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The Ozark Visitor

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News from Hard Work U.®

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

May 10, 2019

School of the Ozarks held commencement for 23 students on May 9, 2019

23 S of O students graduate.School of the Ozarks held its seventh commencement on Thursday, May 9, in Williams Memorial Chapel. Twenty-three students received their high school diplomas. (Photo by Shann Swift.)

Attendees at S of O graduation line the sidewalks.Emily Shafer leads the charge as the 23 S of O graduates embark on the next phase of life. School of the Ozarks and College of the Ozarks administrators, along with parents and friends, line the sidewalk outside the chapel, providing a reception line of well wishes as they launch. (Photo by Shann Swift.)

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — School of the Ozarks held its seventh commencement on Thursday, May 9 in Williams Memorial Chapel. Twenty-three students received their high school diplomas.

Clark Vernon, a successful commercial banker and educator, served as the commencement speaker.

“We were so pleased to have Clark Vernon as our commencement speaker,” said Brad Dolloff, dean of School of the Ozarks. “He is a School of the Ozarks alumnus who went on to a successful career in banking and finance.  He was an excellent choice to address the 2019 graduating class of School of the Ozarks. These S of O graduates will carry on the tradition of broad and deep education, an education of the head, heart, and hands. These students have been prepared to engage the culture, and they look forward to being poured out into the world to make an impact for Christ.”

About Clark Vernon

Vernon attended The School of the Ozarks for his junior year of high school from 1964-1965. He graduated from Miami Norland High in 1966 and went on to graduate from the University of Florida in August 1970 with a degree in management and finances. He completed two years of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking during the 1980s and graduated from the University of Memphis in 2006 with a master’s degree in accounting.

He served the U.S. Army from 1970-1973. He was commissioned out of Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and completed the Signal Officer Basic Course at Fort Gordon, Georgia. He finished his military career as headquarter executive and Signal Platoon Leader for the TOE 1st Battalion, 30th Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Vernon was an adjunct for Miami Dade Community College in Miami, Florida, teaching classes in banking and finances. He also served as the instructor for “Junior Achievement,” teaching business management and decision making, using computer-driven business competitions with high school seniors in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Vernon has been very involved with College of the Ozarks, where he serves as Class Agent for the High School Class of 1966 and was instrumental in coordinating the 1960s decade reunion. He was also influential in forming the Alumni Veterans Chapter at College of the Ozarks.

Vernon retired from his 26-year career as a commercial banker and now resides in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas, with his wife, Liana, where they are enjoying retirement and keeping involved in their community.

About School of the Ozarks

The vision of School of Ozarks mirrors that of College of the Ozarks: to develop citizens of Christ-like character who are well-educated, hard-working, and patriotic. The curriculum of the School is designed as a classical Christian model and emphasizes the importance of Christ-like character and a biblical worldview in understanding truth. School of the Ozarks has been re-established and operates as a department of College of the Ozarks under the direction of The Keeter Center for Character Education.

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 or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.


05.10.19 – Abigail Wiley



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