The cultural goal of College of the Ozarks is to cultivate an appreciation of the fine arts, an understanding of the world, and adherence to high personal standards. However, because culture has become such a disputed term, it is helpful to examine the College’s understanding of culture and its role in the lives of our students. In short, culture is the complex of loves that define a society, and the traditional American culture is in jeopardy. At the end of his book Notes toward a Definition of Culture (1949) T.S. Eliot declares, “I do not believe that the culture of Europe could survive the complete disappearance of the Christian Faith. And I am convinced of that, not merely because I am a Christian myself, but as a student of social biology. If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture readymade” (126). The College agrees with Eliot’s assessment, and so we strive to preserve the best of the Christian Western tradition and the fundamental relationships that flow from that tradition: love of God, neighbor, country, family, and friends. Furthermore, these relationships are reflected in art, music, theater, and even architecture. A beautiful church reflects our love for God, as a well-kept home reveals our love of family.
A broad array of speakers informs the campus body by sharing their passion and expertise on a variety of topics in the convocation series. Students have opportunities to participate in and attend musical performances, art exhibits, and theater performances. The College also offers many domestic and foreign travel experiences for students who qualify. The Cultural Goal of the College is an important aspect of student life and is threaded throughout students’ course of study and experiences at College of the Ozarks.