Rural Missouri - October 2016 - 11
Far left: The Keeter Center is the ﬁrst stop for many visitors to College of the Ozarks. It's home to the popular Dobyns Dining Room, lodge rooms and gift shop. Above left: A student
bottle feeds calves at the college dairy barn. Right: Dozens of students work The Keeter Center's popular Dobyns Dining Room. It takes 350 students to staff each job at center.
"We're just as serious about students making the grades here as we are for
them to work hard and gain a good work ethic," she says.
While the work-study program covers the cost to attend the four-year private
Christian college, there are living expenses. Dorm fees, food, books and other
fees aren't covered by tuition and run about $6,500 per student per year. If a
student can prove financial hardship, they can work off those fees, too. Donations from individuals, endowments and grants provide the funds that make
Hard Work U. possible.
The college also sells items made by students, such as whole-grain meal and
ﬂour ground in the old mill on campus; rugs, shawls and other items woven on
traditional looms; ﬂowers and houseplants grown in the campus greenhouses;
stained glass art; jellies, apple butter, and their famous fruitcakes, just to mention a few. Locals also make a weekly trek to the huge campus farmers market
to buy garden goods, breads, cured hams and much more spring through fall.
Alumnus Chris Larsen serves as the school's dean of sports, recreation and
events. He can't say enough about the opportunity the college afforded him
while a student from 1987-1992.
"It's not just about getting your education paid for. It's about the Christian
learning environment combined with the work education program, a great academic track on top of character education we try to instill in each student - it's
an amazing place," says Chris. "We're blessed to have leadership
and faculty who walk the talk and truly believe in what we're
doing for these kids. Seeing them succeed, and walk through our
gates at graduation debt free and with a great work ethic is a great
Senior Maalek Getchell is a culinary arts and business administration major at the college. He says the College of the Ozarks exceeded
"I was pretty excited when I got here and they explained how the
work-study program was handled," Maalek says. "I was thankful that
my first job as a freshman just so happened to be at The Keeter Cen-
ter since I had an interest in culinary art."
The Keeter Center, located at the campus entrance, is the college's upscale
lodge, restaurant and conference facility. This year, Trip Advisor users ranked
The Keeter Center as the No. 1 Top Small Hotel and No. 10 Top Hotel for Service in the United States. It takes 350 students to staff every job at the center.
The beautiful facility was designed to reﬂect Dobyns Hall, a rustic Maine lodge
displayed at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis and moved to the College of the
"I've grown tenfold in my culinary studies here," adds Maalek. "When I graduate, I'll have 3-1/2 years of managerial experience. I've been able to supervise 36
students and run a kitchen myself. To do all that, under the guidance of awardwinning Chef Robert Stricklin, I know I can go anywhere in the world and work."
Dean of Admissions Marci Linson agrees.
"Employers tell us time and time again that if they have a stack of resumes
and see an applicant from College of the Ozarks it's going on top, because the
students are the best workers they can hire," she says. "That speaks volumes
for what we're doing here."
To ﬁnd out more about College of the Ozarks, go to www.cofo.edu or call 417334-6411.
College of the Ozarks is located two miles south of Branson on U.S. Highway 65. Campus points of interest are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30
p.m. and include: The Keeter Center, Ralph Foster Museum, Edwards Mill,
College of the Ozarks Greenhouses, Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen, The
Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Lest We Forget 9/11 Memorial and much more.
The Dobyns Dining Room, located inside The Keeter Center, is
open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday and
from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday for brunch. Call 417-690-2146
or log onto www.keetercenter.edu/Dining.aspx to make reservations, which are recommended.
Below left: From spring to fall, patrons can come to the campus farmers market to buy produce, beautiful hanging baskets or annuals, fresh baked goods, jellies, cured hams and more - all made
by the College of the Ozarks students. Bottom right: At Edwards Mill, guests can go upstairs and see students weave baskets and use old-fashioned looms to create textiles.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2016
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Intro
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Contents
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - 4
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Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - October 2016 - Cover4