Banks and Boswell Receive Morris Awards for Academic Excellence at UMO

Banks and Boswell Receive Morris Awards for Academic Excellence at UMO

May 26, 2022
Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

MOUNT OLIVE- Erica Boswell of Clayton, NC and Kevin Banks of Williamston, NC received the Dr. Thomas R. Morris Awards for Academic Excellence at the University of Mount Olive’s May commencement.

Erica Boswell graduated from UMO with a 4.0 GPA.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science.  While at UMO, Boswell was a member of the women’s soccer team, Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and a leader of Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  She is currently seeking her doctor of physical therapy degree from East Carolina University.  Her future goals include becoming a traveling physical therapist.

Dr. Jill Mills, Chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies said, “I can speak for the entire Recreation and Leisure Studies faculty. We are so proud of Erica. She has earned our respect as a dedicated student-athlete who consistently raised the bar. She will make a fabulous physical therapist as evidenced by her past academic achievements and her internship performance this spring semester.”

Kevin Banks graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology.  He works with the Williamston Police Department.  He also works part-time with Vidant Campus Police.  He enjoys being outdoors, exercising, and spending time with his children.  His plans include obtaining his master’s degree and furthering his career.

Dr. Glenn Coffey, Professor of Criminal Justice, said, “Kevin is an excellent student that knows how to get the job done. He has been consistent and persistent to succeed in his courses in Criminal Justice and Sociology Program.”

The Thomas R. Morris Awards are presented to the traditional and non-traditional baccalaureate graduates whose studies have been at the University of Mount Olive during full-time, continuous enrollment. The awards are for the highest academic average based on the greatest number of credit hours.  A check for $1,500 accompanies each of these awards.  The awards were established by the generosity of the late Dr. Thomas R. Morris, a native of Nahunta in Wayne County.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit