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Scecina alumnus James Drury creates museum partnership to spark students’ interest in science and technology

James Drury '60 is a member of the Museum of Science and Industry's board of trustees. He created a partnership between Scecina and the museum that gives Scecina students unique two-day experiences at MSI. 

By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications 

Chicago native James Drury graduated from Scecina in 1960, received his MBA and went on to form a successful management consultant firm in his hometown. 

Oh, and he also happens to possess an aeronautical engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame. He says he is personally committed to inspire interest and excitement in the future of science and technology, and he continues to have plenty of curiosity about life. For 25 years he has been a member of the board of trustees for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago

“When I was young and growing up in Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry was my favorite because of all the interactive exhibits that spark a child’s curiosity,” he said. 

In recent years, he’s strengthened his ties to Scecina by creating a partnership between the school he loves and the museum he loves.

“When I realized that the museum wished to be more than just a place to visit, and desired to partner with Chicago schools with the goal of inspiring early interest in science and technology, I thought, ‘Why not reach out beyond Chicago?’ ” 

Each year now, thanks to Mr. Drury, one or two Scecina students get a tailored, two-day, behind-the-scenes visit to the museum. That museum-school partnership also includes giving Scecina science students the annual opportunity to watch a live open-heart surgery via satellite being performed at Chicago’s Advocate Life Medical Center. This experience is called Live from the Heart, one of the MSI’s educational initiatives. 

Drury said he was impressed with Scecina President Joe Therber’s mission to build a reputation for excellence in science and technology education in Indianapolis. For example, the school also features the four-year biomedical science program in partnership with Project Lead The Way. It’s one of the state of Indiana’s best Career Pathways to prepare students for college-level coursework in health science. 

“It was obvious to me that Scecina needed to be the first school outside Chicago that the museum partnered with – and so it began.” 

                                                                                           -- James Drury

He hopes the partnership with the museum will enhance Scecina’s success in its mission to inspire student interest in science and technology. “Hopefully, that success will enable Scecina to attract a growing student body that will be well prepared to pursue science and engineering degrees from major colleges and universities,” he said. “In the long term, it would be my hope that such an education at Scecina will set students on a path leading to the opportunity for satisfying and fulfilling lives.” 

This summer, Scecina senior Alexandra Marshall took the special MSI tour. She believes the experience will influence her future. “As I approach my senior year at Scecina, I will keep in mind the staff that I met at MSI,” she said. “This trip has helped shape my future.” 

James Drury Partners, the company Drury founded and leads, is a senior-level management consulting firm specializing in board advisory services and C-suite executive board placement. Its headquarters are in the John Hancock building in Chicago. 

“Scecina High School is near and dear to my heart. My family moved to Indianapolis, and I entered the school my junior year,” he said. “Those final two years at Scecina, in terms of academics, athletics, and leadership opportunities, prepared me for the life that I have been fortunate to experience.” 

Related stories:  
Senior spends two days exploring Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry 
Senior savors special tour of Museum of Science and Industry
Live from Chicago: Scecina science students go inside the heart 

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Ken Meier wrote:
Thanks Jim, for all you do for Scecina and its students. You give an excellent example of giving back to those who helped you. It's also great to see a fellow alumnus from 1960 share his success with others.

Tue, August 21, 2018 @ 4:55 PM

2. Michael Brandon wrote:
I worked at Scecina for almost a year and really enjoyed my time there and the people that I was able to meet and work with for that time. I have the utmost respect for Scecina Memorial High School and wished we lived closer to your school so our two boys could be Crusaders.

Tue, September 4, 2018 @ 5:33 PM

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I appreciated your all effort many thanks to Jim, for all you do for scecina and its students.

Mon, September 10, 2018 @ 8:14 AM

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