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Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212

April 11, 2018

College of the Ozarks hosts Steve Forbes for spring convocation

Steve Forbes speaking at convocation

Crowd shot of Steve Forbes convocation

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks hosted Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, for the 2018 Spring Free Enterprise Forum Convocation on Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

The Bobcat Company Army ROTC provided the Presentation of Colors, followed by the national anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, and invocation. Opening remarks were given by President Jerry C. Davis.

A special musical presentation, “America the Beautiful,” was performed by the College’s combined choirs, under the direction of Dr. John Cornish, and the concert band, under the direction of Dr. Kevin Powers.

As Davis introduced Forbes, he pointed out the value of hard work to a free enterprise system.

“Most of us know that the road to success is paved with what? Hard work,” Davis said. “There’s no substitute for it. We think work ethic and free enterprise go hand in hand.

“Steve Forbes, like many in the country, is concerned about the rising cost of education and the character of education. I think what he will see here is that a lot of the values he picked up while growing up are reflected in this College called Hard Work U. He knows that work ethic is an important ingredient of the American free enterprise system,” Davis said.

“It is a great pleasure to be here at Hard Work U. The inculcation of values that you work so hard to create, that kind of atmosphere will become more and more emulated one way or the other in the future,” Forbes said.

Throughout the evening, Forbes discussed Work Ethic, Free Markets, and the Changing Global Landscape. He spoke about the importance of knowledge, power, and creativity as propellants to success.

What is the difference between us and Stone Age man?

“We have more knowledge,” Forbes said. “Even if you have physical catastrophes, natural catastrophe, wars, earthquakes, volcanoes and the like, as long as knowledge is not destroyed, you can rebuild the physical. We saw it after World War II.

“Wealth is not physical things,” Forbes said. “Wealth is the mind.”

Forbes also stressed the importance of creativity.

“I wish economists would stop talking about economics as the allocation of scarce resources,” Forbes said. “It is, but that doesn’t get the heart pumping. It’s about the creation of resources. That’s what the human adventure is about. And free markets, capitalism, free enterprise — all of these, when allowed to operate, turn scarcity into abundance.

“So the key thing about free enterprise is it enables creativity. It enables people to move up; it gives people freedom,” Forbes said.

The evening concluded with the presentation of gifts to Forbes from College of the Ozarks students Ann Marie Temple, senior journalism major, and Emma Schrag, senior business marketing major.

Forum sessions

Leading up to the convocation, the two-day forum included sessions with guest speakers Dr. Burt Folsom, professor of history and management at Hillsdale College; Mary Propes-Reynolds, chairwoman of VDV Group, LLC, a family business; and Toby Rush, CEO of ZOLOZ, a digital identity solutions company.

Special guests for the Forum included representatives from the following institutions: Evangel University, Georgia Military College, Marion Military Institute, Marine Military Academy, New Mexico Military Institute, Southwest Baptist University, The Citadel, U.S. Naval Academy, Virginia Military Institute, and Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets.

Students from College of the Ozarks and School of the Ozarks were chosen to participate after a nomination and application process.

More about session speakers

Dr. Burt Folsom is the Charles Kline Professor of History and Management at Hillsdale College and the author of New

Deal or Raw Deal?, and FDR Goes to War, written with his wife, Anita. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, American Spectator, Policy Review, and Human Events. Folsom has written several books, including The Myth of the Robber Barons (six editions, Young America’s Foundation), in which he writes about the differences between political entrepreneurs and market entrepreneurs.

Mary Propes-Reynolds is the chairwoman of VDV Group, LLC, a family office based in Charleston, South Carolina. VDV’s primary concentration is Mayfield Consumer Products, a contract manufacturing candle facility in Mayfield, Kentucky. VDV Group owns and controls all family assets and investments, including Mayfield Consumer Products, MVP Textiles, MVP Plush, Naturalite Charcoal, and Ralston Creek Capital, as well as up and coming business ventures.

Toby Rush is the CEO of ZOLOZ, a digital identity solutions company that provides a private, convenient, and secure biometric alternative to passwords, PIN codes, and customer onboarding forms. ZOLOZ evolved from EyeVerify, which Rush founded in 2012, and which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba, in 2016. ZOLOZ serves over 200 million users today, and intends to make trust simple for one billion customers within five years. He also founded and led Rush Tracking Systems, an RFID solutions venture, to a successful exit.

About Steve Forbes

The Forbes Media flagship publication, Forbes, is the nation’s leading business magazine, with a circulation of more than 900,000. Forbes combined with Forbes Asia, Forbes Europe, and the company’s licensee editions together reach a worldwide audience of more than 5 million readers. has become one of the world’s most influential websites, with more than 60 million unique visitors a month.

Steve Forbes writes editorials for Forbes under the heading of “Fact and Comment.” A widely respected economic prognosticator, he is the only writer to have won the highly prestigious Crystal Owl Award four times. The prize was formerly given by U.S. Steel Corporation to the financial journalist whose economic forecasts for the coming year proved most accurate.

In both 1996 and 2000, Forbes campaigned vigorously for the Republican nomination for the presidency. Key to his platform were a flat tax, medical savings accounts, a new Social Security system for working Americans, parental choice of schools for their children, term limits, and a strong national defense.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan named Forbes chairman of the bi-partisan Board for International Broadcasting (BIB). In this position, he oversaw the operations of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Broadcasting behind the Iron Curtain, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty were praised by Lech Walesa, former president of Poland, as being critical to the struggle against communism. Forbes was reappointed to his post by President George H.W. Bush and served until 1993.

Forbes was born on July 18, 1947, in Morristown, New Jersey. He received a B.A. in history from Princeton in 1970.

Forbes serves on the boards of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He is on the board of overseers of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and on the board of visitors for the School of Public Policy of Pepperdine University. He previously served on the board of trustees of Princeton University for ten years.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian, liberal arts college, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for 2018. To achieve its vision, the College pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school that completes the K-college model.

The Keeter Center — the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility — was ranked a Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2018. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.



04.11.2018 – Michael Galioto



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