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College of the Ozarks welcomes groups back to school

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Called “Hard Work U” by The Wall Street Journal, College of the Ozarks offers its students an education from a fully accredited, four-year university, with a caveat. They earn tuition costs by working at the school. 

Located in Point Lookout, Missouri, only minutes from Branson, College of the Ozarks provides free, student-guided tours on weekdays for motorcoach groups.

“We are happy to provide students as guides on your bus tour of campus,” said Valorie Coleman, public relations director.

Coleman’s office arranges motorcoach tours of the campus, which take approximately one hour and can be customized to meet groups’ needs. 

“The tour makes several stops through campus, and our student guides are knowledgeable about all aspects of the campus,” she said. “They make the tours fun and memorable for groups.”

Coleman’s office arranges motorcoach tours of the campus. The tour includes visiting the Williams Memorial Chapel, Edwards Mill, the Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen, and the greenhouses, including the Hoge Greenhouses.

The Hoge Greenhouses are home to the Clint McDade Orchid Collection, which features more than 7,000 plants. The modern glass confines nurture more than prize-winning orchids. When the college sought ways to provide fresh produce for its students, staff and guests, it turned to the greenhouses to grow their own. Today, the greenhouses produce vegetables and herbs vertically.

The vertical trend in horticulture is one that is used throughout the world as a more efficient way to provide food for growing populations. 

Campus-grown and prepared food — like bread made from grains ground at the Edwards Mill — makes its way to the menu at The Keeter Center.

The Keeter Center is an on-campus, award-winning lodge, restaurant and conference facility. Casual lunches, dinner and Sunday brunch are offered in Dobyns Dining Room or private rooms can be arranged.

Coleman’s office can customize a group tour to visit other parts of the campus, including a meal at The Keeter Center. Motorcoach parking is available.

For more information, call 417-690-2212 or visit cofo.edu.

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