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2 | Mount Olive College Turns 60 Festivities Mark the College’s Anniversary

4 | Mount Olive College Adds Teacher Licensure Component A New Educational Opportunity for Students 6 | MOC News

9 | American Idol Mozingo Makes it to Top 96 in American Idol and Crowned Miss Goldsboro

10 | Sharing the Word, Reaching the World A Look at Student Kayla Pridgen’s Cross-Cultural Mission Work

12 | Mount Olive College Offers New RN to BSN Program A New Opportunity for Nurses

14 | Winter Glitz Annual Gala Raises Money for Student Scholarships

The 2011-2012 academic year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of Mount Olive College. The College is celebrating with a year of events aimed at drawing attention to the institution’s history and heritage. MARCH Harrison Memorial Lecture March 26-27 Rodgers Chapel APRIL The Magdalene Ensemble: “Behold: Her Story of Easter” April 3, 7:30 PM Southern Bank Auditorium Spring Alumni Weekend April 13-15 Mount Olive Campus Spring Fest 2012 April 14, 1:00 PM Mount Olive Campus “Free Spirit” 15th Anniversary Gala Concert April 14, 7:30 PM Southern Bank Auditorium Spring Student Art Show Reception April 26, 4:00 - 7:00 PM Laughinghouse Hall

16 | Homecoming A Recap of Homecoming Events 18 | Athletics News 22 | Alumni Updates 24 | Advancement News

Spring Band Concert April 26, 7:30 PM Southern Bank Auditorium MAY Handy Mart/Mount Olive College Invitational Golf Tournament May 4-6 Southern Wayne Golf Course


Dear Alumni and Friends of Mount Olive College:

president Philip P. Kerstetter, Ph.D.

editor Rhonda E. Jessup graphic designers Matt Stevens Mandy Hensley Contributing writers Sharon Mervin David Shulimson


ContaCt To receive this publication electronically or to unsubscribe: or 919-658-2502 puBliCation This publication is produced three times per year by the Office of Institutional Advancement. go green! Please recycle this magazine or pass it on to a friend.

© 2012 Mount Olive College

Greetings from Mount Olive College. It has been a busy year at Mount Olive College, and there will be no letup in activities between now and the end of the academic year. The hallmark of this 2011-2012 academic year has been the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of Mount Olive College in 1951. We had a week-long celebration, including a special convocation featuring Dr. A. Hope Williams, president of the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), as keynote speaker; and special greetings from Ms. Amanda Ropp, president of the Student Government Association; the Rev. Harold Swinson, president of the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists; and the Honorable Ray McDonald, mayor of the Town of Mount Olive. A special choral piece was commissioned as part of the celebration, and it was featured in a concert the next evening. Following the concert, a fireworks display lit up the skies above the College. It was a fitting and proper celebration. Homecoming Weekend featured numerous events that brought current students, alumni, and many friends of Mount Olive College together. It was a weekend that featured a pig pickin’ contest, a great golf tournament, induction of the newest members of the Athletics Hall of Fame, and the exciting Pickle Classic basketball tournament. Included in this issue are numerous articles that provide important updates on new programs, activities, and events. I particularly want to let you know that Mount Olive College was one of 14 private North Carolina colleges that participated in the first annual NCICU Ethics Bowl this February. Our students had four different matches in which they debated case studies involving business decisions and the ethics integral to those decisions. It was gratifying to see the way that the students representing our College developed and presented their arguments. They did well, and we were very proud of them. In fact, I received a note from one of the match moderators complimenting the members of our team and our team coordinators, Dean Pressley and Ms. O’Brien, for the exemplary way that they all represented Mount Olive College. This is important, for it demonstrates a core value of study at Mount Olive College that is crucial for providing our students not only the academic skills, but also those moral and ethical skills needed to properly function in our world. I have been very gratified to see the support that Mount Olive College continues to receive from the many people who do understand the College’s Mission and the value of the College to our students, our founding denomination, and our communities. We continue to make a difference in the lives of so many, and it is our goal to expand our ability to positively impact and transform lives. There are several features in this spring edition of MOC Today that demonstrate the ways that we are transforming lives at Mount Olive College. It is evident that the hopes, dreams, and values that guided the creation of the College 60 years ago are just as relevant and just as honored today at Mount Olive College. But there are definite challenges before us, particularly as the federal and state governments both are curtailing funds available to students to help pay for college. At Mount Olive College, we remain committed to giving students from our service regions access to the kind of transformative education that has been the hallmark of this institution for six decades. We need your continued support, and we promise that we will remain good stewards of the funds you have entrusted to us. On behalf of the College, I invite you to visit any of our locations as your travels take you throughout North Carolina. Know that with God’s blessings and guidance, and with the continued support of the many alumni and friends of Mount Olive College, we will fulfill our important mission well into the future.

Philip P. Kerstetter, Ph.D. President 1 | TODAY | SPRING 2012

Fireworks lit the night sky over Rodgers Chapel on Friday, November 4 in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Mount Olive College.

The 60th Anniversary celebration festivities included events such as a performance by the Concert Choir (left) and the Founder’s Day anniversary celebration (above) with keynote speaker Dr. A. Hope Williams (right).

Mount Olive College Turns By Rhonda Jessup | Photography by Matt Stevens


On Thursday, November 3, Mount Olive College (MOC) celebrated 60 years of providing Christian higher education. It was the start of a two-day celebration, which continued Friday night with a concert and fireworks.

To mark the anniversary, banners commemorating major milestones of the first six decades of the College’s life were created and used in the opening processional. Alumni representing each of the six decades were selected to carry the banners. As part of the service, special music, composed by Kurt Erickson, was performed by Ryan Spell on trumpet and Stuart Burnham on piano. The College also commissioned a commemorative anniversary coin to mark the occasion. In his opening remarks Mount Olive College President Philip P. Kerstetter stated, “More than 60 years ago, a group of very concerned, very committed, and very dedicated individuals met to discuss the need for establishing a college to serve the church. They were full of hopes and dreams, but most importantly, they had a vision. From its first inception, this college was intended to provide a high quality academic program that was firmly rooted in the liberal arts. From its first inception, it was designed to serve the church and serve the people of this region.” Kerstetter went on to note that although the College has expanded its programs, its services, and the number of students it serves, the College has remained true to its original values and mission. “We remain a Christian faith-based, Christian values-centered institution that offers a variety of educational programs that all have their roots in the liberal arts. And we continue to serve our students, our founding church, and our communities.” Amanda Ropp, president of the Student Government Association; the Reverend Harold Swinson, president of the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists; and the Honorable I. Ray McDonald, Sr., brought greetings from their respective organizations. In the keynote address Dr. A. Hope Williams, president of the NC Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), challenged all those connected to the College. “The weight, the responsibility, the challenge for the future of Mount Olive College is now on the shoulders of everyone in this room. The accomplishments of the next 60 years will be determined by how well all of you are able to carry that weight. Fortunately, you are a team, and because you are a team, the responsibility you share is more than doable. Some of you are carrying more than your share, while others can do more to help Mount Olive College become an even greater institution and a life changing college in the state. Mount Olive College is your college. Be proud of the past, share the responsibility of the present, and build for the future.” The festivities continued on Friday night. The 60th Anniversary Concert featured the Mount Olive College Concert Choir performing a newly commissioned work in observance of the College’s founding. California-based composer Kurt Erickson composed three choral settings using poems by David Rigsbee, award-winning poet and MOC professor. The songs were performed with piano and cello accompaniment. The Mount Olive College Symphonic Band performed works by Sigfrid KargElert, James Curnow, Jack End and John Zdechlik. At the close of the Friday night concert, Hale Artificer Fireworks Display lit up the night. Onlookers enjoyed hot chocolate and s‘mores. The celebration of the College’s 60th anniversary will continue throughout the year. For a complete list of events, visit 3 | TODAY | SPRING 2012

at Mount Olive Middle School. Music Education Major Matinzicio Edmondson is pictured conducting students

Mount Olive College Adds

Teacher Licensure Component BY RHONDA JESSUP | PHOTOGRAPHY BY MATT STEVENS “I feel that teachers are the most important role models in

to begin offering teacher licensure for B-K, elementary

students’ lives,” said Amanda Sharpe, a secondary math

education, music education, health and physical

education major at Mount Olive College. “Teachers spend

education, agriculture education, science education, social

more time with children than most parents do. Therefore,

studies education, mathematics education, and English

the school system needs dedicated and caring individuals

education. Now, students interested in teaching in any of

for the position. I feel that I can make a difference in my

those licensure areas can complete all of their licensure

students’ lives and help them to better themselves and

requirements at Mount Olive College.

society.” “Most teacher education programs are at least 60 miles For students like Amanda Sharpe, Mount Olive College has

from Mount Olive,” said Dr. Tommy Benson, chair of the

made becoming a teacher more accessible than ever before.

Department of Education at Mount Olive College. “That

Previously Mount Olive College students interested in

was simply not convenient for most of our students.”

teacher education could take the first three years of study at

Benson went on to note that having a teacher licensure

MOC, and then transfer to a partnering university such as

program at Mount Olive College helps the local school

East Carolina University, North Carolina State University,

systems as well. “Very often if you get student teachers into

or Campbell University to complete their student teaching

your school system you can hire those teachers,” Benson

and licensure components.

said. Benson noted that the state of North Carolina trains an average of 2,500 to 3,000 teachers annually but the state

Not anymore. In December 2010 Mount Olive College

traditionally hires about 10,000 teachers. “That is a big gap

received approval from the State Board of Education

that we hope to help fill,” he said.

4 | TODAY | SPRING 2012

“It was music to my ears and a big relief,” said Matinzicio Edmondson, a music education major, in talking about the College receiving the licensure component. Without Mount Olive adding the licensure component, Edmondson would have had to travel to Campbell University to obtain licensure. Amanda Sharpe had a similar reaction. “I was excited to find out that Mount Olive College was going to offer a teacher licensure program because I did not want to leave my friends and professors,” the Selma native said. “I enjoy attending a small college and did not want to transfer.” Benson indicated several advantages of enrolling in the teacher education program at Mount Olive College versus at a larger institution: advantages like smaller classes, individual attention, and professors teaching the classes, not teaching assistants like in some larger institutions. But perhaps the biggest advantage is that from the time a student decides to enter the teacher education curriculum at MOC, he or she is provided with hands-on opportunities to do observations, to volunteer in the classrooms, and to work in small group settings. “It really makes a difference to be able to put into action what you learn in the classroom,” Edmondson said. Benson expects to see a dramatic increase in the number of teacher education majors at the College as a result of the licensure component. Previously the College was only graduating one to two teacher education majors a year. In the first year of Mount Olive College offering teacher licensure, there are 23 students enrolled in elementary education, 22 in agriculture education, 14 in music education, 11 in mathematics education, 8 in English education, 8 in history education, and 2 in science education. This combined with the 365 students enrolled in early childhood education comes to a grand total of 457 students. Coming in the fall of 2012 the College plans to add health and physical education. Other programs for consideration in the future include art education and special education.

Amanda Sharpe, a secondary math education major, is pictured with students at North Dupin Jr/Sr High School.

Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter, President of Mount Olive College, noted, “Part of our College mission is service to our communities, and preparing highly-qualified teachers to serve in our community schools is an important way that we fulfill that expectation. Students who come from the region truly want to go back to their home communities and serve. I am excited about the College’s ability now to provide this important educational opportunity to our students and to our region.”

5 | TODAY | SPRING 2012


Holmes Receives Byrd Award Monica Holmes, manager of faculty records, received the J. William Byrd Award for Staff Excellence during the College’s spring conference. The award is given in honor of Dr. J. William Byrd, president emeritus of the College. Holmes joined the College in September of 2001 as an administrative assistant in the Office of Academic Affairs. In that role she organized the master schedule, faculty data records, and evaluation process. Holmes was promoted to manager of faculty records in March of 2010. A co-worker who nominated Holmes for the award said, “Monica is the most honest person I know. Her personality allows her to work with faculty in a direct and honest way that encourages and demands perfection. She is an advocate for the College mission, employees, and students. She is a professional in every sense of the word. She is the rock that supports Academic Affairs.”

Graduation On December 10, 2011, Mount Olive College graduated 374 students at its 58th fall commencement. North Carolina Senator Louis Pate addressed the graduates, stating that the day should be a reflection on the accomplishments that each graduate has made to finally reach the moment of graduation. He reminisced about Mount Olive College’s past, how far the College has come, and its position of importance in the community.

Barfield Receives Founders Leadership Award Josh Barfield of Newton Grove received the 2011 Founders Leadership Award during the College’s 60th Anniversary Founders Day Celebration. The award is a $500 scholarship sponsored by the late Dr. W. Burkette Raper, president of Mount Olive College 1954-1995, and his wife, Mrs. Rose M. Raper. The award was given this year in memory of Raper for his extraordinary leadership, service, and support for the advancement of the College. In presenting the award President Philip P. Kerstetter said, “Josh Barfield is the epitome of the Mount Olive College slogan – Transforming Education. Transforming Lives.” Barfield has worked as a resident advisor, served as captain of the club lacrosse team, and has been a guest speaker at several of the College’s chapel services. Barfield has led Student Theological Fellowship as the president for the last two years; he currently interns for the Office of Public Relations, and he also serves as a supply minister for Original Free Will Baptist Churches all over Eastern North Carolina. After graduating in May, Barfield plans to pursue his master’s degree in theological studies.

COATS FOR KIDS Giving out coats to the kids at Carver was the best part of my first semester at Mount Olive College,” said freshman CFFA member Joshua Wisniewski of Elizabeth City. “The experience makes you realize how blessed you really are.” For the seventh year in a row the Collegiate FFA at Mount Olive College has provided coats to needy children at Carver Elementary School. This year’s distribution included over 150 coats, hats, and gloves. “The generosity of the community, individuals and businesses continues to allow us to meet the growing need for warm winter-wear even in this challenging economy,” stated Hannah Singleton of Goldsboro, a sophomore CFFA member and chair of the Community Service committee.

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Freshmen Send Military Care Packages to Deployed Soldiers Freshmen students at Mount Olive College prepared care packages as their Freshman Seminar service project this year to thank soldiers for their commitment to our country. A freshman who served in the Middle East commented that he appreciated the care packages that he received when he was deployed. Now he is participating in the same gesture of kindness that he once received. The packages contained essential items such as toiletries as well as luxury items such as drink mixes and seasonings. Students also prepared packages for the military’s canine police battalion.

Students Compete in Farm Bureau Discussion Meet During the fall semester nine Mount Olive College students competed at the regional level in the Collegiate Discussion Meet sponsored by the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation. “In order to participate we had to research a number of issues important to the future of agriculture,” stated Edward Olive, a senior from Benson studying agriculture education. Olive and sophomore Hannah Singleton of Goldsboro were the top two competitors emerging from the regional competition and both moved to the state level competition in Raleigh. Pictured, left to right: Larry Edwards, Alaina Airheart, Hannah Singleton, Ed Olive, Amanda Ropp, Brian Carter, Melissa Mayo, Brittany Mitchell, and Morgan Gay.

“It was a great experience to participate at the state level and to discuss and offer solutions to the many issues that are facing agriculture now and in the future. I look forward to competing again next year and hopefully moving to the next level of competition,” stated Singleton.

SHRM Endorsement Mount Olive College’s degree programs in Human Resource Management have been endorsed by the prestigious Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The College is one of a select few colleges and universities nationally to hold this distinction. The recognition acknowledges adherence to curriculum guidelines established by SHRM in 2005. According to the official notification from SHRM, the endorsement covers the College’s bachelor of applied science in human resource management and the bachelor of science in business administration: human resource management. According to Dean Ronald Pressley, “The endorsement by SHRM is a truly significant accomplishment for the College. For current and future students, it is an assurance that the Human Resource Management program at Mount Olive College is one of quality and excellence.” The current endorsement extends through 2014, at which time the Tillman School of Business at Mount Olive College will seek re-endorsement.

Student Presents Poetry in New Orleans William Tierney, a senior English major, was selected to present a selection of his original poetry entitled “Four Pessimistic Observations” at this year’s Sigma Tau Delta convention in New Orleans, LA. “I was thrilled about being selected from such a magnitude of writers,” Tierney said. “I was especially excited because I submitted a selection from some of my critical work as well as some of my creative work. The fact that they selected my creative work made me feel really proud.” Tierney, who is scheduled to graduate May 2012, plans to attend graduate school to obtain his master of fine arts degree in poetry.

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StudENtS COMPEtE IN INAuGuRAl EtHICS BOwl Seven of the top students in the Robert L. Tillman School of Business (TSB) competed in the first ever North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU) Ethics Bowl at Meredith College on February 10-11. TSB Dean Ronald Pressley and Sonya O’Brien, TSB academic advising administrator, accompanied the students. The competition featured students from 14 independent colleges and universities in North Carolina and addressed ethical issues in the workplace. The participating students from Mount Olive College were selected from a special topics course, HRM 485: Special Topics in Human Resources- Business Ethics. Pictured are the Mount Olive College participants: (L-R) Back row: Jacob Morton, Kenny Lee, Barbara Bozeman and Dean Ronald Pressley. Front Row: President of Mount Olive College Philip P. Kerstetter, Carrie Duprey, Alishia Woodall, Martin Brekko and TSB Academic Advising Administrator Sonya O’Brien.

The students began preparing for the competition last semester. This applied ethics bowl gave the students an opportunity to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it to real-world cases. The students worked diligently on a set of cases for several months in preparation for this competition.

dRACZ AwARdEd RECREAtIONAl tHERAPHy SCHOlARSHIP Felicia Dracz, a senior Recreational and Leisure Studies major, was awarded the North Carolina Recreational Therapy Association (NCRTA) Past President’s Scholarship at the annual awards ceremony held in Raleigh in October. She competed with both undergraduate and graduate recreational therapy students across the state. This is the first time a Mount Olive College student has received this honor. A total of seven MOC recreational therapy students attended the annual state conference. This summer Dracz served as a volunteer at the World Summer Games for Special Olympics in Athens, Greece.

FAItH ANd RuRAl lIFE CONFERENCE HEld Approximately 170 people attended the second annual Faith and Rural Life: Down To Earth Ministry Conference at Mount Olive College on Monday, February 27. The event provided opportunities for participants to explore the relationship between the gospel of Jesus Christ, the agricultural context of eastern North Carolina, and the smalltown rural culture of this region. North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler spoke on the topic “From the Tractor: Thoughts on Agriculture in North Carolina.” Billy Ray Hall, president of the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, spoke on “The Rural Challenge Needs Your Church.” And Fred Bahnson, who helped start the Anathoth Community Garden, a church-supported agriculture project in Cedar Grove, North Carolina, spoke about “The Church as God’s Extension Agent.”

NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler

In addition to the lectures there were workshops on a variety of topics including: “Growing Food, Growing Community: Feeding Rural Neighbors with Local Food”; “Serving At Risk Children in Our Communities”; “The Practice of a Fit Faith”; “The Pastor as Spiritual Guide”; “Place of Possibilities: Becoming a Missional Church that Blesses Your Community”; “The Present and Future of Agriculture in North Carolina”; and “Becoming the Church Together: Immigration, the Bible, and Our New Neighbors.”

FOuR StudENtS RECEIvE tHE AMERICAN FFA dEGREE Four Mount Olive College students received the American FFA Degree at the 84th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis on October 22, 2011. The American Degree is the highest degree awarded by the National FFA Organization and recognizes students who demonstrate leadership abilities and outstanding achievements in agricultural business, production, processing and service programs. Less than one in 154 FFA members advance through their local chapter and state FFA degree programs to earn this national degree. “What this means is that more and more of the future leaders in Agriculture Education are electing to attend Mount Olive College,” said Dr. Sandy Maddox, director of the Agribusiness Center at MOC.

8 | TODAY | SPRING 2012

Recipients of the American Degree awards pictured (L-R): Kimberly Ballance, Morgan Gay, Jessica Gordon and and Hannah Smith.

American Idol

Mozingo makes it to Top 96 in American Idol and Crowned Miss Goldsboro — By Rhonda Jessup | Photography by Matt Stevens — Mount Olive College student Blair Mozingo knows a thing or two about music – she’s been singing and performing since the age of 7. The Duplin County native has sung from North Carolina to California in weddings, pageants, choral competitions, and most recently as a contestant on American Idol. “This is my second time trying out for Idol,” Mozingo said. “The first time I was 17 and I did it for my mother who is a huge fan. This time, I did it for myself.” In August of 2011 Mozingo won the “Be a Star with QDR” radio contest on 94.7 with the Q Morning Crew, provided by Mercury Records. As the winner of the contest she was awarded a round trip destination to Houston, TX where she auditioned for season 12 American Idol. During her third round of competition she sang “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” by Carrie Underwood to Judges Nigel Lythgoe and other Idol producers. “I played with them a little bit, and told them I had chosen that song because I didn’t want them to forget me. Nigel was one of the judges that had cut me when I was 17,” Mozingo said. Mozingo got the green light to the next round. The next day, however she came down with bronchitis. She could not eat, could not sleep, and could not even whisper. She spent that day in Urgent Care, and the next recuperating. The next day she once again sang “Don’t Forget to Remember Me”; this time for Idol judges Randy Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, and Steven Tyler. After about 30 seconds they cut her off. Mozingo recalled that Jennifer Lopez said, “I don’t know if your voice is ready.” “I told them I had been very sick, and I urged them to let me do 10 or 15 seconds of another song and then send me to Hollywood so I could prove myself.” They gave Mozingo another shot, and she sang Patti Griffin’s “Up to the Mountain.” She received three yeses and a golden ticket to proceed to Hollywood. Mozingo left for Hollywood on December 11. She was mentally and physically prepared. She had taken multi-vitamins, gotten plenty of rest, and had even spoken to Scotty McCreery’s mom to find out what advice she could offer. In Hollywood Mozingo competed with 320 other contestants over a five day period. She made it to the top 96 contestants and was eliminated later in the week. Although Mozingo didn’t make it to the final Idol cuts, she’s proud of the progress she made and she hasn’t given up on the process. “I think this experience was pretty awesome,” she said, “but I am not done yet. They release the next audition dates in June, and I’ll be ready.” Described by her friends as the brightest crayon in the box, there is never a dull moment around Mozingo. In fact, while she’s waiting for the next audition dates, she will surely not be sitting “idol.” The junior psychology major has a busy academic and social calendar. This spring Mozingo competed and won the Miss Goldsboro pageant, and is headed to the Miss North Carolina Pageant. She also provides vocal and pageant coaching to teen girls interested in pageants; she is working on a gospel music show; she does community service; and she is active in her church, Snow Hill Free Will Baptist Church, where she is a youth group leader and vacation Bible school director. Mozingo’s long-term plans include graduating from Mount Olive College in May of 2014, pursuing her master’s degree in counseling, and then returning to Duplin County as a guidance counselor. For Mozingo her faith plays a big part in not only her music, but in her life. “I feel like God has blessed me with a talent and I have to be faithful to Him and His word and carry it on, that is why one of my favorite songs is “Up to the Mountain.” I go up to the mountain every day; that’s why I sing every day.” 9 | TODAY | SPRING 2012







BY SHARON MERVIN | PHOTOGRAPH BY MATT STEVENS | MISSION PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED “Cinderella, dressed in yella; went upstairs to kiss a fella; made a mistake and kissed a snake; how many doctors did it take?” It may sound like an American children’s game, but to the children that Kayla Pridgen of Middlesex, NC, ministers to, it is a symbol of friendship, hope, and change. “I always have fun teaching children American games and learning new games myself. What makes it so fun is that neither of us understands the other due to the language barrier, but we often understand how to play the games just by repetition and hand motions. It’s one of my favorite things to do when I’m on a mission trip because children love to teach me their language, and they try to learn mine.” Pridgen, a religion major at Mount Olive College, chose to attend Mount Olive because her grandfather, the Reverend Robert Langley, is an alumnus. “It was always his wish for me to attend.” But, her decision to major in religion was a personal one between her and God. “When I came to Mount Olive College, I knew I would major in child psychology, but God had other plans.” Pridgen admits that she struggled for a couple of years. “I started out majoring in psychology, and then I picked up religion as a double major. I thought that I could satisfy my own desires as well as God’s. It was too difficult to do both while holding a steady job, so I dropped psychology.”

from missionaries there. After training, she will be able to work with women and children affected by HIV alongside a ministry called WAR (Women at Risk). “WAR reaches out to prostitutes in Mbiko while sharing the message of Christ. The organization also teaches these women craft skills so that they can have a source of income that comes from a healthier lifestyle.” One of her favorite aspects of doing missionary work is traveling to countries and worshiping with people who speak different languages, who have grown up in a different culture, or who have different styles of worship. For the last two summers, she has traveled to Spanishspeaking countries and worshiped with them as a community. “Each time, I am surprised at how amazing it feels to worship the same God with people who are so different from me.” Pridgen feels that everyone she meets and ministers to while doing missionary work has a memorable story, but the heart of one young boy and the other missionaries around her warmed her within. “While on a mission in Honduras, my group and I ministered to families in one of the poorest cities in the world, Choluteca. Many of the families had very little but what they had, they were proud of. During that trip we met a young man named Emerson. Our group came to help him and his community, yet everyday he came out and helped us help his community. We noticed that Emerson wore the same shoes that were at least two sizes too small for his feet. One of our group members decided to trade shoes with him praying that they’d be a better fit. They were a perfect match. Suddenly, others were taking off their shoes and giving them to other people whose shoes were too small.”

“Each time, I am surprised at how amazing it feels to worship the same God with people who are According to Pridgen, classes that she has taken as a religion major have helped her to so different better understand Christianity as well as other from me.” religions. “Classes in spirituality have helped me better understand my relationship with God, myself and others; biblical classes have helped me grasp a better understanding of the Bible. God has used each class that I have taken at Mount Olive College to prepare me to go into the mission field. I hope to continue to use what I’ve learned in college in my everyday life.”

Mission work has been a large part of Pridgen’s life. She became interested in missionary work because it appealed to her in various ways. “I’ve always loved helping people and traveling. The missionary lifestyle accommodates both of those interests.” Already, the 21-year-old college senior has traveled to the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Florida, Colorado, and Illinois ministering. In August she will travel to Africa to receive training

She understands that the cross-cultural mission work may not be for everybody, but she also believes that there are ways that people can minister in their own local communities. “Mission work can be raking your neighbor’s leaves, working in a soup kitchen, or helping a busy mom clean her house. It doesn’t have to be something you do for strangers a hundred miles from home. In Matthew 25:40 Jesus says, ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ We are all called to do mission work because we are all called to love our neighbors as ourselves. That is what mission work is, love.”

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Mount Olive College Offers New


PROGRAM By Rhonda Jessup | Photography by Matt Stevens

12 | TODAY | SPRING 2012

Mount Olive College is now offering a new program that will give registered nurses the opportunity to earn their bachelor of science degree in nursing. Mount Olive College President Philip P. Kerstetter said, “The new RN to BSN program is the next step for Mount Olive College to serve North Carolina by providing the educational opportunity for registered nurses to complete the bachelor’s degree in their professional field. This new program is an integral part of the Mount Olive College strategic plan to provide our students a transforming educational experience and to build new connections to our surrounding communities.” The RN to BSN curriculum is designed to enhance and advance the student’s professional nursing career. The entire curriculum is completely online so working RNs on any shift can attend classes around their busy professional and personal schedules. The RN to BSN program contains 49 semester credit hours of upper level nursing, technical writing, and health care management courses. The major will be housed in a Department of Nursing within the School of Arts and Sciences at Mount Olive College. Joy Phillips, RN to BSN Department Chair, commented, “We are very proud of this innovative program which has been designed so that students are able to make decisions about their educational needs, and be active participants in their learning process and not simply have knowledge delivered to them.” Mount Olive College is no stranger to providing for the educational needs of nursing professionals. In 2005 Mount Olive College partnered with The Watts School of Nursing in Durham to offer an associate of science degree in nursing. Over the past six years, more than 250 professional registered nurses have graduated from this partnership. The latest announcement of the RN to BSN program is one more way Mount Olive College is creating an academic environment that is accessible, flexible and user friendly for nursing professionals. Amanda Wright of Faison is currently enrolled in the RN to BSN program. A registered nurse in the Emergency Department at Wayne Memorial Hospital, Wright appreciates the flexibility of the program. “This program is very convenient to my schedule,” she said. “I am a full-time working mother of a two year old. By this program being online, it allows me to set my schedule for work, school, and family time.  If I decide I want to work on school work at 2 a.m., I have the autonomy to do so.” Shawanna Miller, also an ER nurse at Wayne Memorial Hospital, enrolled in the RN to BSN program in December. She said, “I graduated in 2007 from the Heritage program at MOC, so I like to think I am homegrown. I respect what the College stands for and knew I had to be a part of the RN to BSN program.” David Hines, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, said, “This program fits beautifully with the mission of Mount Olive College to serve our students, our founding church, and our communities. Through this program practicing nurses will enhance their professional skills which, in turn, will enable them to provide a higher level of services to their communities. Yes, this is a win for the College, but more importantly, this is a win for our communities.” For more information on the RN to BSN program, contact Joy Phillips at or call 919-299-4930. The College is now accepting online applications for summer and fall 2012. Classes begin April 23 and August 13.

“This program is very convenient to my schedule. I am a full-time working mother of a two year old. By this program being online, it allows me to set my schedule for work, school, and family time.  If I decide I want to work on school work at 2 a.m. , I have the autonomy to do so.” Amanda Wright, RN to BSN Major

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Though a cold wind was blowing, guests were transported to warm tropical islands upon arrival at the Lois K. Murphy Regional Center for Mount Olive College’s fifth annual Winter Glitz. Nearly 200 guests attended this year’s black-tie-optional event which debuted in 2008. The theme for this year was Escape to the Flavor of the Islands. The festive sounds of a steel pan band set the mood for the evening. As guests entered the corridor they were greeted by student volunteers dressed in floral Hawaiian shirts and leis. They were taken down a hallway lined with bamboo fences, palm trees, tropical foliage, and pink flamingos. The main dining hall was decorated with tropical backdrops, Adirondack chairs, and life-size sail boats. The tables were covered with white and teal tablecloths and decorated with centerpieces filled with sea shells, beach grass and foliage. Entertainment included musical selections by vocalists Jason and Jamie Britt Cox along with special guest vocalists Clifton Cuddington and Rebecca Fordham. The vocalists were accompanied by Thomas M. Casey. All performers are alumni of Mount Olive College. Piano entertainment for the night was provided by Joshua Gray Wiggins. Complementing the sights and sounds of the event, guests were treated to a menu of tropical flair. Pioneer College Caterers served fresh fruit salad, pecan raisin loaf, grilled boneless pork chops with pineapple glaze, red roasted potatoes, asparagus with mango salsa, and key lime pie garnished with fresh lime. The College’s Alumni Association planned and organized the event to raise funds for student scholarships. Over five years, the event has raised over $100,000 in scholarship funds. A continued attraction this year was the silent and live auction items. This year guests were able to bid on exquisite items such as a River Landing golf package, a weekend theater package in Raleigh, and tickets to the Carolina Hurricanes with an autographed puck. “I’m very excited about this evening,” says Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter, president of Mount Olive College. It is a very important event for the Alumni Association. It benefits some students who would otherwise not be able to attend Mount Olive College if it weren’t for scholarships.” Brian Parnell served as a volunteer every year he attended Mount Olive College. This year he volunteered as an employee. “The question of the night was, ‘Didn’t you graduate?’ I was astounded at the number of donors who had kept up with my college career and knew that the 2011 Winter Glitz should have been my last as a volunteer. ” Parnell currently works in the Admissions Office at the College. “I have seen the Winter Glitz

from both the student and employee perspective. It has really shown me that there is a bigger picture. This event is not only a time for raising funds for scholarships, but it is also a chance to form relationships and share a common love for Mount Olive College.” Many alumni who have shared this vision for Winter Glitz from its inception look forward to attending every year. “I have the desire to see other students come to Mount Olive College and have the experience that I had when I was here as a student,” admits Francine Cooke, member of the Mount Olive College Alumni Board. “Helping with the scholarship foundation means so much to me. It’s very rewarding.”

“Winter Glitz is an important opportunity to raise funds for scholarships, but it is also an opportunity to see other alumni whom you may not get a chance to see at other events. I hope that over the next five years this event will continue to grow and build momentum for strong scholarship support.” -KAREN SUTTON, EVENT CO-FOUNDER Kenny Woodard, a donor, attends Winter Glitz because he enjoys the fellowship. “This College is important to me, but in addition it is important to eastern North Carolina. So many students benefit from this College and the influence that they get from the mentors, the teachers, and the staff.” Woodard went on to say, “The funds that are raised here give students an opportunity for a better life.” Gregg Paul, president of the Mount Olive College Alumni Association, gave special thanks to the Winter Glitz committee and the night’s volunteers. “Winter Glitz is more than the night’s activities,” he said. “The event has become an essential element of alumni involvement by giving of our time, talent and resources to benefit the next generation of students. It is a time to continue friendships and build new relationships as we work collectively with all prior graduates. I am especially grateful to Romey McCoy who chaired this year’s event and was ably assisted by Carolyn Hill, Francine Cooke, the Alumni Board and other alumni and friends.” 15 | TODAY | SPRING 2012





Sebastian Jackson and Shaunisha Freeman were named as the 2011 Mount Olive College Homecoming King and Queen during the 46th annual Pickle Classic Tournament.

The Mount Olive College Alumni Association Board met during Homecoming Weekend to plan for upcoming alumni events including the Spring Alumni Weekend scheduled for April 13-15.

Freeman, daughter of Merry Tooele and Gary Blount, is a senior Recreational Therapy major from Belhaven, NC. Jackson, a junior recreational therapy major, is the son of Craig and Jan Jackson of Mount Olive.

Pictured (L-R): Stanley Harrell, Howard Scott, Gary Barefoot, Tharesa Lee, William Moore, Nancy Yates, Genevieve Taylor, Romey McCoy, Patricia Cahoon, Steve Hudson, and Gregg Paul. Present but not pictured were Jane Gainey and Karen Coates Morgan.




The 15th Annual Mount Olive College Alumni Golf Tournament was held Friday, November 18, at Southern Wayne Country Club. Proceeds from the tournament went to the Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund which now totals over $65,000. Winners of the Championship Flight were Clarence Rose, Jonathan Greene, Clark Rose and Chip Spiron with a score of 55. The second place championship flight went to Tommy Bass, Bucky Cox, Tony Herring and Bob Howell. First flight winners were Brooks Moore, Brandon Parrish, Charlie Young and Charlie Young II. Second place went to Doug Cockrell, Stan Dixon, Howard Scott, and Don Williamson. Closest to the pin went to Clarence Rose for hole 3 and to Chris Bitzenhofer for hole 14.



This year’s Alumni Homecoming activities held in conjunction with Pickle Classic included a “fan zone” and an alumni pre-game pig pickin’ cook-off and tailgating. Alumni and students participated in the cook-off with awards given to the top teams for taste and showmanship.  During the basketball games alumni visited under the hospitality tent setup outside Kornegay Arena where they socialized with friends and watched the game on the big screen.     



Mount Olive won both of its games at the 46th Annual Pickle Classic, defeating Brevard 100-78 and Virginia State 84-77. Three Trojans were named to the All-Tournament Team: Dory Hines, Mahammed Ibrahim and Derek Staton. Hines dished out 10 assists in each game and is believed to be the first Trojan player to reach double figures in assists in back-to-back games since Mount Olive reclassified to NCAA Division II in 1994-95. Against Brevard, Jordan McCain led four Trojans in double figures with 18 points. Mount Olive led by 19 at halftime and built the lead to as many as 35 points in the second half. Staton scored a game-high 20 points for Mount Olive against Virginia State. The Trojans led 76-54 with less than seven minutes left, then had to withstand a frantic rally. Mount Olive has posted a perfect 2-0 record in the Pickle Classic in 11 of the last 12 years, including each of the last three years. The Trojans are 23-1 during the span.


Five inductees comprised the Class of 2011 at this year’s Mount Olive College Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Greg Grantham (men’s basketball), Dawn Johnson (women’s basketball, softball), George Kornegay (friend of the college), Michelle Matthews (softball) and Chris McDonald (men’s basketball) make up the sixth Athletics Hall of Fame Class and bring the total number of honorees to 24. “We are very pleased to be able to induct this group of five individuals into the Mount Olive College Athletics Hall of Fame,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Eisen. “Each of them made outstanding contributions to the success of our athletics program and is extremely worthy of this honor.” To view more about the 2011 Hall of Fame Inductees, visit

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FIELD OF DREAMS By Rhonda Jessup | Photo by Troy Herring Since he was a little boy, Antonio Callaway has dreamed of playing collegiate baseball, and maybe even making it to the big leagues. The 6 foot 195 pound centerfielder received a scholarship at Georgia State University after attending Chattahoochee Valley Community College. Not even being there a full year Callaway dropped out because he felt as if he didn’t fit into the program. Creating quite a stir from family, friends, and coaches Callaway knew he had to get back into college to play the game he loved and further his education. Ever the athlete, Callaway was out of organized baseball and school for two years but continued to train and continued to search for a college that would give him a chance. He found that institution some 430 miles from his hometown of Lawrenceville, Georgia. At Mount Olive College Coach Carl Lancaster took a gamble on Callaway and offered him an athletic scholarship and a starting position on the Trojan baseball team. It is a decision Lancaster is glad he made. “Antonio is a fine student athlete in every aspect, whether it is playing baseball, doing his schoolwork or just getting things done on time, you can always count on him,” Lancaster said. “Antonio has tremendous character, and he is well liked by his professors and his fellow teammates. We have been fortunate to have him.” Callaway is making the most of his opportunity at MOC. He has been named as a 2012 Division II Southeast Region “Player to Watch” by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA). He was the starting centerfielder on last year’s MOC team, which won the Conference Carolinas and NCAA II Southeast Regional championships, and tied for third in the nation at the National Finals. In the classroom, Callaway has a 3.571 GPA majoring in business management with a minor in human resources. He has been named to 18 | TODAY | SPRING 2012

the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll in each of the last three semesters. No matter what life has in store for Callaway, he plans on earning his bachelor’s degree. After all, he would be the first in his family to do so. Callaway would also like to be drafted, and according to Coach Lancaster, “He is a guy that has all the tools to possibly make it to the next level.” Callaway’s favorite team is the Oakland A’s, but he would be willing to play professional ball most anywhere, including overseas. “I’ve had several letters of interest, and I am keeping my options open,” he said. Further visualizing his future Callaway would like to use his business degree to work in the hospitality industry. The outgoing young man known as GQ or Tone by his friends, definitely has the personality and the drive to succeed in whatever he sets his mind to. In his spare time whether he is working on recording a music CD or writing his first book Renaissance Man, Callaway gives every project his 110%. Callaway is currently undertaking a project very near and dear to his heart. Getting the inspiration from his parents, Callaway is working to create an on-campus nonprofit organization called “Trojans Helping Trojans.” Using the skills he’s learned in the classroom Callaway envisions developing a food pantry for college kids. The goal of the nonprofit organization would be to make easily accessible food options available to college students that might be struggling to make ends meet. As a student Callaway knows how financially challenging college can be, and this is his way of giving back. To the donors that have helped make his scholarship opportunity possible, Callaway would like to pass on a simple but sincere, “Thank you. Thank you so much for making my dreams possible.”


A+: Athletics Teams Make the Grades By David Shulimson | Photo by Troy Herring It isn’t by accident that the word “student” comes first in student-athlete. Academic accomplishments by Trojan student-athletes this past fall semester served as added proof that “student” will always come first at Mount Olive College. Mount Olive’s 300-plus student-athletes posted an average grade point average (GPA) above 3.0 during the fall semester. Seven teams recorded a GPA of at least 3.0: men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s volleyball, and women’s volleyball. The women’s tennis team had the highest team GPA at 3.541.   Fourteen Trojan student-athletes representing 11 sports recorded a perfect 4.0 grade point average in the fall: Kason Cheeks (men’s basketball), Jen Floyd (women’s soccer), Patricia Guedes (women’s tennis), Lauren Lee (women’s volleyball), Danielle Mitchell (softball), Brahm Moolman (men’s tennis), Daniel Oliver (baseball), Cara Paxson (women’s  soccer), Alex Rodriguez (men’s soccer), Nicole Sparks (women’s volleyball), Amber Thompson (women’s cross country/track and field), Laura Vega (women’s volleyball) and David Wilson (men’s track and field).   Lindsey Stanley was named to the 2011 CoSIDA/Capital One Division II Academic All-America Women’s Soccer Second Team, becoming the sixth MOC student-athlete in the last six years to earn Academic All-America honors. Stanley has a 3.68 cumulative GPA majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry.   Stanley and teammate Lindsey McIntyre were both named to the 2011 CoSIDA/Capital One Division II Academic All-District 3 Women’s Soccer First Team. McIntyre is also a biology major and has a 3.71 GPA. In addition, Tyler Jameson was named to the CoSIDA/Capital One Division II Academic All-District 3 Men’s Soccer First Team. Jameson has a 3.82 GPA majoring in sports management.   Mount Olive was well represented on the 2011 Conference Carolinas Fall Sports All-Academic Teams, which recognize juniors and seniors with a minimum 3.50 cumulative gpa. Twelve Trojan fall sports student-athletes earned Conference Carolinas All-Academic honors, including a conference-high seven MOC women’s soccer student-athletes.   A total of 140 MOC student-athletes representing 12 intercollegiate sports and the cheerleading squad were named to the Fall 2011 Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll, which recognized student-athletes who recorded at least a 3.20 GPA during the fall semester. They were among the more than 160 Trojan student-athletes who were honored at halftime of Mount Olive’s January 18th men’s basketball game vs. Queens for earning at least a 3.0 GPA in the fall.   “Our department’s overall goal is academic and athletics excellence which, of course, fits right in with the NCAA Division II philosophy of ‘Life in the Balance,’” said Director of Athletics Jeff Eisen. “We are meeting this goal and are very proud of the academic accomplishments of our studentathletes.”   Eisen added, “It is important to publicly recognize their academic excellence - whether it is at a luncheon, through the website, or during a basketball game - in order to show our student-athletes that we are proud of them, while also providing incentive for other student-athletes to strive for excellence.” 19 | TODAY | SPRING 2012


Trojans ‘Snow Dance’ in Spokane By David Shulimson | Photos contributed College sports teams strive to go to “The Dance,” a euphemism for NCAA Championship. For the Mount Olive College men’s cross country team and a Trojan women’s cross country individual, it might be more accurate to say they punched their tickets to a “Snow Dance.” The Trojan men’s cross country team and women’s cross country runner Chelsea Long competed in the 2011 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships November 19 in Spokane, Wash. The road to Spokane went through Charlotte, N.C., where Mount Olive competed in the NCAA II Southeast Regional. The Trojan men finished second to earn one of two team bids to the National Championship. Unfortunately, the Trojan women’s squad placed third, just five points shy of a team berth. Long finished fifth overall to earn an individual berth. “It was so heartbreaking to look up at the board at the end of the meet and see we were five points away,” said Mount Olive Assistant Coach Jackie Kirby. “It’s a fantastic accomplishment for the men’s team to make it to Nationals. They worked very hard during the summer and fall to get there. Our girls worked hard, too. I can already see it in their eyes and in their workouts that they are hungry to do what it takes to get there next year.” Despite traveling across three time zones, the Trojans were not greatly affected by the time change. The weather, on the other hand, was another story.

As a sophomore, Long was also a newcomer to the competition. Despite being a resident of Eugene, Ore., the conditions were a challenge to her as well.

“We knew they were calling for snow the day before. But we didn’t know we were going to be running in anything like that,” said Trojan junior Ronnie Sturgill. “We left here in t-shirts and when we got there, it was 24 degrees and snowy.”

“Well, the weather was definitely a shock to the body. Breathing and just functioning normally were challenging, so my basic goal was to finish with a strong stance in the race, at least around where I was placed in ranking,” said Long. “The area I am from doesn’t snow as much as just freeze, so the cold I can deal with but the snow was a bit different.”

With conditions better suited for a dog-sled team, the Trojans focused on a strong team effort rather than personal bests. “We had times we wanted to post, but there was no way in those conditions,” said Erasmo Ordonez, a sophomore from Harrells, N.C. “We wanted to do better than where we finished, but now we know what we have to do to get back there.” Mount Olive finished 22nd in the nation out of 24 teams in the Trojans’ second-ever National Championship appearance and first since 2001. Sturgill was the Trojans’ top finisher, running the 10k course in a time of 33:54.6, and placing 112th out of 187 runners. Sturgill’s time and finish are both school records at the National Championship. Three Trojan seniors - Paul Hoffman, Kerry “Bear” Maloney and Chris Menjares - got to wrap up their collegiate cross country careers at a National Championship. Hoffman (34:14.4) finished 123rd, Maloney (34:49) placed 139th and Menjares (36:32.4) was 164th. Ordonez finished 145th in 35:01.5; Souza in 35:50.2, was 159th; and sophomore Jamar Davis of Richlands, N.C., was 166th in 36:44.9. The Trojans posted a total of 678 points. 20 | TODAY | SPRING 2012

Long was faced with different challenges than the men’s runners. Long was on her own. There were no teammates to push her. Long finished 90th overall out of the 186 runners, running the 6k course in a time of 23:31.0. Like Sturgill, Long also set Trojan records for time and place at a National Championship. “I will take away a lot of great memories from this trip,” said Long. “I will also take away an aspiration and drive of seeing in competition just where I want to be as a runner, and just how far and how much work I will have to put in to accomplish it.” In 2011, Mount Olive reached a pinnacle the programs have never been to before. For the first time in school history, both teams were represented in the National Finals in the same year. For 2012, the Trojans have an even bigger goal after seeing other competitors on the stage collecting trophies after the conclusion of the 2011 NCAA II Cross Country Championships. “We’re already working toward next year,” said Davis. “We want to be on that stage.”


Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse New to Mount Olive College Mount Olive College has added men’s and women’s lacrosse and will begin competition in spring 2013. The addition of men’s and women’s lacrosse not only increases the number of Trojan sports teams to 20, but also gives Mount Olive a team in every sport sponsored by Conference Carolinas. A number of lacrosse players enrolled at MOC in January for this spring semester and have already begun training for next year. Mike Lawson was hired as head men’s lacrosse coach and Grant Kelam was selected as head women’s lacrosse coach. Both coaches bring impressive credentials to Mount Olive and have already been spending time on the recruiting trail. “We are very excited to be adding men’s and women’s lacrosse to our athletics program,” said Eisen. “Lacrosse is a growing sport in North Carolina and Conference Carolinas, and this is a great opportunity for Mount Olive to be a part of that growth. We are looking forward to developing competitive programs.”

Coach Kirby is On the Road to Recovery The Mount Olive College family was in a state of shock when news spread that assistant cross country/track and field coach Jackie Kirby was struck by an automobile January 8 while out running. The College community prayed and held its collective breath before getting word that Jackie’s injuries weren’t life threatening. While she still has a bit of a road to recovery, Jackie’s rehab went extremely well and she was able to leave the hospital after two weeks, which was significantly sooner than originally expected. Jackie was on campus the day she was released, first to meet with the Trojan cross country and track and field teams, then to watch the final set of Mount Olive’s men’s volleyball win over Barton. Jackie is very grateful for and very overwhelmed by the love, support and prayers everybody sent her way. An avid runner, the most difficult part of her recovery has been not being able to run. “I couldn’t tell you how many years it’s been since I’ve gone even two days in a row without running,” Jackie said. Jackie Kirby joined the Mount Olive College family in the fall of 2009. The Trojan men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams have enjoyed tremendous success in the last two years. Mount Olive swept the 2011 Conference Carolinas Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Championships last spring. This past fall, the Trojan men’s cross country team earned its first berth in the NCAA Division II National Finals in 10 years. The Trojan women’s cross country team also had a runner qualify for the National Finals for the first time in eight years.

MOC Wins Game Environment Award Mount Olive College was among 10 schools nationally recognized as a 2010-11 NCAA Division II Game Environment Award of Excellence winner. According to the NCAA’s news release, the Game Environment Award of Excellence “recognizes athletics programs that have displayed a special commitment to creating competition environments that stress civility, cater to the comfort of fans and participants, and are exciting.” Mount Olive College was recognized for the annual Church Night basketball game. For the recognition, Mount Olive received a $500 award. “Church Night has been a great annual tradition at Mount Olive College, and we are pleased that the NCAA has chosen to honor the College for this event,” said Director of Athletics Jeff Eisen. “This honor is a tribute to the work of a lot of people, particularly the Admissions Office, but also Institutional Advancement, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Student Affairs, and Athletics. And, of course, the event would not be such a success without the support of churches throughout Eastern North Carolina.” 21 | TODAY | SPRING 2012


1960’s Jasper Earl Cowan ’61 died on January 8, 2012. He was born in Bear Grass, Martin County. He met his wife of 45 years, Betty Jo Bennett ’63 while at Mount Olive College. He obtained an accounting degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967. Cowan served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1969. He worked at Arthur Anderson in Charlotte and in 2010 retired from Kenan Advantage Group in Chapel Hill after 36 years of diligent service.

1970’s Howard F. Scott ’74 has been named pastor of Pine Level FWB Church. Scott retired in spring of 2011 after 35 years with the NC Cooperative Extension. Most recently, he has been the interim director of Alumni Relations at Mount Olive College. Scott previously served as the interim pastor at Kenly Free Will Baptist Church. In addition, he is a member of the Goldsboro Exchange Club, serves on the Wayne County Partnership for Children Board, and is on the Board of Trustees at Mount Olive College.

Lou Ella Walker ’96 was recognized by the Northeast Community Development’s annual Intriguing African American Women as one of eight women who have excelled in their careers and community service throughout Onslow, Duplin, Jones, and Craven Counties. Walker worked for 20 years as a nurse at the Craven Regional Medical Center where she served in patient relations and psychiatry. She then worked as an outreach nurse clinician for the North Carolina Prison System where she educated and counseled inmates about transmittable diseases. Later she was employed at the Cherry Point Naval Medical Center. Walker’s community service involvement includes NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Sickle Cell Disease Association, the American Red Cross, and motivational speaking for various auxiliaries of the prison system and other agencies throughout North Carolina.

2000’s Jenny Holland Capps Hudson ’09 has joined the faculty of North Johnston High School as a family consumer science teacher. Previously, she was the director of Wee School at the Glendale Kenly Child Development Center. She lives in Kenly with her husband, Freddie, and their two children, Brianna and Blake Capps.

Kathy Ann Bridgers ’76 died November 21, 2011. Bridgers received a business degree from Mount Olive College and served four years in the United States Army. She worked with the Pentagon and for the Navy in Washington, DC. In addition, she attended Virginia Union where she received her master’s degree in divinity. She later worked as a chaplain at Virginia State Prison. She went on to work with Environmental Protection Agency in Durham, NC, until her retirement.

Michael “Justin” McLamb ’08 was promoted to assistant vice president of New Century Bank in Goldsboro, NC. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mount Olive College and master’s of business administration from East Carolina University. He serves on the board for the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Johnston and Wayne counties.

William “Sam” White ’71 died November 20, 2011, as the result of injuries sustained from an automobile accident. He was a salesman for Apex Oil Company in Wilmington, NC, and served as a visiting lay minister at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Mark Evans ’07 graduated December 16, 2011, from the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, after completing 11 weeks of advanced investigative, management and fitness training. Evans is patrol division commander of the Kill Devil Hills Police Department. A native of Ahoskie, Evans is married and has two children.

1990’s Candace Rackley Westbrook ’97 has been named assistant principal at West Clayton Elementary School. Westbrook, a Smithfield native, spent seven years, from 1999 to 2005, in the Wayne County school system before continuing her career in Johnston County. Her husband, Michael “Scott” Westbrook ’95 received his BS in recreation and leisure studies from Mount Olive College. Mitchell “Ron” Carlton ’91 is the new general manager of Majestic Pines Golf and Country Club in Kenansville, NC. He attended Mount Olive College on a golf scholarship and played on the Mini Pro Tour before moving into golf course management. Carlton oversaw the construction of River Landing Golf Course in Wallace, NC. Most recently, he worked with the Brick Landing Plantation Golf Course in Ocean Isle Beach. Donald “Randy” Cobb ’92 has taken a position with Pitt County Memorial Hospital as an organizational development specialist for the Center for Learning and Performance. Cobb and his wife, Melissa, live in Winterville, NC with their three children. Sabrina Joy Smith Barfield ’90 of Seven Springs, NC, passed away on December 21, 2011, after a courageous battle with cancer. She worked with Southeastern Freight Line for 19 years and was a member of Deep Run Original FWB Church.

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Patricia A. Williams ’06 has accepted the position of pastor at the United Mission Revival Center in Goldsboro, NC. Williams is cofounder of UMRC which was organized in 1979. She also has pastoral experience from Mount Zion Church of Deliverance Ministries in Calypso, NC. Williams is employed with Employment Security Job-Link of Wayne County as an intermittent consultant. Jason Patrick Howe ’02 is engaged to marry Christine Gail Parker of Rougemont, NC. The couple plans to marry in March. Howe is currently a law student at NC Central University. Lewis Braswell ’09 has joined the faculty of Wayne Christian School in Goldsboro, NC. Graham Wooten ’08 was married to Lindsey Anne Hill of Goldsboro, NC, on October 8, 2011. Wooten works at SouthCo Distributing. The couple resides in Goldsboro. Andy Clapp ’00 has published a book about athletes and faith, “Under the Lights: Living Their Faith with Everyone Watching.” His second book will be published in fall of 2012. Clapp and his wife are expecting their first child this summer. Walter M. Render ’06 was married to Kristin Nicole Smith of Pikeville on September 17, 2011. Render is an eighth-grade teacher at Eastern Wayne Middle School. The couple resides in Saulston.


Joe Jackson ’03 is the pastor of Best Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Goldsboro, NC. He serves as second vice moderator of the Bear Creek Association and is pursuing a master’s of divinity degree at Campbell University. Amy Jolly ’09 was married to Scotty Earl Jordan of Conway, SC, on September 20, 2011. She is employed at Smart Start of Brunswick County. The couple lives in Myrtle Beach, SC. Alan C. Joyner ’05 died unexpectedly on October 24, 2011. Joyner was the pastor of Free Union Free Will Baptist Church for the past 8 years. He was very active within the OFWB denomination, serving on various boards and committees. Additionally, he served as the spiritual director of the Pamlico Emmaus community and worked with the Emmaus Walk and Chrysalis. Ashley L. Mullis ’07 is engaged to marry Randall Vann Cantrell of Elon, NC. Mullis works at LabCorp in Greensboro. Jonathan gardner ’02 and wife, Lisa, are pleased to annouce the birth of their son, Collin James, born on February 10. They also have a four-year-old son, Nathan. Proud grandmother is Kathy Gardner ’00, assistant to the MOC President. Jonathan and family reside in Pikeville. Brandon Faucette ’02 has been promoted to banking office and sales tracking specialist by Southern Bank. Faucette lives in Goldsboro, NC. Kit Campbell ’04 has been named chief deputy of the Beaufort County Sheriff ’s Office. Campbell has earned numerous awards and citations during his career including the National Life Saving Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 2008 for his rescue of four people. Campbell and his wife, Crystal, have two sons, Cameron and Tyler. They reside in Chocowinity, NC. Nancy Hager ’08 has been appointed executive director of the Courtyards at Berne Village in New Bern, NC. Hager began her career as a med-tech, became an administrator and received a BS in health care management from Mount Olive College at New Bern location in 2008. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in health care management. Nancy is married and has three dogs and two turtles. She is an avid NASCAR fan and enjoys traveling in her RV. Dustin Keipper ’05 is a graphic designer for Southern Bank in Mount Olive, NC. He and his wife, Meredith Tew Keipper ’07 have one son, Lincoln. They have recently purchased a home in Mount Olive. He received the 2012 Distinguished Service Award at the Mount Olive Annual Chamber Banquet. Dustin is a member of the Mount Olive Jaycees where he serves as membership director. In 2011 Keipper volunteered to serve as the vendor chairperson of the 25th annual North Carolina Pickle Festival. Julie Beck ’00 received The Ruff Huggins Lifetime Community Service Award at the Mount Olive Annual Chamber Banquet. Beck was chosen for her untiring leadership as chairperson for the NC Pickle Festival, a role she has held for the past 18 years; for her inspiration and initiative in bringing Kids World to fruition; and for her leadership in serving as Mount Olive Chamber Chairperson for three terms. In addition, Beck is an active Jaycee member, a United Way volunteer, chair of Taste of Wayne, and she still remains involved with Friends of the Parks. Last year Beck danced as a Wayne County Star, helping to raise money for education. She’s held many leadership positions, including president, of the North Carolina Association of Festivals and Events. She

conducts leadership seminars. A native of Ohio, Beck has been living and volunteering in the Mount Olive community for 20 years. Devin Geeson ’09 After graduating from Mount Olive College in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, Geeson was accepted into the School of Dentistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. Geeson, who is NativeAmerican, is proud to have paved the way for other students from Mount Olive College in the field of dentistry as well as other minorities. Currently, Geeson is working with organizations to increase the number of minorities in dental school. In addition, she works with the Student National Dental Association (SDNA) that strives to improve minority numbers in dental school, the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) that works to keep dentistry politically organized, and Global Health Student Association (GHSA) which is an international outreach and mission trip program. She was one of many second-year students who were selected to go on a mission trip during the summer of 2012 to provide dental care to an orphanage, Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos, which houses approximately 1000 children. Geeson credits Mount Olive College and the biology faculty as being an important component of her educational journey.

2010’s Lauren Dudley ’12 was married to Joshua Fail ’11 on December 17, 2011 at Antioch Presbyterian Church in Goldsboro, NC. Fail earned a bachelor’s of science in business administration: computer information systems and is working in Cary. The couple resides in Pine Level, NC. Roy M. Tart ’12 has received the Air Force Commendation Medal from the 916th Logistics Readiness Squadron, a unit of the 916 Air Refueling Wing. Tart is a tech sergeant at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. He has served at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He is now back in the States and works with fueling KC-135R Stratotankers. Porter A. Jones ’12 was married to Jenny Anne Westbrook of Bentonville, NC. Jones is a draftsman at Hog Slat of Newton Grove and is completing his degree in management of information systems. The couple lives in Bentonville. Michael R. Hudson ’12 was married to Dr. Elizabeth Anne Westbrook on October, 15. 2011. Hudson is employed with BB&T and is enrolled in the business management and operation development program at Mount Olive College. The couple resides in the Plain View Community. Madelon Smith ’11 was married to Zebbie Jordan Lanier of Beulaville, NC, on November 12, 2011. She is employed by Duplin General Hospital in Kenansville. The couple resides in Beulaville. Savannah Michelle Fann ’10 is engaged to marry Stephen Anders of Clinton, NC. Fann is a NC Pre-K teacher at Union Elementary School. Nick Lewis ’10 and Christie Lewis ’10 announce the birth of Ava Grace Lewis on January 7, 2012. He is Associate Pastor of First Free Will Baptist Church of Goldsboro. She is a Habilitation Specialist at Howell Support Services. The Lewis family lives in Seven Springs, NC. Mandy Hensley ’11 is a graphic design associate with Mount Olive College. She enjoys gardening and softball. 23 | TODAY | SPRING 2012


Mount Olive College Receives Gift of Historic Assembly Hall and Apartment Complex Mount Olive College will soon have a new venue for cultural events as well as an expanded area to house approximately 50 additional students. Thanks to a gift from Progress Energy valued at $2.5 million, Mount Olive College is the recipient of the Mount Olive Historic Assembly Hall and Apartment Complex located at 207 Wooten Street in Mount Olive. According to Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kevin J. Jean, the gift has been in the works for approximately nine months and officially came to fruition in December of 2011. “We are very thankful to Progress Energy for this very generous gift and to the leadership of the town of Mount Olive for their collaborative efforts in helping us secure this property,” Jean said. “This gift will enable the College to expand our cultural arts offerings for our students and the community. It will also provide much needed space to house our growing traditional student body.” At his inauguration address in March of 2010, President of Mount Olive College Philip P. Kerstetter spoke on his many goals for the College. Among those priorities was growing the College’s traditional enrollment from the size of 800 students to that of 1,250 to 1,500 students. To that end he said, “We will need to examine how we will expand our residential housing, have the facilities needed to deliver high quality academic and co-curricular programs, and maintain economic access to students from our service regions. This will require us to actively and aggressively seek funds from others to assist us.” The gift from Progress Energy is one step toward growing the traditional enrollment. Constructed in 1925, the Mount Olive High School Apartments and Assembly Hall is one of only four structures within the city limits of Mount Olive to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The 39,310-foot structure sits on 2.0 acres of land. Included in the Mount Olive School Apartments are nine, 1-bedroom apartments ranging from 600 to 747 square feet and ten, 2-bedroom apartments ranging from 800 to 935 square feet. According to Vice President for Student Development Dan Sullivan, the College is honoring all current lease agreements and is working with the current residents as they transition to other housing. “As current residents matriculate out, Mount Olive College students will move in,” Sullivan said. The College anticipates having an open house for the auditorium portion of the facility this summer. The 430-seat auditorium features 26-foot ceilings, a wraparound balcony, and a 28-foot stage. “We look forward to utilizing the auditorium for college and community functions,” President Kerstetter said. “We are already planning to have this year’s Christmas by Candlelight event in the auditorium. Other events could include community movie nights, musical performances, plays, pageants, and the list goes on. We are extremely grateful for this generous gift from Progress Energy and look forward to utilizing the space to its fullest potential.” 24 | TODAY | SPRING 2012

(L-R) Dan Sullivan, vice president of Student Affairs at Mount Olive College; Kevin J. Jean, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Mount Olive College; Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter, president of Mount Olive College and Charles Brown, Mount Olive town manager.

“This gift will enable the College to expand our cultural arts offerings for our students and the community. It will also provide much needed space to house our growing traditional student body.” Kevin J. Jean Vice President of Institutional Advancement Mount Olive College


SOuThErN BANk FOuNDATiON MAkES $500,000 GiFT TO MOuNT OliVE COllEGE Southern Bank Foundation has made a gift of $500,000 to Mount Olive College in memory of Byron Bryan for the years of service he devoted to Southern Bank, Mount Olive College, and the greater community. “The Southern Bank Foundation is honored to make this contribution to Mount Olive College in memory of Byron Bryan, a former board member of Southern Bank, as well as a former trustee of Mount Olive College and a leader in the Mount Olive community,” said J. Grey Morgan, chairman and CEO of Southern Bank and Trust Company. “Mr. Bryan shared in Southern Bank’s commitment to education, as well as a belief in investing one’s time and talents for the betterment of the community. Mount Olive College’s legacy of excellence in education and service to the Mount Olive community is well known. As such, we view this contribution as an investment in the future of both Mount Olive College and the Mount Olive community, two cornerstones of Mr. Bryan’s legacy of service to our community.” “The Southern Bank Foundation has been and continues to be a wonderful friend and collaborative partner to Mount Olive College,” stated Kevin J. Jean, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “We at Mount Olive College look forward to further collaboration with the Southern Bank Foundation as together we build a brighter future for the students of eastern North Carolina and beyond.”

(L-R) Greg Eloshway, senior vice president / Mount Olive city executive with Southern Bank and Trust Company; Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter, president of Mount Olive College; J. Grey Morgan, chairman and CEO with Southern Bank and Trust Company; Bill Bryan, son of Byron Bryan and president of Mt. Olive Pickle Company; and Kevin J. Jean, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Mount Olive College.

PhONE-A-ThON On March 6 Mount Olive College began its spring phone-a-thon campaign to re-connect alumni and friends of the College — and, in the process, raise financial support for the College through the Annual Fund. The Phone-a-thon will energize and engage alumni to continue to support the education and transformation of students’ lives. The program will be staffed by ten current students with various backgrounds, experiences, and aspirations in different areas of study; but all share one common experience of having had their lives changed at Mount Olive College. The goal for the eight-week campaign is $10,000.

BB&T SuPPOrTS MOuNT OliVE COllEGE President of Mount Olive College Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter is pictured accepting a $50,000 check from BB&T Senior Vice President for the Eastern Region Michael R. Parham. Also pictured is Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kevin J. Jean. According to Jean, the check represents part of a $350,000 pledge made by BB&T. “The BB&T Banking Corporation has been a collaborative partner with Mount Olive College since 1990,” said Jean. “This is a corporation with a passion to change lives in the communities where the bank serves their customers. This pledge will be directed towards the operational funding for the Tillman School of Business, in terms of speakers series, scholarships, development, and the elements of educating young people for the 21st century global economy.” (L-R) Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter, president of Mount Olive College; Michael R. Parham, BB&T senior vice president for the Eastern region; and Kevin J. Jean, vice president of Institutional Advancement at Mount Olive College.

25 | TODAY | SPRING 2012


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Mount Olive College Today Magazine  

Spring 2012 Edition

Mount Olive College Today Magazine  

Spring 2012 Edition