Louis Zamperini was an honored guest and keynote speaker in April 2012 at the College of the Ozarks Patriotic Forum. At Jones Auditorium, Zamperini shared his personal experience of overcoming adversity through his remarkable story as a WWII Prisoner of War and former Olympian.
The Forum activities also included three plenary session speakers who spoke about the importance of character in effective leadership. These speakers included Colonel Donald E. Ballard, the only living Medal of Honor recipient in the state of Missouri; Dr. Brad Cain, former Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lincoln Memorial University; and Dr. Judita Hruza, a Holocaust survivor and inspirational speaker. Participating in the Forum were students who exhibit leadership at College of the Ozarks as well as cadets from the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, Marine Military Academy, and U.S. Air Force Academy. Students from Evangel University, Southwest Baptist University, and Texas A&M University also contributed.
Louis Zamperini received the Great American Award, presented by General Terrence R. Dake and C of O President, Dr. Jerry C. Davis.