11/06/11 — MOC celebrates 60th Founders Day

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MOC celebrates 60th Founders Day

By Kelly Corbett
Published in News on November 6, 2011 1:50 AM

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Josh Barfield holds a ceremonial cross as he lines up in the processional during Mount Olive College's Founders Day ceremony. Barfield also received the Founders Leadership Award.

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College held its 60th Founder's Day Thursday, this year inviting the community that has supported it throughout the decades to celebrate with it.

Moved from Southern Bank Auditorium to Kornegay Arena to account for the possible increase in crowds -- about 250 people -- the celebration included speakers, as well as choral and musical performances and a procession of graduates from the past six decades. The six banners carried by graduates of the college each represented one decade and one period of the school's growth.

After a welcome by college President Dr. Philip Kerstetter and an invocation by college chaplain, the Rev. Carla Williamson, senior Josh Barfield read the Scripture for the ceremony and was later called back onstage to receive the Founders Day Leadership Award.

"The scholarship is presented to a senior who has distinguished him or herself as an individual of character and initiative and who has demonstrated strong leadership qualities toward making Mount Olive College the institution of Christian higher education envisioned by its founders," Kerstetter said.

A committee of faculty, student and staff representatives chose the recipient of the award.

"To be honored with such a distinguished award is something I will take throughout my life," said Barfield, who plans to pursue further education in theological studies after graduating in May.

"Josh's dream is to obtain his Ph.D. in the future and come back to work at Mount Olive College as a professor of religion," Kerstetter said.

The Founders Day Address was given by Hope Williams, president of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.

"To the Mount Olive community, you saw Mount Olive College grow from a small two-year college to a four-year campus that today serves both traditional and non-traditional students in Mount Olive as well as six other locations in North Carolina," she said. "You have educated thousands of our sons and daughters of the coastal plain and beyond. You have the largest percentage of North Carolina students in your student body of any college or university in the state."