first experience with higher education came in 1842 with the opening of Stephen's Academy. Supported by subscriptions, it was located on Short Benton Avenue, just north of St. Louis Street. Students were prepared for regular classes in college or could pursue a course of study at the academy.

There were other colleges, most notably Carlton College which operated in the years preceding the Civil War at College Street near Main Avenue. But higher education as we know it today began with the first term of classes in the new Springfield College in 1873. Early called "The Yale of the Southwest," this liberal arts institution . . . now known as Drury College . . . has kept its initial reputation but grown with the needs of the times.

Although Fairbanks Hall, the first permanent building on the campus is now no more, Drury still uses many of its other old buildings, including Stone Chapel which has stood as a landmark since 1883 and which today is an official historic site. In the past few years, through the endowments of nationally known alumni and friends, the college has built new buildings to blend with the old and house the specialized facilities needed for a growing curriculum.

Maintaining a fairly stable enrollment of 1500 students, Drury is especially noted for its fine school of business and also for its longtime and extensive program of adult education which has enabled many people to enrich their lives or gain degrees.

Stephen's Academy was housed before the Civil War in this building on Short Benton Avenue (north of the present St. Louis Street).
Stone Chapel on the Drury College (now University) campus has been a center city landmark since it was built in 1883.
A live national telecast of the Tennessee Ernie Ford show originated from the Drury College campus in April, 1960, in connection with the dedication of the Breech School of Business.
For a number of years Drury College has offered, in addition to its regular undergraduate courses, a comprehensive adult evening program allowing local residents to take college credit work.
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