Date: April 25, 2013
SUBJECT: 2013 COLLEGE OF THE OZARKS COMMENCEMENT MAY 12
By: Haley Jones
College of the Ozarks will hold its Commencement on May 12, at which time 270 students will receive their bachelor degrees. Mr. Charlie Tsui “Charlie Two-Shoes,” a Chinese native, will give the Commencement address entitled, “A Mission Completed.”
As an 11-year-old Chinese boy, Charlie was befriended by a company of U.S. Marines sent to China in 1945, shortly after the end of World War II. Charlie lived in a mud hut just beyond the barbed wire protecting the men of Love Company, 4th Marines, 1st Marine Division. The Marines took care of Charlie, but when the communists took over the country Love Company was forced out, and Charlie was left behind.
Because he refused to denounce his connection with the Americans, he suffered immensely at the hands of the Maoist government. After 35 years he was able to contact some of his Marine Corps friends. They in turn helped bring him to America in 1983, and eventually arranged for his wife and two children to come to America, as well.
Charlie became an American citizen and was inducted as the country’s 18th honorary Marine by the U.S. Marine Corps. His story is told by authors Michael Peterson and David Perlmutt in the book Charlie Two Shoes and the Marines of Love Company.
This past fall, ten College of the Ozarks students accompanied Charlie, two of Charlie’s classmates from the Tsingtao American School they attended as children and five of the Marines of Love Company on a trip to China. This was the first time for him to return since his departure in 1983.
While there, the group visited many places special to Charlie and the Marines. Students learned an incredible history lesson on China’s role in the Cold War, but most importantly, witnessed the strength of the friendship between the Marines and Charlie.
Commencement begins at 2 p.m., and will be held in the Keeter Gymnasium. The Baccalaureate service, featuring Dr. Andrew S. Zeller will begin at 11 a.m., in the Keeter Gymnasium on May 12, as well. For 26 years, Dr. Zeller served as an Army Chaplain, retiring as Colonel. He currently serves as the President and Professor of Old Testament Hebrew and Preaching at the Sangre de Cristo Seminary and School for Biblical Studies in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado.
His military decorations include the Defense Superior Service Metal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal and four Meritorious Service Medals.
General admission seating is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please contact the Dean of the College office at (417) 690-2278 for more information.