Volume 6  Issue # 15
Monday, April 19, 2004

The President's Post
       I have been an educator for a number of years. In fact, I have been an educator all of my professional life. I’ve never done anything else for a career and never wanted to do anything else. I am proud to be an educator, and I am proud to be in the rewarding profession of education. This time of the year is the only time I ever feel any tinge of regret, and I fully admit that it is a selfish regret.

   I truly hate saying goodbye to our seniors. Graduation is never an easy time for me, and I always feel sad when seniors graduate. At the same time, I feel a euphoric sense of happiness for the group of men and women who are moving into a new phase of their lives; women and men who will now proudly represent Ozarks in all corners of the world.

   A number of years ago, I coined a blended word: sadappy. That word, never a part of Mr. Webster’s lexicon, defines commencement and this time of the year for me. And I’ll bet it accurately describes how most of the rest of you feel as well. This is a sad and happy time. Leaving a place is not easy, especially a place as special as Ozarks. And, Seniors, having you leave is difficult. But this is also a time of great hope and unlimited promise. I know you will make all of us who stay behind quite proud of you and your accomplishments.

   It’s okay to feel sadappy on Saturday, May 8. It’s okay to feel good and bad. Most of all, it’s okay to feel blessed that, in this magical time together, we shared our hopes and dreams while making a difference in one another’s lives.

   Class of 2004, continue to make a difference and continue to make us proud.

Dr. Rick Niece

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Unversity of the Ozarks, Clarksville, AR 72830.
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