10/11/07 — MOC 'Bridge Builders' donate $507,000

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MOC 'Bridge Builders' donate $507,000

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on October 11, 2007 1:48 PM

MOUNT OLIVE--More than $507,000 was contributed to Mount Olive College last year through the efforts of Free Will Baptist churches throughout eastern North Carolina.

Called "Bridge Builders," 2,081 individuals and church organizations contributed $100 or more during the 2006 annual fund campaign. More than 500 of them attended a recent appreciation dinner at the college.

The support made a difference in the lives of more than 5,000 students at the college, said its president, Dr. J. William Byrd.

"Through the years, MOC has transformed itself in many ways. One thing that has never changed, and never will, is the college's commitment to helping students transform themselves, and achieve goals that might have seemed unreachable. Mount Olive College provides students a foundation for learning and for living," he said.

Jean F. Ackiss, director of Church Support, coordinator of the dinner and its mistress of ceremonies, told the audience, "You have seen just a small part of how your gifts make a difference in the lives of the students we serve. By giving to Mount Olive College you are sharing in the life of each student."

One highlight of the event was a presentation of Christian musical selections by the Mount Olive College Concert Choir and Free Spirit, under the direction of Dr. Alan Armstrong. Senior Sara Strickland gave an inspirational monologue of how her life has been transformed at MOC A member of Walnut Creek Free Will Baptist Church, she is the college's chief marshal and the reigning MOC Pickle Classic Queen.

Prior to the program, inspirational music was provided by the Praise Band of the Winterville Free Will Baptist Church. Student recipients of Free Will Baptist tuition grants and the college's basketball team also assisted with the event.

All Bridge Builders will receive a copy of the book "A Memoir of a Hurricane," written by Lorraine Garner and provided by the Mount Olive College Press.