Jun 08, 2021

Dr. Ben Carson first speaker announced for National Symposium on Patriotic Education, College of the Ozarks to host


Headshot of Dr. Ben Carson
Ben Carson

Registration open for live digital event to take place Sept. 16-17

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks will host the National Symposium on Patriotic Education via livestream Sept. 16-17, 2021. The purpose of the Symposium, which is hosted by The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education at College of the Ozarks, is to revive historic American values and virtue on the eve of the 250th anniversary of America’s founding.

Dr. Ben Carson, former United States Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, will speak at the Symposium. Additional nationally known speakers will be announced throughout the summer.

“There are many who talk about what is wrong with America,” said College President Jerry C. Davis. “At C of O, we believe there is much that is right with our country. We intend to take a leadership role in patriotic education by helping students of all ages learn about liberty, sacrifice, free enterprise, and service. Respect for these critical building blocks of our nation has eroded, and we intend to help restore that respect.”

The Symposium will feature sessions centered around the following four pillars of patriotic education, as defined by The William S. Knight Center:

  • Pillar 1 – Liberty’s Lessons: Expand knowledge of American heritage, especially individual and religious freedom.
  • Pillar 2 – Liberty’s Cost: Honor the sacrifices of Veterans and their families.
  • Pillar 3 – Liberty’s Foundation: Strengthen free enterprise through hard work and entrepreneurship.
  • Pillar 4 – Liberty’s Legacy: Promote public, civic, and military service.

To learn more about the Symposium, and to register, visit: https://cofo.edu/nspe

“The College is pleased to take a leadership role in sharing with the nation the creative ways we are teaching young people about our country, its founding, its unique structure of government, its struggles, and to renew our collective commitment to preserving those ideals that have made America strong,” Davis said.

Dr. Marci Linson, vice president for patriotic activities and dean of admissions, sees this as a critical time for such an event.

“Today’s revolutionary battle is a fight to teach our nation’s history truthfully – the good and the bad,” Linson said. “We hope to inspire the audience by sharing our goal of understanding American heritage, civic responsibility, love of country, and willingness to defend it.

“Offering this as a complimentary livestream event increases our outreach and allows us to draw many concerned citizens into the conversation about the importance of patriotic education,” Linson said. “We trust that being able to access the content of this meaningful online event will prove convenient and educational for our guests.”

More about The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education

Dr. Andrew Bolger serves as the director of The Keeter Center for Character Education and The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education. The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education embodies the patriotic goal of the College: to encourage an understanding of American heritage, civic responsibilities, love of country, and the willingness to defend it. The Center will house patriotic education classes for both C of O and S of O students, the community, and all those across the nation who care about American heritage.

“Learning about liberty is the essence of patriotic education,” Bolger said. “Learning about liberty is not limited to a set of historical dates or pieces of information. It requires that Americans cultivate a common, shared identity inspired by the ideals and heritage that formed our nation.”

The William S. Knight Foundation is named for Bill Knight, an ardent patriot who worked vigorously to protect Americans’ liberties and free enterprise system. In 2019, the William S. Knight Foundation granted College of the Ozarks funds in order to make The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education a reality.

“The William S. Knight Foundation is proud to support College of the Ozarks in its patriotic endeavors,” said Kirk Blumm, president of The William S. Knight Foundation. “We have many shared values and are excited to see this special event offered to the nation this fall.”

More about Dr. Ben Carson

Benjamin Carson was raised, along with his brother, Curtis, in Detroit and Boston by a single mom with less than a third-grade education. He was a terrible student until his mother turned off the television and imposed a requirement that the boys read two books each from the Detroit public libraries every week and submit to her written book reports. Their academic performance improved dramatically, and Benjamin won a scholarship to Yale University, followed by medical school at the University of Michigan, and an internship and residency in neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins.

Following a stint in Western Australia as the senior registrar at Sir Charles Gairdner Medical Centre, he returned to Johns Hopkins and was appointed Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery in 1984 at the age of 33. In 1985, he and colleagues at Johns Hopkins began the process of reviving the operation known as cerebral hemispherectomy to control intractable seizures in children.

In 1987, he led a team of 70 professionals in the first technically successful separation of occipital craniopagus twins (joined at the back of the head) from Germany. In 1997, he and an international team accomplished the first completely successful separation of type two vertical craniopagus twins in South Africa. The twins were joined at the top of the head and facing in opposite directions. They are living without neurological complications.

With much public urging, Carson reluctantly entered the presidential primaries in 2015 and briefly held front-runner status before dropping out and accepting the position as the 17th United States Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. At HUD, his team was responsible for many innovative programs such as the Foster Youth to Independence program (FYI), which helps youth who have aged out of foster care obtain the support necessary to set them on a trajectory of success. They also created the EnVision Center program, which facilitates self-sufficiency in underserved populations. Under Secretary Carson's oversight, the agency once again became fiscally responsible, resulting in the first clean audit in many years. He also chaired the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, consisting of multiple federal agencies for the purpose of developing and expanding the Opportunity Zone program. The list of his accomplishments at HUD is expansive.

Carson has been married to his wife, Candy, for 46 years, and they have three sons, three daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He is president and chairman of the American Cornerstone Institute (ACI), which emphasizes common sense solutions to improve the lives of all Americans. He believes America is more of an idea than a place – an idea that promotes liberty and justice for all.