Volume 7  Issue # 15
Monday, April 25, 2005

The President's Post

       All of you who has been at Ozarks for a while, and actually read my annual end-of-the year President’s Post, know I dread Commencement. A day of great joy and anticipation for our graduates and their families becomes a mortarboard of mixed emotions for me. I am ecstatic for the seniors but a little sorry for the campus community and myself. Each May we lose a class of valued and respected friends: graduating seniors who are beloved and have become integral members of the Ozarks’ campus family.

   Life is a casting off, a shedding away, a series of hellos and goodbyes, a time for shared joy and inevitable sadness. Although I accept that, the reality never makes the occasion any easier. Juniors will replace seniors, a new class of first-year students will join the family, and the circle of teaching and learning will continue to revolve around those of us who remain behind.

   Seniors, I have been privileged to watch you grow into mature adults. I even remember when some of you were not so mature. And I await, as eagerly as you do, for what lies ahead. All of us at Ozarks know that you will carve your individually distinctive marks on the world; that you will make a difference in the lives of others in the same manner you made a difference in our lives.

   Whatever you do, do it well. Wherever you go, go with confidence. However you choose to live, live to the fullest. And whenever you feel the need to reconnect with your Ozarks’ family, come back home.

   Class of 2005, may God watch over you and keep you safe.

Dr. Rick Niece

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Unversity of the Ozarks, Clarksville, AR 72830.
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