Volume 4  Issue # 15
Monday, April 29, 2002

The President's Post
    Some years seem to pass faster than others. This was one of the fast ones, and it is difficult to believe that we are ready to adjourn another school session. This year was beyond comprehension: a national tragedy, revived patriotism, renewed spiritual commitments, on-going wars, economic recession, and an overall sense of disbelief about surreal occurrences. Through it all, we retained our faith in God and in one another while, as a campus community, we faced our own personal and collective challenges.

   The events of September 11th — a defining moment in my life — helped each of us place our lives in perspective and provided the opportunity for us to count our blessings great and small. The personal inconveniences of daily life and routine stresses no longer seem as significant.

   This is also a time we say goodbye to another senior class. Graduation is a time of great joy and profound sadness. Goodbyes are never easy. In the perpetual cycle of education, commencement is an ending phase, a casting off. Yet, as the word implies, commencement is also a beginning as our graduates “commence” the next stage of life. The education cycle will begin again in the fall, and Ozarks will be reinvigorated with another freshman class. And the spirit of Ozarks continues.

   I love being an educator, and I love the process of education. Every year — ending and beginning — I remember why I chose this life.

   Class of 2002, thank you!

Dr. Rick Niece

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