Activities and Leadership


Honor America

Join us in June for our annual Independence Day Celebration, Honor America! Always free to the public, come out and enjoy local Branson entertainment and a spectacular fireworks show at dark! Bring your lawn chairs, quilts, and picnic baskets, or purchase food on the grounds. Uncle Sam is always on hand to visit and give away American flags. Our children’s area is a treat, with a face-painting provided by students, and a station where the kids can make thank-you cards for veterans! This year’s cards were distributed to veterans at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. Come one, come all, and Honor America with College of the Ozarks!

September 11 Remembrance

September 11, 2001 was a dark day in American history. Terrorist attacks claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent citizens who simply awoke that morning to go about the business of their usual day. Hatred of our nation fueled the motive for the attacks. College of the Ozarks and the School of the Ozarks are committed to teaching students that the United States is an honorable nation built on the ideals of freedom. To honor emergency responders and those who lost their lives on 9-11, and to teach young people about that day and why our nation is worth fighting for, the College hosts an annual remembrance service. Families who lost loved ones that day joined the College this year for the dedication of the September 11 “Lest We Forget” Memorial, where the centerpiece is a steel column from the World Trade Center named “St. Michael’s 37.” For more information on this special memorial, click here.

Veterans Week

The College is pleased to honor veterans year-round, and is careful to pay special attention to those who served and are still serving, our nation, during Veterans Week. On Veterans Day there is a memorial service on the chapel lawn, near the Alumni Veterans Memorial. At the Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial, students read the names on the wall to honor those who gave their lives during that conflict.

Railway to Heaven

Don't miss this dramatic depiction of the experiences of Pfc. Roy Hopper in the original play, “Railway to Heaven: A True Story of an Ozarks P.O.W.” The play is based on the book, Miracle in the Ozarks, by Jerry C. Davis, president of College of the Ozarks. Roy was a School of the Ozarks student who was drafted into the Army in 1943 to serve in WWII. He was involved in the invasion of Normandy in France, only to later be captured by the German Army. He endured torture, the death of his best friend, and witnessed unimaginable atrocities at the hands of the Nazis. This is the powerful and touching story of a true American hero. For more information about current showings, click here.

The Four Generals of Hard Work U

It is quite remarkable that a small college in the Ozarks has produced not one, but four, armed services generals. Dr. Jerry C. Davis writes about the influence of College of the Ozarks on the lives of young men from humble backgrounds who achieved success in service to our nation in his book The Four Generals of Hard Work U. Click here to visit our campus store and purchase a copy; all proceeds benefit the College's patriotic travel program. 

Leadership and Training

Bobcat GOLD / Military Science

College of the Ozarks is proud of its contract with the Army National Guard through the College’s Bobcat GOLD program which will commission graduates as second lieutenants in the Missouri Army National Guard.

Young Americans for Freedom

The College is pleased to have an active and very engaged chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). A project of the Young America’s Foundation, YAF works hard to advance the ideals of “limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise, traditional values and a strong national defense,” (, 2015).

The C of O YAF chapter works hard on campus to promote conservative ideals and to celebrate freedom. Activities include creation of a large replica of the U.S.. Constitution for students to sign on Constitution Day, reading of the Names on the Wall at the Missouri Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Veterans Day, and the building of a replica of the Berlin Wall to commemorate the 25th anniversary of its fall, just to name a few.

YAF members attend conferences  in Washington, D.C.., and at the Regan Ranch, Rancho del Cielo, in Santa Barbara, California, to interact with key players in the conservative movement. In recent years, two students secured valuable summer internships at YAF’s national headquarters in Reston, Virginia, just outside the nation’s capital.



Students at the College's classical laboratory school, School of the Ozarks (S of O), operate Pitch in for Patriots. These patriotic high school students raise funds to assist veterans with special needs. In 2013, S of O raised nearly $15,000 to purchase a specialty track-chair for a southwest Missouri veteran.

Military Academies

Each year the College of the Ozarks students are invited to leadership conferences at the military academies throughout the United States. Our students have had the privilege of visiting the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado; the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut; The United States Military Academy at West Point, and the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD.

Patriotic Education General Education Course

The College is proud to have a general education course that focuses on American heritage,  civic responsibilities, love of country, and willingness to defend it. For more information on this course, please click here.

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