May 06, 2019
Lt. Col. Kate Clarke speaks at College of the OzarksLt. Col. Katherine E. Clarke, 35th military police brigade operations officer of the Missouri Army National Guard, spoke in the Jones Auditorium on April 29.
POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks hosted Lt. Col. Katherine E. Clarke, 35th military police brigade operations officer of the Missouri Army National Guard, in the Jones Auditorium on April 29.
Clarke shared practical lessons which she learned along the path of life — applying leadership principles, finding ways to contribute to the world, surviving life’s peaks and valleys, and embracing the joy that God sends. Clarke encouraged students to give back to their country, to travel and experience the world, to be kind, to hone their skills, to be champions for others, to pray, and to challenge themselves.
“You should never doubt that kindness in its simplest form can have far-reaching impact beyond what we can imagine,” Clarke said.
Born and raised in rural Missouri, Clarke has been a member of the United States Army for 18 years. She served with the 101st Airborne Division for three years and participated in the initial invasion of Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2005, Clarke transitioned into the Missouri National Guard, where she has held a variety of assignments throughout the state. Her awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Korea Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and Air Assault Wings.
Clarke’s memoir, entitled “The Heart of a Soldier,” takes readers on the personal and moving journey of her life — not only as a service member but also a military wife. Mike and Kate Blaise fell in love during high school in small-town Macon, Missouri. Sharing a deep sense of patriotism, they both entered the U.S. Army — she as a commissioned officer and he as an enlisted infantry soldier who later became a helicopter pilot with the Air Cavalry. Forced to accept the realities of a military marriage, yet determined to stay with her husband, Kate passed up her dream assignment in the United States to be with Mike, who was deployed to Korea. But they never imagined a day like 9/11 or the military aftermath that sent them to Iraq, where Mike lost his life in combat.
“Lt. Col. Clarke expressed the power of prayer when she spoke to the College,” said Juliet Thompson, junior business marketing major. “Her stories about the extreme sacrifices made by military men and women reminded me that freedom is never free.”
Clarke also spoke last November at the groundbreaking of the recently dedicated Global War on Terrorism Memorial, the final installation of Patriots Park at the College.
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 Most Innovative School in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for 2019 and No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck by Washington Monthly. 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 2019. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest workstation on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at www.facebook.com/collegeoftheozarks or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.
05.06.19 – Johnny Cummings