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New endowed scholarship at Drury honors The Ozark Mountain Daredevils

Drury University

Two anonymous donors gave a total of $50,000 to set up the new scholarship.

Two anonymous donors have dedicated $50,000 toward an endowed scholarship in honor of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils at Drury University. The donors were inspired by the “Generations: The Ozark Mountain Daredevils & Friends” concert held over the weekend," according to the university.

The concert was a celebration of the deep music tradition in the Ozarks and showcased the Daredevils’ impact on other bands in the area. The concert served as the first public event to kick off the 150th anniversary of Drury.

Local musicians The Hillbenders, Molly Healy String Project, The Shandies, Justin Larkin, Lyal Strickland and others also performed Saturday night.

“The Ozark Mountain Daredevils hold a significant place in Drury’s history,” said Drury spokeswoman Jasmine Cooper in a news release. Several members of the Daredevils were former Drury students, and two earned their degrees from the university.

Reflecting on his time at Drury, John Dillon '70, a founding partner of the Daredevils, discussed the role the university played in his musical journey.

“Everything started for me at Drury," he said in a statement. "I wrote my very first song as a freshman in the old men’s dorm. And the education I received, with a focus on liberal arts and the humanities, directly led to my life in music which now spans more than half a century."