Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

May 25, 2012

Hard Work U

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Several years ago, we had the privilege to dine at the Keeter Center at the College of the Ozarks.  It was impressive and the introduction to this college brought nothing but praise from me.  Recently, we had the privilege to visit again.  My respect for this institution has risen to great heights.

The College of the Ozarks is a private (Presbyterian) Christian liberal-arts college at Point Lookout, Missouri.  The emphasis is upon character education.  It was founded in 1906 for those found worthy, but who were without sufficient means to attend college.

The school has an enrollment of 1500 students who pay no tuition!  That is correct.  Students pay no tuition!  All cost are paid through student work programs and donations.  Students defray the expenses of their education by working 15 hours a week at a campus job.  They will also work two 40-hour work weeks during breaks.  Students are assigned to more than 80 work-stations, including the computer center, dairy, fire department, warehouse, hospital, farm, print shop, campus security, offices, and many other locations.

The Wall Street Journal described the College of the Ozarks as “Hard Work U.”  The name has stuck as the school motto.  The students, with a commitment to work, express a joy and happiness that fills the campus.  Character is seen in their work ethic and demeanor.  The school is not for teenagers looking for a good party school — the college has a truly Christian environment and alcohol and drugs are prohibited on and off campus.  Such a combination has earned the college a “stone-cold sober” reputation.

Many notables have visited the school and commended such an approach to higher education.  Such guests as:  George W. Bush, Lady Margaret Thatcher, General Colin Powell, and Sarah Palin.  Many national newspapers and magazines have featured this unique college.  It consistently ranks high in the list of educational institutions, both from academics and cost.  And do you remember that in the GOP Presidential debate that Newt Gringrich held up the College of the Ozarks as a model for other schools to follow?

I was amazed to learn that only 9% of the applicants each year are admitted.  Several students to whom I spoke were graduating and had been accepted to graduate schools across the country.  It is truly a college to be commended.  I believe many students today would desire to attend there — and I am certain many parents and grandparents would encourage consideration of this remarkable college.

As I have thought back on our two visits, I believe it is a school that is blessed of God.  After all, the purpose and aim of this school seemingly fleshes out the teachings of the Word of God.

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”  (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)

“When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.”  (Psalm 128:2)



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