Freshmen Say Their Goodbyes and Move In at University of Mount Olive

MOUNT OLIVE – New University of Mount Olive freshmen began arriving at the residence halls on Saturday, August 11. It was a humid day but various groups, like the University of Mount Olive Alumni Association, handed out drinks and other goodies to keep the students cool. Some had to haul their belongings on carts. Others filled their arms with clothes, laptops and small reminders of home. Resident Assistants helped direct traffic, while family members and volunteers carried luggage. For some, it was a tearful day, but full of anticipation for the newest members of the University of Mount Olive student body.
“I’m excited but nervous at the same time,” said 19 year-old freshman Taylor Braun. Hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, Braun left her town to be with her fiancé, and to enjoy the peaceful setting University of Mount Olive provides its students. “It’s a smaller school, and my fiancé is in the Air Force. He’s stationed at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro. So, I’ll be closer to him.” Braun plans to work toward her bachelor’s degree in business management or health care management.
Akiharu Kitagawa, 18, came to University of Mount Olive thanks to a hard-earned scholarship. He plans on majoring in biology with a minor in music. The trip to North Carolina from Oregon took days, but Akiharu connected with other members of the men’s cross country team soon after arriving.  When asked what he thought was the best part of University of Mount Olive so far, he replied, “The cross country team is awesome.”
Seventeen year-old Sydney Smith instantly knew she wanted to attend University of Mount Olive after visiting the campus for the first time. “I was almost committed to another school, but I came down here for the official visit, and I loved it.” As a talented lacrosse player, Smith had many options, but nothing came close to the atmosphere at MOC. “I’ve been to a bunch of other schools, bigger schools, but I got here and thought it was so pretty. I just loved it.” Smith plans to major in sports management.
Clayton native Lauren Power is majoring in biology. She’s also a new addition on the women’s soccer team.
“When I came to visit last year, I met a lot of nice people. University of Mount Olive’s students and staff were very welcoming. I met people in the biology department, and they really helped guide me,” she explained. Although it’s an exciting time for Power, she is already missing Clayton. “I’m a home-body, and I really miss home, but I’m just taking it day-by-day. I’m making a lot of new friends.” When asked how her parents felt about her coming to University of Mount Olive, Power exclaimed, “Oh, they love it!”
This year University of Mount Olive boasts a large, multicultural freshman class, from all over the country and the world. Nineteen year-old Lewis Einarson, one of the newest members of the men’s volleyball team, comes all the way from Australia. Gemma Abela, 18, a new member of the girls’ soccer team, is from London, England and will major in exercise science. Michael Munoz, hailing from California, is a 17 year-old freshman on the cross country team. No matter where they come from, they all have one thing bringing them together—entering University of Mount Olive as the class of 2016.
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, Washington and Jacksonville.  For more information, visit