08/22/05 — Back to school at MOC

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Back to school at MOC

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on August 22, 2005 1:46 PM

More than 630 students are pre-registered for the fall semester at Mount Olive College, where classes begin on Wednesday. The dorms are already at full capacity, officials say, with the overflow being put up at a nearby hotel. Many students began arriving Sunday.

Tim Woodard, director of admissions at the college, said many of those without dorm accommodations will eventually find rooms on campus. The school has three women's dorms, a three-story men's dormitory, plus men's and women's apartment complexes.

This week's arrivals only represent a portion of the student body, said Barbara Kornegay, the school's vice president for enrollment."We have nearly 800 students enrolled at our Goldsboro location on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, 409 enrolled in our evening college program in Mount Olive, 388 enrolled in Wilmington, 297 at New Bern, and 381 at our Research Triangle Park location," she said. "That puts us currently at approximately 2,275. If you add the 600-plus we are expecting this coming week, our August enrollment will be over 2,800."

Nearly half of those on the main campus, 245, are newcomers, either freshmen or transfers, said Mrs. Kornegay.

With several building construction projects under way, in- and out-of-state recruiting is on the rise, Woodard said.

"It's a really neat attraction," he said. "Everybody is excited ... I think you'll see the traditional program growing with all the new facilities."

Rhonda Jessup, the college's public information officer, estimated the local contingent of freshmen at 15 from Wayne County and 23 from Duplin County.

Colleen Smith of Goldsboro was so enthusiastic about her college choice that she changed her answering machine message to encourage others to consider it. She said she hopes to one day become a labor-and-delivery nurse, but will first focus on taking basic college classes. The recent graduate of Faith Christian Academy said she appreciates Mount Olive College being close to home.

"I have heard about it all my life," she said. "It just feels like home."

Ashley Hartley, a Southern Wayne graduate, got a head start on her college experience by being selected as a member of the Mount Olive Singers. She spent the past week on campus with the group.

Ms. Hartley said she decided on Mount Olive because of its music program. She plans to major in business and minor in vocal performance.

The new students at Mount Olive come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

"One student, Shatha Quemseya, an international student from Palestine whose father is employed in Washington, D.C., has waited over a year and a half for her student visa to be approved by the INS," Mrs. Kornegay said. "Finally, she will be able to make her dream come true and start MOC this fall."

Three new Canadian students will be playing on the baseball team this year, said Mrs. Kornegay, a first for the team. Assistant Coach Rob Watt, who is from Canada, helped recruit the new athletes.

Some students said they learned about Mount Olive by searching the Internet.

Carley Moore of Johnstonville, S. C., discovered the school's homepage, learned about its music program and decided to visit the campus. He has already joined Free Spirit, the college's Christian performing vocal group. Mrs. Kornegay said Moore was so impressed with Mount Olive that he told other friends about it and encouraged them to apply. At least one has already applied for next year.

Three Greenville classmates, all graduates of Trinity Christian Academy, will be reunited again when the fall semester starts.

Best friends Kensie Cobb and Samantha Glass had decided to attend college in Virginia but changed their minds and are enrolled at Mount Olive, along with another friend, Joseph Rieg, who said he chose Mount Olive because of his friendship with the girls as well as the college's Christian values and family atmosphere.