Dirty Jobs’ Mike Rowe to join College of the Ozarks for upcoming spring forum event

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. – Since its founding in 1906, the Work Education Program at College of the Ozarks has been a staple that allows students to work and not owe tuition fees to the university.

The college celebrates its “Hard Work U” mission at the annual Spring Work Ethic Forum Convocation on March 28, featuring prominent leaders from across the nation speaking about essential issues. Discussions focus on the importance of building character and leadership skills. 

The private Christian university’s vision is to develop citizens of Christ-like character who are well-educated, hard working and patriotic.

University staff ensure the forum theme changes and rotates each year. Speakers from past forums have included Dr. Ben Carson, Former First Lady Laura Bush, Dave Ramsey, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Ben Stein and Margaret Thatcher. 

This year the university has chosen a speaker whose career deals with multiple industries within the workforce. Mike Rowe of Discovery channel’s famed show Dirty Jobs will be in attendance to roam campus and will speak at the Forum Convocation.

The event will take place on campus at Howell W. Keeter Athletic Complex, with doors opening at 5:45 p.m and the convocation beginning at 7 p.m.

A limited number of tickets were available to the public at no charge. For those not able to attend, College of the Ozarks leaders plan to post a streaming video of Mr. Rowe’s speech in mid-April on the university website

“We are really excited to host him. He will be our main speaker,” C of O Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman told The Heartlander. “We really try to do this for our students. Our students come first. We allow them to partake in this and learn from whoever that speaker may be. We really think this is going to be a good matchup and fit for us. We love the work ethic, dignity and honor that Mike Rowe gives to work.”

Coleman says the campus was built by students who have worked hard to earn tuition.

“It is a blessing, a wonderful opportunity for many students who would otherwise not have any means to go to college.”

The campus features over 100 workstations for students to choose from. Freshmen begin at entry-level jobs and finish their first year by applying with workstation supervisors for bigger and better positions. The university offers everything from the dish pit in the cafeteria to farm work, craftsmanship and working in the public relations office.

Coleman feels there is something for everyone at C of O.

In the days leading up to the spring forum event, business leaders from northwest Arkansas will speak with students at the “Workforce Round Table at Hard Work U.”

The new round table initiative is driven by Sue Head, vice president of cultural affairs and dean of character education – all to prepare students to take their seat at the table of work influence. 

To keep up with news from the university, click here. 

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