Jan 22, 2021

College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis responds to cancellation of 1776 Commission

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. —College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis responded today to the disbanding of the 1776 Commission, of which he was a member. He was interviewed by Pete Hegseth on the Fox News Channel program “Fox & Friends” this morning.

“I think what we see here is just another battle in the war against American heritage,” Davis said. “Why would anybody have a problem with a commission whose sole goal is to better inform people about the heritage of this country?”

Davis encouraged viewers to read the report of the 1776 Commission, which was released on Monday, for themselves.

“I think people ought to read the report for themselves, and my guess is that most Americans will agree with what the Commission says,” Davis said.

Davis was appointed to the Commission, a non-partisan group that was formed to promote patriotic education across America, in December 2020. The appointment was intended as a two-year term.

Davis met with the group twice, once in person in Washington, D.C., and once via a virtual meeting. He shared with the Commission, drawing on the longstanding commitment of College of the Ozarks to patriotic education.

“The patriotic goal for the College was established nearly 50 years ago, and we remain laser-focused on patriotic education as a key to fulfilling our vision of developing students of Christ-like character who are well-educated, hardworking, and patriotic,” Davis said.

“We think others should look at what we’re doing to teach patriotic education because we need to train citizens to love America in its broadest sense and not run it down every time they have a chance,” Davis said on the Fox News program.

Davis has overseen more than a decade of focused patriotic education at College of the Ozarks. In 2009, the Patriotic Education Travel Program was instituted, which has enabled more than 155 Veterans and 361 students to travel to battle sites where the Veterans served (Normandy, N. Africa, Italy, Pearl Harbor, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Philippines, Korea, and four trips to Vietnam).

In September, College of the Ozarks announced the establishment of The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education on its campus, built by its staff and students, with completion slated for 2021. The Center was founded in order to take the College’s tested patriotic education programs to a national stage and support the civic education of American youth through advocacy and digital resources. It will house the patriotic education classes, attended by all college students, as well as a variety of programs to foster good citizenship for students and the general public.

The Center is a physical embodiment of the patriotic goal of the College, which was established in 1973: to encourage an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibilities, love of country, and the willingness to defend it.

To access the full 1776 Commission report, visit the College of the Ozarks website: http://www.cofo.edu/1776-commission

To view the interview on “Fox & Friends,” visit: https://video.foxnews.com/v/6225237338001

More about President Jerry C. Davis

Over the course of his 44-year career as a college president (one of the longest in higher education), Davis has returned two institutions to their historic missions, despite significant financial and organizational challenges. Davis has received many personal and institutional awards for his service and leadership in the realm of higher education. He has served two terms as president of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities and in 2014 was designated as an “Icon of Education” by Ingram’s, the Kansas City business magazine. For many years, he has served as a trustee or advisor of the Marine Military Academy and has been a featured speaker at the United States Air Force Academy and the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 2004, Davis received the Missourian Award, one of the state’s highest honors.

Davis and College of the Ozarks have received many other recognitions, such as the 2015 National Freedom Award, the highest honor given by the United States Department of Defense to employers for support of National Guard and Reserve employees. Under his watchful eye, College of the Ozarks has been noted for its academic excellence, character development, and affordability by several national publications including The Princeton Review Best 373 Colleges, The New York Times, USA Today, Forbes, and Money Magazine. The College has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and on Fox News Network, CBS, ABC, and various national radio networks. U.S. News & World Report has ranked College of the Ozarks a top college in the Midwest since 1989.