University of the Ozarks
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|University of the Ozarks|
|Religious affiliation||Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)|
|Location||Clarksville, Arkansas, US|
|Colors||Purple and Gold|
University of the Ozarks is a private, four-year comprehensive university located in Clarksville, Arkansas. The university’s 30-acre (120,000 m2), tree-shaded campus sits atop College Hill, about two blocks north of downtown Clarksville. Enrollment averages around 630 students, representing more than 25 states and 20 foreign countries. U of O is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
University of the Ozarks has been ranked as a “top tier” college in the South Region by U.S. News & World Report for the past 13 years. In the 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges, Ozarks was ranked No. 1 Best Value in the Southern Region. The university is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Schools.
University of the Ozarks traces its roots back to 1834, making it the oldest university in Arkansas and one of the oldest institutions of higher education west of the Mississippi River. It was founded by Cumberland Presbyterians in 1834 as Cane Hill College in Cane Hill, Arkansas in Washington County. Its successor, Arkansas Cumberland College, opened in Clarksville in September 1891. The name was changed to College of the Ozarks in 1920. The university alma mater was written in 1928 by Rev. John W. Laird, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Rochester, New York.
During the years of World War II, the enrollment decreased to the point that the Board of Trustees decided to find a tenant for the facilities. From January 1944 through May 1945, the United States Navy leased the full campus for operating a Primary School in their Electronics Training Program. An estimated total of 3,000 Navy and Marine servicemen were trained in the three-month course. In this period, classes for the 150 College of the Ozarks students were held off-campus at the First Presbyterian Church; female students were mainly housed in the church's adjoining Manse.
In 1987, the name was changed to University of the Ozarks. The university enrollment has increased signfinificantly since the mid-1990s, and the number of full-time faculty has been increased from 32 to 48. During the past fifteen years, the university's supporters helped increase the school's endowment by 284 percent. During that span, university president Dr. Rick Niece and members of the university advancement staff led a fund-raising effort where university supporters contributed more than $100 million for academic programs, scholarships, faculty and staff benefits, and facilities.
In 1875 the university became the first institution of higher education to admit women.
In 1946 the university housed the state's first pharmacy school.
In 1959 the university became the first predominately white university in the state to graduate an African-American.
In 1998 U of O received the largest single monetary donation ever made to a private university in Arkansas - $39.5 million from the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation.
The campus has a long history at its current location, dating back to 1891. In the years since the first cornerstone was laid on the site, the campus has undergone continued growth and improvement. There are now more than 20 buildings on campus, with the ten major buildings arranged around a central mall which features a picturesque fountain. The large trees and the classically styled buildings combine to give the campus a distinctive look.
Raymond Munger Memorial Chapel 
One of the main landmarks of the university is the Raymond Munger Memorial Chapel, erected in 1933. The chapel was built with one of the single largest donations ever received by the college at the time, a $75,000 gift from Miss Jesse Munger of Planfield, N.J. Munger donated the money to build the chapel in memory of her father, Raymond Munger, a New York businessman who was known for his interest in religion and education. College students were paid to provide much of the labor for excavation, laying of the foundation and hauling of materials. Munger Chapel, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was designed by architect A.O. Clark of Rogers, Ark. Built of limestone trimmed with Nu-Carth stone, it is of Gothic design and follows general plans used in large cathedrals. The stained glass windows were designed and installed by The Willet Studios of Philadelphia. The university holds weekly services for the campus community in the chapel. It is also a popular wedding venue. The university celebrated the 75th anniversary of the chapel during a special ceremony during the 2008 Alumni Weekend.
Walker Hall 
Walker Hall was completed in 2003, funded by a gift from the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation of Springdale. With its massive 24-foot limestone columns, red granite steps and majestic wood doors, Walker Hall closely resembles its predecessor, Hurie Hall, which occupied the same area of the campus for almost 80 years. In continued honor of Dr. Hurie's contributions to the university, the new facility is home to the Wiley Lin Hurie Education Center, located on its third level. The center contains faculty and staff offices, tutoring rooms, document storage areas, and "smart classrooms" which will give Ozarks education students the chance to learn teaching skills in a modern, flexible environment. The first floor of the 36,000-square-foot facility houses the university's communication program, which now boasts some of the most modern and sophisticated television, radio, and multi-media equipment to be found in the entire region. The main entrance, located on the second level, opens into a large lobby area complete with a lounge area, large screen TV, and a view of the magnificent spiral staircase, all in a flood of natural light coming through the large central skylight. The second floor also houses the Robert H. Basham Micro-Teaching Lab, named in honor of long-time University professor, Dr. Robert Basham.
Walton Fine Arts Center 
The Walton Fine Arts Building, named for Mr. Sam Walton and his wife, Dr. Helen R. Walton, was completed in 1987. The building houses the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts, and features the 700-seat Seay Theatre, the 150-seat Rowntree Recital Hall, the Stephens Art Gallery, a black box theatre, a television studio, an art studio, classrooms and a computer lab.
Organization and administration 
Dr. Wiley Lin Hurie served as president of the university during its early days in Clarksville. Dr. Hurie led a number of important initiatives during his tenure as president, including the drive to join the North Central Association of Colleges and universities.
Rick D. Niece was inaugurated as the 24th president of U of O during an inauguration ceremony on November 1, 1997. A native of Ohio, Niece attended Ohio State University where he earned his bachelor's degree. He earned his master's degree and Ph.D. from Kent State University. Before joining Ozarks, Niece held several administrative positions at Walsh University, including interim president.
Academic profile 
University of the Ozarks offers 29 major programs of study, along with several pre-professional sequences. The curriculum is based on a liberal arts approach, while also offering strong professional preparation in a number of areas. Students have access to a variety of academic support resources, including the university's Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) and Student Support Services (SSS), a federally funded TRIO (program).
The university offers students individualized attention and academic advising, with an average class size of 14, and a student/faculty ratio of 11:1.
Students may select from the following majors: Accounting, Art, General Business, Business Education, Composite Science, Economics, Early Childhood Education, Secondary Education, Environmental Studies, History, History and Literature, Management/Administration, Marketing, Marketing, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physical Education, Political Science, Psychology, Psychology of Human Behavior, Radio/Television/Video, Religion, Religion and Philosophy, Sociology, Spanish, Strategic Communication, and Theatre.
Jones Learning Center 
The university is also home to the Jones Learning Center, the first program in the country designed specifically to help students with learning disabilities at the college level. For an additional fee, students enrolled in the JLC receive a number of enhanced services designed to help them succeed in their college studies.
Enrollment Statistics 
As of 2010
- Size—630 Students
- Average Freshman ACT score—22
- Average Freshman SAT score—1011
- Average Freshman HS GPA—3.30
- States Represented—25
- Countries Represented—20
Student life 
The University of the Ozarks Eagles are a member of the NCAA Division III and compete in the American Southwest Conference against schools from the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The university offers competition in baseball, men's and women's basketball, cross country, men's and women's soccer, softball, and men's and women's tennis.
- As of June 30, 2010. "All U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2010 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2009 to FY 2010" (PDF). 2010 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved December 3, 2011.
- Isch, Larry; "The Navy Invasion of 1945"; Today - A Magazine for Ozark's Alumni and Friends, Fall/Winter 2004, pp. 10-11
- "National Register of Historic Places". National Park Service, nps.gov. Retrieved December 3, 2011.