hits new high
Ozarks 2003 Fall Semester enrollment of 731
students is the largest on-campus enrollment in university history.
This semesters enrollment represents a four percent increase over
Fall 2002 and a 38 percent increase since 1998 when the campus had 530
students. It also marks the most on-campus students in the schools
history, topping the 726 students in 1989. The only other time Ozarks
reported more students was in the 1980s when total enrollment numbers
included students at its satellite campuses in Fort Smith and Hot Springs.
The 2003 Fall Semester enrollment includes 452 returning
students and 279 new students. There are also 466 students living in
on-campus housing this semester, the largest number in the universitys
history and a 35 percent increase since 1998.
Campaign celebration near
Students, faculty and staff are invited to take part
in a monumental event in the universitys history on Friday, Oct.
3, as we celebrate the successful completion of the Pride & Promise
The $60-million campaign, the biggest in the universitys
169-year history, has helped Ozarks improve student services, academic
programs and facilities. The celebration will begin with a ceremony
at 5:30 p.m. in Munger Chapel, followed by dinner.
Call Karla Dickerson in the Advancement Office at
Ext. 1230 if you plan to attend. Please join us as we honor and thank
the many donors who have blessed this campus.
Around Campus ...
The universitys annual Health Screening Day
for students, faculty and staff will be from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Thursday,
Oct. 9, in the Seay Student Center ... Children,
the Theatre Departments first production of the school year, will
be performed Oct. 10-11. The play is a story of an American family forced
to deal with the impact of social changes on their comfortable status
quo life during the last years of the 20th century ... There will be
no classes on Tuesday, Sept. 16, because of Assessment Day ... Signups
for intramural football are this week ... The Eagles soccer team tied
Austin College 1-1 at home Friday to move to 2-2-1 on the season. The
Lady Eagles fell to AC 1-0 to fall to 2-3. Both teams will be back home
on Friday, Sept. 26 against Louisiana College.
Florida swimmer owes Ozarks student
Editors Note: The following article
about U of O senior Taylor Magee appeared this summer in the El Dorado
Times-Record. It is reprinted here with the permission of thenewspaper.)
Taylor Magee is not a lifeguard, but he more than
played one last month when he helped to rescue a man from drowning at
a Florida beach.
Had it not been for Magees quick thinking and
calming demeanor during the rescue effort, Stuart A. Long might have
been a victim in one of several recent drownings that have been reported
in the Florida Panhandle.
Long, a professor of engineering at the University
ofHouston, was vacationing in Perdido Key, Fla., last month when he
found himself in a harrowing predicament.
In a heartfelt letter to Taylors parents, Ed
and Karen Magee of El Dorado, Long recalled his first meeting
with their son.
One afternoon I was playing around in the surf
with a small surfboard and inadvertently got caught up in some sort
of undertow, or riptide. Before I even knew what was happening I realized
that I was being swept farther and farther from shore he wrote.
The incident unfolded at Orange Beach on June 8, during
a weekend of stormy weather that produced fierce waves and dangerous
riptides, or under currents that flow outward from the shore along the
Gulf of Mexico. Like hundreds of other visitors to beaches in the area
that weekend, Long took to the water despite red flags cautioning people
Several swimmers had drowned in nearby Pensacola,
including a man who drowned the same day that Long rode his Boogie board
into the water at Orange Beach.
It quickly became evident that I was unable
to kick back in. I decided that I was in trouble and tried to shout
for help for what seemed like a very long time, he wrote.
Struggling to stay afloat, Long was knocked off his
board a couple of times, but managed to climb back on. He was unsure
if anyone on the beach had heard his cries for help.
I began to realize that there was no way I was
going to be able to survive without help, he lamented.
As fate would have it, Magee was working a summer
job as a cabana boy, renting umbrellas and loungers to beach-goers at
the same posh beach resort where Long was staying.
Magee had completed his work day and was packing up
his beach equipment preparing to leave at 4:30 that afternoon when he
took one last look down the beach front.
I saw these people frantically waving their
arms and pointing toward the ocean, indicating that a swimmer in the
distance was in trouble, he explained.
Magee said he then spotted Long in the water about
100 yards out and he could tell immediately that Long was in trouble.
I got on my radio and called my boss. Then I
called emergency crews, he said.
Realizing it would take a while before rescue workers
would arrive, Magee instinctively decided to go out into the water to
help Long in the meantime.
I grabbed the nearest Boogie board I could find
and passed my radio to the nearest person on the beach and went,
As I got closer to him, I could see that he
desperately needed help, his eyes were red, he was totally exhausted
and almost going into shock. The waves had knocked him around quite
A life-long swimmer, Magee explained that although
he is not a certified lifeguard, lifesaving classes taken over the years
had prepared him for such a situation.
I knew to stay back because people in danger
of drowning often panic and then theres the danger of putting
the rescuer under, he said. So I tried to talk to him and
calm him down. I let him ride on the Boogie board while I dragged him
But pulling the professor to shore was not easy, thanks
to uncooperative currents and waves. Explained Long, The current
was still very strong however, and it was not clear that he would be
able to tow both of us in. He kept me out of the water by telling me
when the next wave was about to crash over us. Long said that
another person joined the rescue effort after quite some time,
and Taylor said they reached shore after about 30 minutes.
I am reasonably certain that I would not have
been able to stay afloat for the time it took authorities to respond.
It is also clear after the fact that Taylor risked his own life to save
mine, Long wrote.
Magee said that he had often been mistaken for a lifeguard
at the Perdido Key resort because of the swimsuit he wore as part of
his job uniform. He remembered a coincidental encounter that had occurred
earlier that day. Its really funny, I had been asked by
some patrons that day since youre not really a lifeguard,
what would you do if someone were drowning, he said.
Magee said the events of that day left him physically
drained, and he fell asleep as soon as he walked through the door,
at about 8 p.m. He also refused Longs appreciative and persistent
attempts to compensate him financially, saying that Long kept
thanking him during the rest of his stay in Perdido Key.
Finally, I told him one day that he could just
bring me a Coke while I was working on the beach, and he began bringing
me several Cokes a day, he laughed.
Long shared the story with Magees parents.
I was certainly more than willing to give him
a reward of some kind ...For the rest of the week I was there, I can
assure you that he did not go thirsty, he wrote.
The two men who did not know each other prior to June
8 have now formed a special bond.
Upon learning that Magee is an avid soccer player,
and student at Ozarks, Long pledged to keep in touch and to track him
as he works toward a career as a sports announcer and/or soccer coach.
Magee said he will take the experience with him this
fall as he heads into his senior year at U of O, where he is majoring
He later plans to attend graduate school at the University
of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Its kinda one of those situations where
I didnt think I just reacted I was in the moment. Its
one of those things Ill always remember, he said.
So will Long. You can be assured that he has
a friend for life. He put himself in a very dangerous situation for
a complete stranger. I really feel I owe him my life, Long said.