Why Give : Stories

Every year, hundreds of alumni, families, and friends support University of the Ozarks through the Annual Scholarship Fund.  Your gift makes a difference and ensures that Ozarks remains committed to our mission.

We also understand the meaningful impact Ozarks had on your life.  Hear what some of the current recipients have to say about the impact on their lives…


WhyPhoto2Brianna Thomas

2019 – Political Science/Psychology

Your contribution to my scholarship has allowed me to be a part of not only an academic enriched college, but also a community that understands the importance of not belittling you into a number. Your contribution to assist me with attending school is a blessing, because my family couldn’t afford to send me to college; therefore, without your scholarship, I would probably not be attending college, or at least not one like Ozarks. As I continue my educational experience, I am grateful to know that I have your support.


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Lindsey Cross

2018 – Biology – Medical

My future career aspiration is to become an anesthesiologist – to be a part of something bigger than myself. Coming from small town Arkansas, where citizens live paycheck to paycheck, college seems like an impossible payment to handle, and this scholarship made it possible. Coming to the University of the Ozarks has been one of the greatest blessings of my life and the scholarship that you have given me has been a blessing in itself and for that I am forever grateful.


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Daniel Hall

2018 – Theatre

I have had a love for theatre since high school, working on the technical side and doing productions at high school, collegiate, and community levels. I transferred from a community college in Central Arkansas after seeing the theatre company in action at the American College Theatre Festival. After graduation, I plan to get my MFA in Technical Directing and eventually be the Technical Director for a college or university. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to further my education here at Ozarks.


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Akevion Cunningham

2018 – Business Administration

Not wanting to become a product of my environment in Southern Mississippi, I joined various teams (football, soccer, and tennis) and learned the importance of honesty, teamwork and respect for others. Today, I am ecstatic to represent you on the court as an Eagle. I would love to be a role model for my community showing them that with hard work, dedication and faith, all things are possible. Thank you for this great opportunity. I will make you proud, and one day, I will also help a student who deserves the same break.


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Valerie Baltazar

2018 – Psychology

The trust fund has most definitely impacted my education, my life, and the life of my family. Without it, it would be almost impossible for me to attend Ozarks. Receiving this took a huge weight off our shoulders. My parents divorced when I was young. My biological father would constantly remind me that I would never graduate high school and that I would never amount to anything in life. Now, I have halfway completed my bachelor’s degree and have the motivation to work hard and give back to my community and family. It is such a huge blessing to be the recipient of this fund.


whyphoto6Rafael Perez

2018 – Business Administration and Marketing

I am a first-generation college student studying to obtain a dual degree. When coming to college, I knew I wanted to attend somewhere with small classes. I got that at Ozarks and so much more. I felt immediately welcome here. I have become very involved on campus – a member of the Cross Country team, vice president of Ozark Outbackers, a member of Student Government Association, and several other activities. I have applied for marketing internships with the National Basketball Association and the Miami Heat. My parents and I cannot thank you enough for the difference you are making in my life.


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