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College of the Ozarks celebrates commencement

Sunday marked a major milestone for many students of College of the Ozarks, as the college known as Hard Work U celebrated its 117th Commencement Ceremony.  

The event, held in the campus Athletic Complex, featured Chris Boyett as keynote speaker. Boyett is a 1986 graduate of College of the Ozarks. Since graduating, Boyett has made a name for himself in the world of business. Following his graduation from College of the Ozarks, Boyett earned his MBA and began his career with such businesses as Kraft Foods, DelMonte and Hershey before moving to the soft drink world. After holding a variety of marketing and sales roles within the PepsiCo organization, Boyett spent 24 years working in top executive roles in PepsiCo. He was the recipient of many top honors, and was well regarded as a teacher, coach and a developer of talent. Boyett retired from Pepsi and the corporate world in 2022.  

Boyett now spends his time giving back to his community through volunteer work and serving as an adjunct teacher at College of the Ozarks.


A total of 327 students received their diplomas during Sunday's ceremony, including 249 Bachelor of Science graduates, 61 Bachelor of Arts graduates and 17 receiving Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.  

Students graduating represented a large variety of majors, the most popular being Psychology, Family Studies/Social Studies, Accounting, Business Administration and Nursing.  

A traditional part of the College of the Ozarks' annual commencement ceremony includes the commissioning of officer candidates into military service. During Sunday's ceremony, Officer Candidate Ester Schieffer, a music major with an emphasis on piano, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army National Guard.

Congratulations to all of the 2024 Graduates of College of the Ozarks. Here's to a job well done!

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