09/01/05 — Area family gives MOC building a new name

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Area family gives MOC building a new name

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on September 1, 2005 2:00 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The largest building on the Mount Olive College campus, nameless for more than two decades, was christened during convocation ceremonies Tuesday.

Lettering on the north and west sides of College Hall now reflects the building's new identity, the George and Annie Dail Kornegay Arena.

College President Dr. J. William Byrd recalled the building's rich history since the 1982 groundbreaking for the $3 million complex.

He said when grand opening ceremonies took place on Jan. 7, 1984, former College President Burkette Raper said, "Today is not the dedication but the opening of College Hall; the dedication will come later."

On Tuesday, 21 years later, Byrd said, "Today is the grand day."

The dedication was the culmination of efforts prompted by a $1 million gift from the George R. Kornegay Jr. family in December to honor the memory of Kornegay's parents, George and Annie Dail Kornegay of Duplin County.

Married to Barbara Kornegay, vice-president for enrollment at MOC, Kornegay is president of the Mount Olive College Foundation, an independent fundraising arm for the college. He and his children own and operate several businesses in and around Mount Olive, including the Sleep Inn, Southern Belle, Glen Care of Mount Olive and Glen Care of Warsaw.

The former College Hall has served many purposes over the years. Touted as a physical education-athletic-civic and convention center, it is home to the college's athletic teams and the site of the Original Free Will Baptist Convention and the State Youth Convention. Tournaments, summer camps, conventions, college fairs, graduations and concerts are also held in the 2,000-seat arena.

Before a commemorative portrait of his parents was unveiled, Kornegay said his family has been proud to be affiliated with Mount Olive College. He said he believed his parents would also be proud, not only to have their names appear on the building but of the educational opportunities available at the school.

"Both of them knew the value of education," he said. "Neither of them had much formal education, but they became self-educated. They were able to raise three children on a 66-acre farm and never put a mortgage on that farm."

Darrell Horne, chairman of the college's board of trustees, said the Kornegays' gesture will forever link their name with Mount Olive College and will be a lasting legacy of the family's generosity.