11/18/07 — Mount Olive College names 2007 distinguished alumni

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Mount Olive College names 2007 distinguished alumni

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 18, 2007 2:02 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The son of a Wayne County tenant farmer -- destined to follow the same path until he discovered Mount Olive College -- received the 2007 Distinguished Service Award during the college's alumni homecoming weekend activities.

Darrell Horne of Goldsboro, president of Horne Moving Systems Inc., said he first learned about the college through his church, Stoney Creek Free Will Baptist.

Finances were limited, but a scholarship allowed him to attend class during the day and work nights developing film for Kraft Studios in Mount Olive.

Just three courses shy of his associate degree, he entered the Army National Guard, planning to one day come back and complete his education. When he returned from active duty, though, his father was ill and Horne was forced to enter the workforce full-time.

At 20, he moved back home and began working for a small moving company. He wound up purchasing a one-truck moving company in 1971. Today Horne Moving Systems Inc. boasts an 85,000-square-foot warehouse and a fleet of trucks as well as relocation services nationally and internationally.

"I've been blessed beyond my wildest dreams," Horne said.

Serving his eighth term as chairman of the Board of Trustees at the college, he is only the fifth person to ever hold the title at the college and the only alumnus in this capacity. He has also been an active financial supporter of the college.

"Life is a journey of experiences," he said. "My early experiences on the farm taught me that working hard helps build character and character helps build dreams. ... Mount Olive College gave me the opportunity to experience how learning and growing can help achieve dreams. It provided me, as it continues to provide others today, that avenue of growth. MOC helped shape me into the man I am today. I feel a responsibility to help them continue to offer this opportunity to others."

"Share the Success" was the theme for the college's annual alumni weekend.

Thurman "Johnny" Davis Jr., president and manager of Tyndall Funeral Home in Mount Olive, was named Alumni Business Associate of the Year. He attended the college in the mid-1960s, joining the funeral home full-time in 1976. The business has been a business associate of the college and supported its efforts financially.

The Alumni Hall of Fame Award was presented to Mount Olive Tribune editor Steve Herring, a 1972 honors graduate of MOC. A strong supporter of education and the college, he is a Wayne County native.

An honorary alumni award was also given, to a family that is well-known to any male student who ever lived in Grantham Hall.

J.E. and the late Joyce Andrews were resident directors of the dorm for nearly 20 years, and with daughter, Faith, became like family to those attending college away from home.

The annual alumni event kicked off on Friday with a breakfast briefing sponsored by the Robert Tillman School of Business and will conclude this morning with an alumni worship service at 10:15 a.m. in the college chapel followed by a buffet lunch in the cafeteria.

In between, the events were as varied as the students who have attended the college over the years. From the 42nd annual Pickle Classic basketball games to an assortment of seminars and class reunions and gatherings over meals, there was something for everyone.

Friday night during a pre-game celebration before the Pickle Classic, Coach Bill Clingan was recognized for taking the virtually unknown basketball program to a recognized NCAA Division II standout. His illustrious career at the college includes 500-plus games, 300-plus wins, four NCAA tournaments, and one Elite 8 appearance.

Known for his pacing on the sidelines, Friday night he was stopped short as a surprise announcement was made in his honor.

Clingan has always wanted to build a new locker room, but lack of funding stalled the project. The support of donors and about $30,000 in gifts and pledges is turning the dream into a reality. And once complete, the new locker rooms will bear the coach's name.

"This is a wonderful honor for Coach Clingan," said Jeff Eisen, director of athletics at the college. "It shows the respect and love that his friends, members of the community and former players have for him.

"In his 20 years at Mount Olive, Coach Clingan has developed a winning program, which focuses not just on winning games, but on building character and graduating student athletes."

Another cornerstone at the college was also recognized with a surprise dedication during the Pickle Classic, this time on Saturday night.

Dianne Riley, alumni director, was honored with having trophy cases in Kornegay Arena named after her.

Rhonda Jessup, director of public affairs, said that in the absence of a place to store such awards, Mrs. Riley has for years taken them home with her. That will no longer be the case, and Mrs. Riley's efforts will now be reflected in a plaque on the trophy cases bearing her name.

During the final game of the basketball tournament, the 16-member Pickle Classic court was introduced, as the king and queen were announced. Matthew McLamb of Goldsboro, a junior computer information systems major, was named king and Crystal Guy of Clayton, a junior psychology major, was announced queen.

The Alumni Association used the weekend to conduct its regular annual business, which included naming a new president and recognizing special contributions made by others.

Carolyn Fader Hill, a 1964 graduate of MOC, was named president of the alumni group.

A long-term care consultant, she currently works with Granville Health System in Oxford.

She said her message for the coming year will be "Leading into the Future."

"As alumni we must lead by example in giving and participation if we are able," she said. "I have a personal interest in MOC foremost because I saw this school grow from a one-building college to what it is today.

"I hope that my efforts serving as president ... will give me an opportunity to give back to MOC what it gave me when I began my education process."