Alumnus Reaps the Benefit of his MOC Experience

John Nielsen ’98 of Aurora, Colorado believes the time he spent at University of Mount Olive at Seymour Johnson was one of the most significaneilsen, nt experiences of his adult life. “My experience at University of Mount Olive helped to mold me into who I am today,” said Nielsen. “Not only did I get a solid business degree, but the environment and culture of the college have influenced how I view the world.” Nielsen took his educational experience and made a successful career for himself. Last year he was appointed to the prestigious role of citizen trustee for the City of Aurora Police Pension Plan and received a promotion at Great-West Financial, the fourth largest retirement plan provider in the nation.

As citizen trustee for the City of Aurora Police Pension Plan, Nielsen is a member of an eight person board that has a fiduciary duty to manage an $86 million dollar defined benefit plan effectively for the police employees for the city of Aurora.  Nielsen also received a promotion to director of product management at Great-West Financial. In his role with Great-West Financial he is responsible for program management of all financial products used within retirement plans and IRAs. This includes mutual funds collective investment trusts and insurance company investment products offered by Great-West Financial and its affiliates.

“Today, I seek opportunities to give back to my community, my church, and my college because these were lessons I learned early on at MOC,” Nielsen said.

Nielsen largely credits his earlier years as a major at MOC at Seymour Johnson for his current successes. “I can tell you that without my experience and education at University of Mount Olive I would not be where I am today in my career. In fact, since MOC, I have gone on to complete a MBA, but I still go back to MOC as the most important experience of my adult life so far, next to my marriage.”

Nielsen was a 24 year old double major in business management and human resource development when he began attending night classes at MOC at Seymour Johnson with his wife, LeAnn, in 1995. He was also on active duty in the Air Force. It wasn’t easy for the young couple, but they made it work. Now, years later, Nielsen is grateful for the opportunities attending MOC has provided. “I have since learned that my degree from University of Mount Olive opened doors that would have been otherwise closed to me.”

Now Nielsen is hoping to create a new family tradition. “My sons are very smart and will likely have a myriad of schools they can choose from when the time comes. I would be honored and extremely proud if they choose University of Mount Olive. I have complete confidence that MOC will prepare them as well as it prepared me.”

University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park and Washington.  For more information, visit