05/05/13 — Mount Olive College Class of 2013 starts next chapter

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Mount Olive College Class of 2013 starts next chapter

By John Joyce
Published in News on May 5, 2013 1:50 AM

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Casey Mozingo

The tops of several seniors' caps were decorated with words of celebration and inspiration at the commencement at Mount Olive College on Saturday. Above, Crystal Bennett talks to her professor, Dr. Janet Albers, about her choice of decorations.

Despite the unseasonably cool afternoon breeze, the 59th commencement at Mount Olive College Saturday warmed the hearts of 1,426 guests as they joined faculty and staff in congratulating the graduating class of 2013.

Dr. Philip Kerstetter spoke proudly of the first graduating class he has had the pleasure of watching matriculate over all four years.

He then bestowed upon Mount Olive native and multi-faceted business mogul George R. Kornegay Jr. an honorary degree.

Kornegay received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, for his many years of civic leadership and contributions to both Mount Olive and Mount Olive College.

Dr. Opey D. Jeanes delivered the commencement address to his final graduating class. The legacy left behind by the educator, due to retire in June after 34 years at the school, is one of growth, change and service.

Jeanes, a teacher-turned-administrator with more than 50 years experience in education, helped shape MOC into the college it is today.

He is credited with the planning and implementation of the MOC program at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, just another phase in the school's tradition of growth and expansion Jeanes has been a part of since joining the college in 1979.

He plans to ease into retirement, but imparting wisdom to young people is something he will continue to do, effortlessly.

"This is only a step in the lifelong process of learning," Jeanes advised. "Keep on learning, keep on serving."