George W. Bush
President George W. Bush visited Hard Work U in April, 2011, for the Leadership and Character Forum. He addressed a "sold-out" crowd in the Howell W. Keeter Athletic Complex as he spoke about his family, faith, and values that guided his decisions as president.
As part of the Forum activities, four plenary session speakers addressed issues of Leadership and Character within their fields to students from College of the Ozarks, the US Military Academy at West Point, the US Air Force Academy, the US Naval Academy, the Marine Military Academy, Evangel University, Southwest Baptist University, and Texas A&M University. Plenary session speakers included Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green, former chairman of General Motors Bob Lutz, C of O Board of Trustees chairman Gen. Terrence R. Dake, and US Attorney General John Ashcroft.
President Bush received the Great American Award, presented by General Dake and C of O president, Jerry C. Davis.
During the Leadership and Character Forum, the College dedicated the newly-planted group of sugar maple trees known as Veterans Grove. The trees are planted in honor of WWII veterans who have traveled with C of O students to historic WWII battlesites in Europe and the Pacific as part of the Patriotic Education Travel Program.
President Bush was honored to meet with WWII veterans following the Veterans Grove dedication.
C of O students Jared Howerton, Allison Press, Amanda Kull and Colby Reed joined President Bush for dinner at The Keeter Center.