Hwy 55 Founder to Serve-up Commencement Address

Hwy 55 Founder to Serve-up Commencement Address

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive will graduate around 320 students on Saturday, May 2, 2015.  Commencement exercises are scheduled for 2 PM in the George and Annie Dail Kornegay Arena on the Mount Olive campus.


Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes, and Fries President and Founder Kenney Moore will be the UMO commencement speaker.  Moore graduated from Mount Olive College with an associate’s degree in 1983 and transferred to Atlantic Christian College now Barton College to earn his bachelor’s degree.  He opened his first 1950’s themed restaurant in 1991 in the Goldsboro Mall at the age of 28.  Today the company has more than 100 restaurants in 8 states and 2 countries.  He has also recently released his new book, Behind the Drive:  A Story of Passion, Dreams, Demons, and Hwy 55, the World’s Next Favorite Burger Joint.

Moore credits a great deal of what he has learned about life and business to the experiences he gained as a Mount Olive student and member of the Trojan baseball team.  “During my sophomore year, our team was considered to be in a rebuilding stage and not expected to be at peak performance.  But, I found out a funny thing that I have carried over into my business.  That year, we won the conference and were ranked 20th in the country.  That taught me that you can have less talented people, but if you have the same goals, dreams, and ambitions and work together as a team, you can accomplish amazing things,” he commented.

Throughout the years Moore and the Andy’s Charitable Foundation have generously supported the University of Mount Olive including being a central force in the funding the Moore –Williams Baseball Fieldhouse, named for Moore’s parents, Dal and Nancy Moore, and his in-laws, Jimmy and Frances Williams, and most recently contributing to the University’s campaign to construct a Track and Field/Lacrosse Complex.

Preceding the graduation ceremony will be the commencement worship service at 10:30 a.m. in Southern Bank Auditorium with Bishop Rose S. O’neal as the speaker.  O’Neal is senior pastor at Koinonia Christian Center Church Ministries. O’neal is a 2007 graduate of Mount Olive College, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in religion with a minor in business management and organizational development.


As the founder and presiding Bishop of Koinonia Fellowship of Churches and Ministries (K.F.C.M.), Bishop O’neal covers 20 churches both stateside and internationally. A giver by nature, Bishop O’neal has tirelessly counseled pastors, churches and people from all walks of life.  Because of her “keep-it-real” approach to ministry, churches and pastors are drawn to her genuine spirit and approachable attitude.  She both encourages and instructs by sharing knowledge and information that has transformed ministries and impacted lives.


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.