11/24/04 — College honors Raper with building name

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College honors Raper with building name

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on November 24, 2004 2:00 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College officials announced that a new academic building will be named after Dr. Burkette Raper and his wife, Rose.

The announcement was made during a luncheon Tuesday in the Murphy Center held in Raper's honor for his 50 years of service to the college. It was also announced that Daniel Pettus of Princeton would receive the college's Founders Leadership Award.

The luncheon followed the 2004 Founders Day Worship Service in College Hall. During the ceremony, Mount Olive College honored 31 employees and celebrated 53 years of operation.

Faculty, staff, students and friends from Free Will Baptist churches filled College Hall to hear Raper, the college's former president, deliver the Founders Day address. Raper is retiring from the college at the end of this month.

His name will be on the 56,000-square-foot academic building, a part of the college's most ambitious building project in its history. The academic building will house the School of Business, the Department of Science and Math and Agribusiness. It will have a new student lounge and a conference center that will hold up to 500 people. The project also involves building an 18,000-square-foot communications center and a 23,000-square-foot wellness center

During the ceremony, Daniel Pettus of Princeton was given the Founders Leadership Award.

The Founders Leadership Award is a scholarship sponsored by the Rapers.

The scholarship is presented to a rising senior who has distinguished himself as an individual of character and initiative and who has demonstrated strong leadership qualities while enrolled at the college. The recipient is selected by a committee of faculty, student and staff.

Upon graduation with a B.A. in religion, Pettus plans to attend Duke Divinity School to obtain his master of divinity degree and then continue on to earn a doctorate. In addition to becoming an ordained minister, he would also like to teach at the collegiate level.

Pettus is serving as the youth pastor at Pine Forest United Methodist Church. At Mount Olive College, he has served as vice president and president of the Student's Theological Fellowship. Pettus is the son of Lisa and George Pettus and is married to Melissa Pettus.

In presenting the award, Dr. Raper said, "Daniel Pettus exemplifies the meaning and nature of this award. He began and continues on a pilgrimage of faith that has led them to self discovery and to a deeper relationship with God. He has incorporated honesty, integrity, and service to others in all aspects of life. The rich values of the founders of Mount Olive College are values that this individual brings alive in active and fruitful ministry."

Pettus said many professors have helped him see Christ within himself and within others. "Many people at Mount Olive College have helped me learn to live a life of compassion and look at things from a clear and fresh perspective; and to stand up for what I believe is right and just."

Pettus said he remembers many obstacles he overcame with God's help. "I can see where God's grace was working in my life during those times, even when I started journeying down the wrong road," he said.