High School Memories Lead UMO Employee to Contribute to Track Complex

High School Memories Lead UMO Employee to Contribute to Track Complex

MOUNT OLIVE –When University of Mount Olive Director of Technology Ken Davis heard that the University was in the process of raising funds for a new track and field/lacrosse complex, it ignited a long lost passion within Davis that led to his contributing to the “My Meter Matters” initiative.  As a former track athlete at his high school in Arizona, Davis began to remember all the good times he had on the track team.


Back in 1983, Davis was Divisional Champion in the Long Jump, 200 Meters and anchored the winning 400 meter relay team.  He placed second in the 100 meter run, and his high school won the class B divisional title in 1983, where he led the boy’s team with 27.5 points.  Davis was also selected the most valuable performer for boy’s track during his senior year.


“Competition in any sport, at any level builds both self-reliance and team work,” Davis said.  “The lessons I learned on the track field followed me into the Air Force and here in my current job at UMO.”


Davis shared his track memories and a few yearbook photos with his children, Julie, a 23-year old senior at UMO, 17 year-old Quinn, and 14 year-old Paige.  Their reactions were priceless, “Dad, everyone knows you are a computer nerd, so that can’t be you.”


“My Kids never really knew I was pretty big into sports in high school,” said Davis.  “I might have gone to my grave without sharing some old yearbooks with my kids if it had not been for the mention of the track program at UMO.”


Wanting to provide a positive experience for future UMO track athletes, Davis has made a $1,000 commitment to the “My Meter Maters” initiative, securing five meters towards the 400 meter goal.


“For me, my gift to the campaign is about giving back,” Davis said.  “The University of Mount Olive has been incredibly generous to me and my family over the years, so I am a firm believer in employee giving.   Being a donor on the “My Meter Matters” and other campaigns allows me to pay forward to others a small measure of the same happiness that I have received from UMO.   I look forward to attending meets here on the campus of UMO, and knowing that I had a small part in making it happen.”

The new track and field/lacrosse complex is an important step toward the University of Mount Olive fulfilling its commitment to student centered education and providing a safe, state-of-the art facility for the region. The cost for phase one construction of the track and field/lacrosse complex is estimated at $1.5 million and will include an eight-lane, synthetic surface, 400 meter track built with an artificial surface field inside the track, along with areas for throws and jumps.  For more information, call Jimmy Williams at 919-658-7678.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit old.umo.edu.

Ken Davis is pictured looking through some of his old high school yearbooks and recalling his days as a track athlete.