College of the Ozarks to Dedicate The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial

Publish Date: 
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Media Contact: Valorie Coleman

Public Relations Director

College of the Ozarks

Point Lookout, MO 65726

Office: (417) 690-2212

Cell: (417) 365-2727

Email: [email protected]

College of the Ozarks to dedicate The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial April 19, 2017 

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks will dedicate The Missouri Gold Star Families Memorial on campus Wednesday, April 19, at 2:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the ceremony. A reception will follow in The Keeter Center.

The purpose of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument is to honor Gold Star Families (those who have lost immediate family members killed in their service to the country), to preserve the memory of the fallen, and stand as a stark reminder that freedom is not free.

“We view this as our duty to honor all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities. “Building this memorial is the College’s way of honoring families who sacrificed everything in the name of freedom.”

The event program will include remarks given on behalf of A Grateful State, Alumni Who Served, Gold Star Families, Veterans, and the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation. Hershel “Woody” Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman for his actions on the island of Iwo Jima in February 1945.

The Memorial on the College of the Ozarks campus is presented in cooperation with The Hershel Woody Williams Congressional Medal of Honor Education Foundation, Inc. This will be the first Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in the state of Missouri.

The memorial is built by College of the Ozarks students and staff and made possible by a gift from Johnny Morris, founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops, and the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge golf tournament. The College is one of the charitable beneficiaries of this tournament.

Special guests in attendance will include Hershel “Woody” Williams; Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, WWII Veteran and chancellor of the University of Richmond; retired General Terrence R. Dake (USMC); Ryan Manion and Amy Looney from The Travis Manion Foundation; and most importantly, members of Gold Star Families.

“This day is for them,” Cizek said.

Memorial description

The black granite monument will feature two sides. One side will bear the following inscription: Gold Star Families Memorial Monument, a tribute to Gold Star Mothers, Fathers, and Relatives who have sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom.

The other side will tell a story through four granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. The scenes on each panel will be a reflection of each community’s Gold Star Families and their fallen heroes. At the center of this tribute will be the most distinct feature of the monument, the cut out which represents the loved one who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. College of the Ozarks seniors Katherine Yung, art education major, and Emma Carter, studio art/graphic design major, designed the four panels.

More about Gold Star Families

The Department of Defense presents one of two lapel pins to Gold Star Family members. The pins are worn by the survivors to recognize their sacrifices and as a way for others to pay tribute to them. The first pin is the Gold Star Lapel Pin, which was established by Congress in 1947 and is presented to spouses and family members of service members killed in combat. The second pin is the Next of Kin Lapel Pin, which is presented to immediate family members of service members who die while serving outside of combat operations. This pin features a gold star on a gold background.Dr. E. Bruce Heilman, WWII Veteran and chancellor of the University of Richmond; Hershel “Woody” Williams, WWII Medal of Honor recipient; and Bryan Cizek, director of patriotic activities at College of the Ozarks enjoy the day’s events at the memorial groundbreaking.

For additional information, contact Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman at (417) 690-2212.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a Christian, liberal arts college located on a 1,000-acre campus in Point Lookout, Missouri. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including being named the #1 Best Value College in the Midwest for 2015 by “U.S. News & World Report.”  

The Keeter Center — the College’s upscale lodge, restaurant, and conference facility — was ranked the No. 1 Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2016. It features fine dining, historic lodging, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on the College of the Ozarks campus.

To achieve its vision, College of the Ozarks pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, begun in fall 2012 for high school students, and the S. Truett Cathy Lower School, opened in fall 2014 to K-sixth grade students. Seventh and eighth grades were added in fall 2015, completing the K-college model. For information, call the public relations office at (417) 690-2212 or visit Follow College of the Ozarks at or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.


 03.06.17 – Valorie Coleman