12/19/04 — Mount Olive College considers expansion in New Bern

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Mount Olive College considers expansion in New Bern

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 19, 2004 2:00 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College has received a $10,000 grant to consider expanding its New Bern operations to serve more students in Craven, Pamlico, Jones and surrounding counties.

When it first began in 1993, the campus at New Bern had three staff members and served 55 students. The location has tripled its staff and serves nearly 300 students.

The grant will come from Harold H. Bate Foundation, set up to improve the quality of life for people of Craven, Pamlico and Jones counties.

The only educational institution in the Craven County area offering baccalaureate degrees, Mount Olive College offers programs targeted to working adults seeking a college education. The college currently resides in an 8,000-square-foot space on Glenburnie and Trent roads, but plans to form an exploratory committee to examine building a new campus.

Dr. J. William Byrd, president of the college, said, "A larger facility will allow us to provide expanded programming for students, which is currently limited because of space constraints."

He projects that with a larger facility, the enrollment at the college's New Bern location would increase 15 to 20 percent within the first two years.

Byrd said the Bate Foundation grant will be used to create a committee of 15 to 20 business and community leaders in the New Bern area to study the proposed expansion.