College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks
College of the Ozarks
Motto Hard Work U
Established 1906
Type Liberal Arts College
Endowment $254.9 million[1]
President Dr. Jerry C. Davis
Academic staff 89
Admin. staff 150
Students 1,600
Location Point Lookout, MO, US
36°37′05″N 93°14′26″W / 36.6181°N 93.2405°W / 36.6181; -93.2405Coordinates: 36°37′05″N 93°14′26″W / 36.6181°N 93.2405°W / 36.6181; -93.2405
Campus rural - 1,000 acres (400 ha)
Nickname The Bobcats (men)
Lady Cats (women)
Affiliations NAIA
Website [2]

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian liberal-arts college, with its campus at Point Lookout near Branson and Hollister, Missouri, United States. It is 40 miles (64 km) south of Springfield on a 1,000-acre (400 ha) campus, overlooking Lake Taneycomo. The college has an enrollment of 1,500, a student-to-faculty ratio of approximately 16:1, over 30 academic majors, and degrees in Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science.

The College charges no tuition for full-time students, due to its student work program and donations. The program requires students to work 15 hours a week at an on-campus work station and two 40-hour work weeks during breaks. A summer work program is available to cover room and board costs.[2] The college refers to itself as "Hard Work U.",[3] and places emphasis in character education. Its mission since its establishment in 1906 is "to provide the advantages of a Christian education for youth of both sexes, especially those found worthy, but who are without sufficient means to procure such training."




The school was first proposed in 1901 as a high school by James Forsythe, pastor of the Forsyth, Missouri Presbyterian Church. Forsythe was from the St. Louis, Missouri area.

Forsythe was said to have been inspired to make the proposal after encountering a boy on a squirrel hunt who told him that his parents couldn't afford to send him to the closest high school 40 miles (64 km) away in Springfield, Missouri.[4]

The School of the Ozarks opened on September 12, 1907, in a 75-by-50-foot (22.86-by-15.24-meter) building atop Mount Huggins (named for brothers Louis and William Huggins from St. Joseph, Missouri who were among the founders of Nabisco[5] and had donated money for the school). In its first term it had enrollment of 180 with 36 boarders.[6]

From the start, the school adopted its practice of having its students work instead of paying tuition.

On January 12, 1915, the original building burned. School was temporarily held in Forsyth with five students graduating in 1915.[4]

Point Lookout

The school then relocated farther up the White River at Point Lookout, Missouri on a 16-acre (6.47 ha) campus. The central building of the campus was the Maine Hunting and Fishing Club building which had been transported to the site by sportsmen from the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair where it been the State of Maine exhibit. It was renamed the Dobyns Building in honor of W. R. Dobyns, president of the trustees at the time. The building burned on February 1, 1930.[7][8]

In the 1920s what would become the Ralph Foster Museum depicting Ozark heritage had its start in the basement of the boys' dormitory: Abernathy Hall.

In 1934 the Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen opened to offer work for students. It is now one of 90 work stations. More than 100 fruitcakes are now baked daily.[9]

1950s expansion

In the 1950s under Robert M. Good and M. Graham Clark the school dramatically changed.

The campus expanded to 1,400 acres (567 ha), the school's Gothic chapel was built on the location of the original Dobyns Building and a hospital was added.

In 1956, with high schools becoming increasingly available in the area, the school became a junior college.

The Museum of the Ozarks took over the entire Abernathy Building and was renamed the Good Museum for president Good. It was later renamed for country music pioneer Ralph D. Foster, who donated money and exhibits for it. The museum expanded in 1969, 1977 and 1991.[10] Among the exhibits is an original George Barris 1921 modified Oldsmobile Beverly Hillbillies truck donated by series creator Paul Henning who was inspired to do the show after a Boy Scout camping trip in the Ozarks. The museum also contains a large firearm display including a rifle belonging to Pancho Villa.[11]

Aerial photo of College of the Ozarks with Lake Taneycomo, Branson, and Table Rock Lake beyond

1960s to present

In 1965 it became a four-year college.[12]

In 1973 the Wall Street Journal described College of the Ozarks as "Hard Work U." The name has stuck as school motto and the school has trademarked it.[13]

In 1990 it was renamed the College of the Ozarks.[12]

In 1994 the AAUP American Association of University Professors censured and condemned "The governing board and administration of College of the Ozarks" for actions which "violate the principles of academic freedom and tenure". The investigation described the atmosphere of the campus as "a strange blend of Orwell and Jonestown".[14]

In the 2003-2004 semesters a professor at C of O highlighted that one of the college's dean's, Larry Cockrum, had received his P.H.D. from Crescent City Christian College (a fraudulent college run out of a coach's basement).[15] The Professor which brought this information to light was then suspended for the 2004 semester, and his contract was not to be renewed for the fall semester. C of O's president Jerry C. Davis defended the dean with the fraudulent degree, while terminating the muckraker. The Dean, Larry Cockrum, later resigned.[16]

In an Associated Press story, featured on the online edition of the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch on Wednesday, February 2, 2011 (with some details from the Springfield News Leader) it was announced that former President George W. Bush would be the scheduled speaker at an event on Thursday, April 7, 2011. He will speak on the topic "Leadership and Character." Past speakers at the event have included former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell, and former 2008 Republican Party Vice Presidential nominee and Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin.


The College of the Ozarks Bobcats and Lady Cats compete on the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) level in the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference. Men compete in baseball and basketball. Women compete in basketball and volleyball. The 2005-2006 men's basketball team won the NAIA Division II national championship, while the Lady Cats were the runner up. The men's team was second in the basketball tournament in 2000 and 2009.[17] Since 2000 Keeter Gymnasium has been host to the NAIA Division II Basketball Championship games.


  • Williams Memorial Chapel
  • The Keeter Center
  • The Ralph Foster Museum
  • Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen
  • Edwards Mill
  • McKibben Hall
  • Lake Honor
  • Green House
  • The Dairy and Tractor Museum
  • Lyons Memorial Library
  • Memorial Dorm
  • Ashcroft Dorm
  • McDonald Dorm
  • Foster Dorm
  • Mabee Dorm
  • Youngman Dorm
  • Kelce Dorm

Special recognition

  • U.S. News & World Report, "Best College" yearly since 1989; ranked 29 among Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelor's (Midwest) for 2007[18]
  • Templeton Honor Roll, "Character Building College"
  • Money Magazine's, "Best Buy College Guide"
  • Barron's, "300 Best Buys in Higher Education"
  • Princeton Review, "The Best 331 Colleges" [19]

Notable alumni


  • 1906 - A. Y. Beatie
  • 1907 - George Gordon Robertson
  • 1907 - W. I. Utterback
  • 1910 - F. O. Hellier
  • 1911 - George K. Knepper
  • 1913 - William L. Porter
  • 1915 - John E. Crockett
  • 1916 - George L. Washburn
  • 1920 - Thomas M. Barbee
  • 1921 - R. M. Good
  • 1952 - M. Graham Clark
  • 1975 - Howell W. Keeter, Chancellor
  • 1981 - James I. Spainhower
  • 1982 - Howell W. Keeter, Acting
  • 1983 - Stephen G. Jennings
  • 1987 - William D. Todd, Interim
  • 1988 - Jerry C. Davis


  1. ^
  2. ^ "College of the Ozarks - Best Colleges - Education - US News and World Report". 2009-08-19. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  3. ^ "College of the Ozarks, Hard Work U". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  4. ^ a b The School of the Ozarks: Beginnings - White River Historical Quarterly - Volume 8, Number 1, Fall 1982
  5. ^ Missouri historical review - Google Books. 2008-01-23. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  6. ^ "College of the Ozarks, Hard Work U". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  7. ^ "The Keeter Center". 1930-02-01. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  8. ^ one hundred sixty acres (64.7 ha) & An Orchard - State of the Ozarks - August 28, 2009
  9. ^ "College of the Ozarks, Hard Work U". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  10. ^ "Ralph Foster Museum - College of the Ozarks". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  11. ^ "Ralph Foster Museum - Beverly Hillbillies Car, Point Lookout, Missouri". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  12. ^ a b "College of the Ozarks, Hard Work U". 1971-07-30. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  13. ^ "College of the Ozarks, Hard Work U". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "College of the Ozarks, Hard Work U". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  18. ^ America's Best Colleges 2008: Baccalaureate Colleges (Midwest): Top Schools
  19. ^ [1] The Princeton Review
  20. ^ "College of the Ozarks, Hard Work U". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • University of the Ozarks — Infobox University name = University of the Ozarks native name = image size = caption = latin name = motto = mottoeng = established = 1834 closed = type = Private affiliation = Presbyterian Church endowment = officer in charge = chairman =… …   Wikipedia

  • Ozarks Technical Community College — Established April 3, 1990 Type Community College President Hal H. Higdon …   Wikipedia

  • College of Idaho — The College of Idaho Motto Rex Lex Dux Lux Established 1891 Type Private coeducational …   Wikipedia

  • College of Wooster — The College of Wooster Motto Scientia et religio ex uno fonte (Knowledge and religion from one source) Established 1866 Type …   Wikipedia

  • College of Saint Mary — For the constituent college of the University of Oxford, see New College, Oxford. College of Saint Mary is a Catholic women s college located in Omaha, Nebraska. As of November 2011[update], there were 820 undergraduates and 243 graduate students …   Wikipedia

  • The Beverly Hillbillies — For the 1993 film, see The Beverly Hillbillies (film). The Beverly Hillbillies b w title screen Format sitcom Created by …   Wikipedia

  • The Master's College — Established 1927 Type Private Religious affiliation Grace Community Church (Non denominational Evangelical Christian) President Dr. John F. MacArthur …   Wikipedia

  • College town — For the village in England, see College Town, Berkshire. A college town or university town is a community (often literally a town, but possibly a small or medium sized specialized city, or in some cases a neighborhood or a district of a city)… …   Wikipedia

  • Missouri Valley College — MVC Entrance to the college Established 1889 Type Private …   Wikipedia

  • Columbia College (Missouri) — Columbia College Established 1851 Type Private coeducational liberal arts President Dr. Gerald T. Brouder …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.