August 22, 2012
SUBJECT: Travel+Leisure Names The Keeter Center as the #4 Best College Hotel in Nation
In a nod to the pairing of travel luxury and academic excellence, Travel+Leisure magazine’s online June 2012 issue featured what it considers to be the top college hotels in the nation. The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks was named the #4 “Top College Hotel.”
“Those [students working for their education] at The Keeter Center run a 15-room lodge in a 99,000-square-foot timber building of vaulted ceilings and towering stonework—which students also built,” wrote Travel+Leisure writer Jason Cochran. “Culinary arts trainees serve you breakfast in bed, while outside your window, agriculture students milk the college’s mooing herd. And when you come downstairs kids will scoop you ice cream churned in the campus dairy or sell fruitcake from the campus bakery.”
The Keeter Center, which opened in 2004, pays architectural homage to the institution’s first building, Dobyns Hall, at the Point Lookout campus. While Dobyns Hall would have been characterized as rustic, The Keeter Center is described as rustic elegance.
College of the Ozarks offers students the opportunity to work for their college education. Students must work 15 hours per week and two, 40-hour work weeks per year to fulfill their Work Education requirement. Upon that, the College guarantees to meet the entire cost of education. It takes more than 200 students to help operate The Keeter Center, which is one of more than 80 campus workstations.
“It’s not just the beautiful structure, it is the heart and soul of our students that make The Keeter Center a unique and memorable experience for guests,” says Tom Healey, who has served as the Center’s general manager since its opening.
One of those students, Jonathan Oberdieck, a junior majoring in philosophy and religion, serves customers in the Center’s Dobyns Dining Room. “It’s a proud moment for The Keeter Center to be ranked so highly among other respected establishments,” he says. “Years of effort from students and staff is coming to fruition.”
Others to make the list include: #1—Charles Hotel at Harvard, #2 The Nittany Lion Inn at Penn State, #3 The Boar’s Head at the University of Virginia and #5 The Mansion at Forsyth Park at Savannah College of Art and Design. To see the complete list, go to http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-top-college-hotels/1.
To learn more about The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks, go to www.keetercenter.edu.