10/10/10 — Southern Bank donates to Mount Olive College's fine arts village

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Southern Bank donates to Mount Olive College's fine arts village

By Steve Herring
Published in News on October 10, 2010 1:50 AM

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Mount Olive College President Dr. Philip Kerstetter, left, accepts a $100,0000 donation from the Southern Bank Foundation presented Oct. 1 by Greg Eloshway, center, the bank's senior vice president and city executive. At right is Kevin Jean, MOC vice president of institutional advancement. The donation is for the college's planned fine arts village.

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Southern Bank Foundation has a made $100,000 donation to Mount Olive College for its planned fine arts village.

Planning for the facility is in the preliminary stages so a price tag and construction timetable have not been established, MOC President Dr. Philip Kerstetter said.

"We are excited that Southern Bank, again, is stepping up to provide some support to important initiatives at Mount Olive College," he said. "This particular initiative is for the creation of a fine arts village that will enable us to grow and expand our fine arts program on the Mount Olive College campus.

"To me, the fine arts are a way not only to enhance the experience of people on campus, but they become such a magnificent doorway to the larger community. I look at the fine arts as something that enables, engages and enriches the whole experience of life. So I am delighted to see the support from Southern Bank."

The fine arts village will make the fine arts program more accessible to more people, he said.

Kerstetter said there are some initial sketches for what the facility might look like, some funds have been raised and a plan formed to gain more funding for the project.

He said college officials want to ensure the college accomplishes its goals of more practice space and performance space and ways to engage faculty and students.

"Typically when you talk about fine arts you are talking about here at Mount Olive College we have the full music program as well as the studio and visual arts area," he said. "We will continue to look at ways at which we can extend the fine arts, which has traditionally included such things as theater programs, dance. So we will really be looking at if any of these things are applicable in terms of interest in terms of this facility's mission. We want to ensure we have everything in place before proceeding."

The foundation's donation helps college officials feel they are making a "significant step forward" on the project, he said.

The donation was presented Oct. 1 by Greg Eloshway, Southern Bank senior vice president and city executive for Mount Olive.

"We are very pleased to be able to make the contribution -- like Dr. Kerstetter said, to get it kick started or to get it where we can help get it to come to fruition," Eloshway said. " It will help the whole community to be able to provide and have facilities that are needed. It will be one that can be used by the students in a much broader perspective that not only offers the students, but that you can bring the community in whether the community is Mount Olive, whether the community is Wayne County, whether the community is eastern North Carolina or North Carolina.

"We can bring in visiting performances or artists."

Mount Olive College is already an asset to the community and the eastern part of the state and has been for years, he said.

Eloshway said he was pleased that the foundation was able to contribute.

"This is just another way to help provide additional assets -- just to be part of the community that we can take part in helping Mount Olive College in some of its endeavors to help it help them come to fruition," he said.