Aug 02, 2021

Former Vice President Mike Pence announced as featured speaker for The National Symposium on Patriotic Education

Former Vice President Mike Pence with American flag in the background
Former Vice President Mike Pence

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

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — Michael R. Pence, 48th vice president of the United States, is the fourth featured speaker to be announced by College of the Ozarks as part of The National Symposium on Patriotic Education, to be held 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. Pence joins other speakers, including Dr. Ben Carson, former United States Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former White House press secretary, and Edward Graham, assistant to the vice president of Programs and Government Relations for Samaritan’s Purse.

The people of east-central Indiana elected Pence six times to represent them in Congress. On Capitol Hill, he established himself as a champion of limited government, fiscal responsibility, economic development, educational opportunity, and the U.S. Constitution. On April 7, 2021, Pence announced the launch of a new political advocacy group, “Advancing American Freedom.” The group’s stated goal is to “promote the pro-freedom policies of the last four years that created unprecedented prosperity at home and restored respect for America abroad, to defend those policies from liberal attacks and media distortions, and to prevent the radical Left from enacting its policy agenda that would threaten America’s freedoms.”

During the Symposium, participants can expect to hear from nationally known speakers, learn about patriotic education programs, connect with thought-leaders and practitioners, and access innovative patriotic education content and resources.

To learn more about this free event, and to register, visit:

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

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

“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.”

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

“Vice President Pence has undoubtedly witnessed the decline in American patriotism in the halls of government and in our communities,” Linson said. “We are honored to have him speak at the Symposium on the importance of reversing that trend.

 “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. We trust that accessing the content of this meaningful online event will prove convenient and educational for our guests.”

Learning Liberty’s Foundation

College of the Ozarks administrators hope to affect change in our nation, providing a response to statistics noted in current culture. Young Americans misunderstand the value of capitalism for the flourishing of our nation, and socialism is as popular as capitalism among young adults in the U.S., per a 2019 Gallup Survey. Over a quarter of Americans (26 percent) support the gradual elimination of the capitalist system in favor of a more socialist system (2020 Victims of Communism Poll).

Dr. Andrew Bolger serves as the director of The Keeter Center for Character Education and The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education.

“To discover Liberty’s Foundation, we must strengthen free enterprise through hard work and entrepreneurship,” Bolger said. “Hard work gains traction when our economic system strengthens free enterprise. At the College, we understand this well, as so many of our students, through hard work and education, escape prisons of poverty through the College’s work education program.” 

More about The Honorable Michael R. Pence

Growing up in Indiana, surrounded by good, hardworking Hoosiers, Vice President Pence always knew that he needed to give back to the state and the country that had given him so much. In 2000, he launched a successful bid for his local congressional seat, entering the United States House of Representatives at the age of 40.

His colleagues quickly recognized his leadership ability and unanimously elected him to serve as chairman of the House Republican Study Committee and House Republican Conference Chairman. In this role, Pence worked to make government’s role smaller, effectively reduce spending, and return power to state and local governments.

In 2013, Pence left the nation’s capital when Hoosiers elected him the 50th governor of Indiana. He brought the same limited government and low-tax philosophy to the Indiana Statehouse. As governor, he enacted the largest income tax cut in Indiana history, lowering individual income tax rates, the business personal property tax, and the corporate income tax in order to strengthen the State’s competitive edge and attract new investment and good-paying jobs. Due to his relentless focus on jobs, the state’s unemployment rate fell by half during his four years in office, and at the end of his term, more Hoosiers were working than at any point in the state’s 200-year history.

As governor of Indiana, Pence increased school funding, expanded school choice, and created the first state-funded Pre-K plan in Indiana history. He made career and technical education a priority in every high school. Under his leadership, Indiana, known as “The Crossroads of America,” invested more than $800 million in new money for roads and bridges across the state. Despite the record tax cuts and new investments in roads and schools, the state remained fiscally responsible. Pence worked with members of the Indiana General Assembly to pass two honestly balanced budgets that left the state with strong reserves and AAA credit ratings that were the envy of the nation.

President Donald Trump selected Pence as his running mate in July 2016. After winning the votes of the American people, they entered office on January 20, 2017.

Pence remains grateful for the grace of God, the love and support of his family, and the blessings of liberty that are every American’s birthright.