A new executive conference center at Drury University will be named for a longtime employee.
Two Drury benefactors, John and Crystal Beuerlein, surprised Judy Thompson with the news on Thursday.
Thompson graduated from Drury in 1961 and taught high school before taking the job of director of alumni relations at Drury in 1974. She was put in charge of development in 1976 and, in 1979, became the first woman to be Drury vice president. She retired in 2002 but returned as vice president in 2016.
At an unveiling of the name on Thursday, John Beuerlein called Thompson “the wind beneath the wings for change, a person with the skills to communicate a compelling vision of Drury’s future.”
The new 12,000-square-foot center is expected to open in 2022. It will be adjacent to the C.H. "Chub" O'Reilly Enterprise Center and Breech School of Business Administration, which broke ground last month, according to Drury.