University of the Ozarks President Richard L. Dunsworth, J.D., has been elected as the new chair of the board of directors of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities (APCU) at the organization’s annual meeting in March. His term will run through July 2020.
Dunsworth has served on the APCU board since 2017. The APCU is an independent, non-profit association that is dedicated to assisting the 56 Presbyterian-affiliated colleges and universities throughout the U.S.
“I am honored to serve on the board of directors of the APCU and humbled that my peers would elect me to serve in a leadership role,” Dunsworth said.
Dunsworth became the 25th president of the university on June 1, 2013. Under his leadership, enrollment at the private-four-year Presbyterian-affiliated university has increased nearly 50 percent---from 585 in 2013 to 872 in 2018---and the university has raised more than $45 million for scholarships and facilities in its current Climb Higher Campaign.
U of O has been affiliated with the Presbyterian Church since it was founded by Cumberland Presbyterians in 1834 in Cane Hill, Arkansas.
As part of its mission, the APCU advocates the important, ongoing role that higher education plays within the Presbyterian Church (USA) and assists presidents in the development of strategies that fulfill their respective institutional missions. APCU member institutions are eligible to participate in APCU-sponsored programs that include an insurance and risk management program, an international student exchange with institutions in Northern Ireland and a tuition exchange for children of faculty and staff members.
The APCU is governed by a board of directors consisting of presidents from 12 member institutions and the president of the Presbyterian College Chaplains Association (PCCA). The executive committee of the board includes the current board chair, the treasurer, the chair-elect, and the executive director of the association. Board members serve three-year terms.
The Rev. Lisa Reece, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, in Bonham, Texas, will visit University of the Ozarks during the week of Sept. 24 as a visiting pastor in the University’s Pastoral Study Leave Program. She will lead the University’s weekly Chapel Service at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Reece has served at First Presbyterian Church in Bonham since Oct. 1, 2017. Before that, she spent 28 years serving as a Christian educator in seven PCUSA churches throughout Grace Presbytery in Texas. She also was a chaplain in the Baylor Scott & White Healthcare System in Dallas for three years. Reece is a PCUSA-certified Christian educator and has served as a ruling elder. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from Texas Tech University and a master of divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. She was ordained as a PCUSA teaching elder, minister of word and sacrament, on Oct. 8, 2017. She and her husband, Jerry, have two adult children, Marshall and Michelle. She enjoys knitting prayer shawls, making jewelry, reading, movies, and relaxing on her screened-in porch with her dogs. The Pastoral Study Leave Program was established in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. James R. Struthers of Stillwater, Okla., a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Struthers established the program to bring Presbyterian pastors to the U of O campus for personal and professional development. Reece is the 24th visiting pastor to take part in the program.
The Rev. Kate Hogue, a pastor at John Knox Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, Okla., will visit University of the Ozarks during the week of April 16 as part of the University’s Pastoral Study Leave Program. Hogue will lead the University’s weekly Chapel Service at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 17, in Munger-Wilson Chapel. As one of the pastors at John Knox, Hogue has the responsibilities of “preaching monthly, hanging out with kiddos, youth, and young adults and finding new ways for the Church to do mission and be more inclusive.”
A native of Joplin, Mo., she has a MDIV from Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Missouri State University. Before coming to John Knox, Hogue led youth and college ministries as well as ecumenical and interfaith groups. She and her husband, Sean, have been married for six years and they enjoy “camping, cooking delicious vegetarian fare, road trips, important conversations, being silly and good movies.” The Pastoral Study Leave Program
was established in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. James R. Struthers of Stillwater, Okla., a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Struthers established the program to bring Presbyterian pastors to the U of O campus for personal and professional development. Hogue is the 24th visiting pastor to take part in the program.
The University of the Ozarks Chamber Singers will present their annual Spring Concert, titled “Songs of the Sea,” at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 26, in Munger-Wilson Chapel. The event is open to the public and there is no cost for admission. The concert is a prelude to the choir’s spring tour, which runs from May 13-18 and includes five performances at churches in Northwest Arkansas, Kansas City, Mo., and Springfield, Mo. Under the direction assistant professor of music and choral conductor Dr. Jonathan Ledger, the concert will feature a wide variety of choral repertoire from all style periods that relate to themes of the sea, including reflections, exploration, adventure, tragedy, loss and meditations.
The program will include, “A Song for All Seas, All Ships,” by Ralph Vaughan Williams; “Ecco mormorar l’onde,” by Claudio Monteverdi; “I Have Loved Hours at Sea” by Ēriks Ešenvalds; “Northern Lights,” by Ēriks Ešenvalds; “A Passer By,” by Byron Adams; “High Barbary,” by Arthur E. Hall; “H.M.S. Pinafore: A Choral Salute,” by Gilbert & Sullivan (arr. Philip Kern); “Face Answereth to Face,” from Twelve Canticles by Randall Thompson; and “Never an Absolution,” from Titanic, by James Horner (arr. Jonathan Ledger). Other songs the ensemble will perform include, “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” by Lowell Mason (arr. Dan Forrest); “Vineta,” by Johannes Brahms; “Crossing the Bar,” by Gwyneth Walker; “The Seal Lullaby,” by Eric Whitacre; “Wade in the Water,” arr. Moses Hogan; and “It Is Well with My Soul,” by Philip P. Bliss (arr. René Clausen). Adjunct music instructor Bethany Qualls will serve as the collaborative pianist during the concert as well as the tour.
The Rev. Jeffrey Snell of Cuba, Mo., will visit University of the Ozarks during the week of Oct. 23 as part of the University's Pastoral Study Leave Program. Snell will lead the University’s weekly Chapel Service at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24. After working for several years in the hospitality field, Snell entered seminary at Gordon-Conwell in Charlotte, N.C. After graduating in 2015, he moved to Missouri, where he serves two Presbyterian churches in the small town of Cuba. Snell has a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and an MBA from the University of Memphis. The Pastoral Study Leave Program was established in 2005 by the late Rev. Dr. James R. Struthers of Stillwater, Okla., a long-time member of the University’s Board of Trustees. Struthers established the program to bring Presbyterian pastors to the U of O campus for personal and professional development. Snell is the 22nd visiting pastor to take part in the program.
Ozarks will welcome approximately 300 new students to campus on Aug. 17 for the start of First Week 2017, the official kickoff for the 2017-18 academic year. Classes for the Fall 2017 Semester will begin on Tuesday, Aug. 22. First Week, which runs from Aug. 17-21, is an on-campus orientation program to help new students become acclimated to the University. First Week begins on the morning of Aug. 17 with faculty, staff and upperclass students helping the new students move into the residence halls. First Week 2017 will include a mix of developmental, academic, social and engagement orientation opportunities. According to Dean of Students Steve Weaver, First Week was created through a collaborative effort of faculty, staff and current students. “First Week is a fun and informational event that serves to support the transition to college, integrate new students into our campus community, and strengthen the connection to Ozarks’ rich history,” Weaver said “It is a special time to spend with students and their families as these students begin their journey at Ozarks.” Weaver said a major component of First Week is to help prepare students for academic success. “Students will have sessions with their Ozarks Experience instructor and classmates, designed to engage students about their academic transition to Ozarks and to set students up for academic success,” Weaver said. “We have created the structure and have the staff to support and encourage students during this important transition and to set the groundwork for a successful four years at Ozarks.” One of the highlights of First Week is the Matriculation Ceremony, where the University officially welcomes the new class to campus. The Matriculation Ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m., Aug. 17, in Munger-Wilson Chapel. “Matriculation is a very meaningful ceremony that is a symbolic welcoming and exchange of promises between students and the University,” Weaver said. The residence halls will open at 8 a.m. on Aug. 17 for the new students to move in.
Events of the week include:
- Aug 17 - a welcoming program at 1 p.m.; an information session for parents at 1:30 p.m.; Matriculation Ceremony at 3 p.m.; a President’s Welcome Picnic at 5 p.m.;
- Aug 19 - Eagle Serve community service projects in the morning; an “Ozarks Got Talent!” event at 8 p.m.
- Aug 20 - Ozarks Fest on the campus mall at 7 p.m.
- Aug 21 - Opening convocation for all students at 4 p.m.
Important dates for the Fall 2017 Semester:
- Labor Day Holiday: Sept. 4
- Parent’s Weekend: Sept. 22-24
- Homecoming: Oct. 13-15
- Fall Break: Oct. 19-20
- Thanksgiving Holiday: Nov. 22-24
- Last Day of Classes: Dec. 6
- Final Exams: Dec. 8-13
- Fall Commencement: Dec. 16
University of the Ozarks and First Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) of Clarksville have entered into a covenant that will allow the church to hold its weekly services in the University’s Munger-Wilson Memorial Chapel. The covenant, which recognizes the long-standing partnership between the two institutions, was signed in June by University President Richard Dunsworth and Dr. Pat Farmer, Clerk of Session for the church and a U of O professor emeritus. Farmer, who taught theatre at Ozarks from 1987 to 2011, said a declining membership prompted church members to look for alternative venues to hold its weekly services. "As is the case with many other mainline churches who are declining in membership, First Presbyterian, Clarksville, was financially unable to maintain its 100-year-old building,” he said. “Knowing that the church is the people and not the building, the congregation unanimously voted to leave its historic home and to start a new and exciting chapter in our life as we discover what it means to be a church without property.” The church held its first Sunday service in Munger-Wilson Chapel on Pentecost Sunday, June 4. Dunsworth said the agreement “is a celebration of the partnership in ministry and service that these two institutions have had for more than 150 years.” “Moving forward, it will help us realize the potential for mutually energizing, mutually beneficial partnerships and collaboration, particularly in programmatic areas where our separate missions intersect or overlap,” Dunsworth added. “As we enter into this covenant, it’s an affirmation that both institutions will work together to enhance each other’s mission and core values.” The agreement provides the church use of the chapel and the adjoining Wilson Plaza for its weekly 11 a.m. Sunday worship service, preceded by 10 a.m. programming for Bible study, as well as other special services throughout the year. It also sets up a Covenant Committee to “facilitate and emulate a spirit of cooperation” between the two institutions. The University has been affiliated with the Presbyterian Church since it was founded in 1834 by Cumberland Presbyterians in Cane Hill, Arkansas. That relationship continued when the University moved to Clarksville in 1891. The University temporarily moved its operations to the First Presbyterian Church facility for two years during World War II when the U.S. Navy took over the campus for radar training. Munger-Wilson Chapel underwent a $2.75 million renovation in 2015 thanks to a gift from Mrs. Frances E. Wilson of Tulsa, Okla. The renovation included a new center for student spiritual development as well as a plaza that contains a 125-seat amphitheater.
University of the Ozarks President Richard Dunsworth, J.D., has been elected to the board of directors for the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities (APCU).
U of O President Richard Dunsworth was recently selected for a three-year term on the board of directors of the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities (APCU).
Dunsworth’s three-year term begins immediately on the board of the independent, non-profit association that is dedicated to assisting the more than 50 Presbyterian-affiliated colleges and universities throughout the U.S. “I am honored to have been elected to serve as a director for the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities,” Dunsworth said. “The Presbyterian Church in its many forms and iterations has played a significant role in the landscape of higher education. The APCU serves as an additional link between our 56-member organization and the presidents and chaplains who have been called to serve them. Having recently renewed our covenant with the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), I believe I have a realistic view of our collective reality. I look forward to exploring ways we can continue to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and each other as we grow and develop as people and as organizations, but ultimately, as the body of Christ.” University of the Ozarks has been affiliated with the Presbyterian Church since it was founded by Cumberland Presbyterians in 1834 in Cane Hill, Arkansas. John Comerford, president of Blackburn College, was selected to serve as the APCU chair-elect for 2017-18. As part of its mission, the APCU advocates the important, ongoing role that higher education plays within the Presbyterian Church (USA) and assists presidents in the development of strategies that fulfill their respective institutional missions. APCU member institutions are eligible to participate in APCU-sponsored programs that include an insurance and risk management program, an international student exchange with institutions in Northern Ireland and a tuition exchange for children of faculty and staff members.
The donation of a polytunnel by the national Presbyterian Women (PCUSA) will allow the University of the Ozarks' Food for Thought Garden to double its already impressive production, according to University officials. The polytunnel is being donated through a competitive Thank Offering Grant of $7,000 by the national office of Presbyterian Women, located in Louisville, Ky. The polytunnel will be erected this summer and will allow garden coordinators to regulate temperature, moisture and ventilation in a portion of the garden, thus extending the growing season.
Produce from the Food for Thought garden.
According to Arkansas GardenCorps service member and 2016 Ozarks graduate Nena Evans, the garden produced nearly 600 pounds of produce during the 2016-17 academic year. She said that total could double once the new polytunnel has been in place at least a year. “We will be able to extend our growing season into the late fall and early spring months, while school is in session,” Evans said. “That means more fresh produce for our community and for the schools, which is a great benefit.” The Food for Thought Garden donates one-third of its produce to the local schools through their backpack programs, which provides fresh vegetables and fruit to low income families. Approximately 165 children in the Clarksville School District have benefitted from the program during this school year. Some of the produce is also donated to local food pantries. “This year we’re going to donate more than 230 pounds of fresh produce to the backpack programs and food pantries in Johnson County,” Evans said. “In the past it’s been more difficult to get the produce to the schools because there is very little overlap between the growing season and the school year. The polytunnel will allow us to have more fresh produce during the school year.” Evans has visited the local school several times this past year to present taste-testing demonstrations and information on healthy eating. She said the most popular produce from the garden for the children have been cherry tomatoes, strawberries, snap peas, radishes, cucumbers, onions and mini peppers. She has wowed her young audiences with such concoctions as radish top pesto and snap peas in yogurt. “We try to show them that eating healthy can be enjoyable and we try to bring vegetables that they can eat raw and as snacks,” Evans said. “I always have kids who are surprised that they like certain vegetables. When you see kids opening up their attitudes about vegetables. it makes it all worthwhile.” Dr. Kim Van Scoy, professor of environmental studies and sustainable agriculture, said the polytunnel will also have an academic benefit to the University. “Several classes incorporate the garden in their curriculum and the extended growing season will allow more students to get hands-on training and knowledge,” Van Scoy said. “It will be a tremendous addition to the Food for Thought Garden, to the University and to Johnson County.” University of the Ozarks has been affiliated with the Presbyterian Church since it was established in Cane Hill, Ark., in 1834.
The University’s Food for Thought Garden produced nearly 600 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables during the 2016-17 academic year. That number is expected to double in the coming years, thanks to a new polytunnel that will expand the growing season. The polytunnel was provided through a gift from the Presbyterian Women.
University of the Ozarks will present a talk titled, "Discerning God's Call: Finding Your Core Purpose," by Presbyterian Pastor Dr. Rodger Y. Nishioka at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 26, in the Rogers Conference Center. Nishioka's visit is made possible by the Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer Chapel Guest Speaker Endowment. There is no charge for general admission and the public is invited to attend. Nishioka is the senior associate pastor and director of adult faith formation at the Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kan. He said current research shows that millennials, more than previous generations, are having a difficult time discerning a meaningful purpose for their lives. "People who have no particular destination tend to wander aimlessly and then wonder why," Nishioka said. "Whether it's due to fear of making the wrong choice or an overabundance of choices, when asked, most millennials cannot articulate any sense of a calling. The struggle here is that finding one's calling and core purpose are integral to maturity and identity. This lecture will focus on how one discerns God's call amidst all the competing calls of the day. We will explore what a core purpose is, why it is valuable, and how one finds and tests it. One of the foundational beliefs of all faiths is that each person exists for a reason. For followers of Jesus, we believe that Jesus shows us how to find and live into our core purpose." Born in Honolulu and raised in Seattle at the Japanese Presbyterian Church, Nishioka is the son of a retired Presbyterian minister. He is one of the most sought-after and inspiring preachers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Prior to his joining Village Church last year, he taught for 15 years at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga. He received his doctor of philosophy degree in social and cultural foundations of education from Georgia State University. He earned his master of arts in theological studies with an emphasis in biblical studies and theology from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and a bachelor of arts in English from Seattle Pacific University. University of the Ozarks Chaplain Rev. Jeremy Wilhelmi was one of Nishioka's former students. Nishioka will also be speaking at the university's weekly chapel service at 11 a.m. on April 26. His sermon is titled, "Saving Ourselves and Others,"
based off the classic text for young adults and their calling: 1 Timothy 4:11-16. In the text, Timothy is told not to let anyone look down on him because of his youth but instead to set an example for the believers. In so doing, Timothy will save himself and his hearers.
Presbyterian Pastor Dr. Rodger Nishioka will speak at U of O on April 26 as part of the Cecil and Ruth Boddie Farmer Chapel Guest Speaker Endowment.