Rotary Club of Mount Olive Donates $50,000 to UMO Track and Lacrosse Complex

Rotary Club of Mount Olive Donates $50,000 to UMO Track and Lacrosse Complex

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive recently announced the extension of its Realizing the Dream Securing the Future capital campaign to include raising funds for a Track and Lacrosse Complex.  Since that announcement, the Mount Olive Rotary Club has stepped forward with a $50,000 gift towards the project.

“The Rotary Club of Mount Olive epitomizes the Rotary motto ‘Service above Self,’” said University President Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter.  “This contribution is representative of the good things being done by and through the Rotary.  Through this gift the members of the Rotary Club of Mount Olive, both individually and collectively, understand the important impact that the Track and Lacrosse Complex will make not only for the University of Mount Olive, but for the Mount Olive and the larger Wayne County community as well.  The University is truly grateful for this very generous gift.”

The cost for phase one construction of the Track and 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.

According to Kerstetter, the complex will serve as a hub for both the University and the region, as well as provide a significant economic impact for Eastern North Carolina.

The Rotary Club of Mount Olive has been in existence since 1924.  It is an organization made up of businesses and professionals who engage in a vast array of service projects that meet needs and improve the quality of life. Over the years, the Club has supported projects such as the Mount Olive Historical Society, StageStruck: The Young People’s Own Theatre, Mount Olive Hurricanes, the UMO baseball program, and an endowed scholarship at the University. The Club is also the sponsoring organization for the Boy Scout Troop 34.

Treasurer Barton Baldwin, Rotary member for 38 years, said, “Through our Cabin Fever Golf tournament we have assisted many families financially who find themselves in truly life-changing circumstances. We have also worked through Rotary International to eradicate Polio worldwide with Polio Plus, and to provide potable drinking water and dental care in third world countries. Our club was instrumental in establishing a tornado relief fund for the district in 1983 and has done so again by supporting tornado relief the last three years. All of these efforts reflect our motto of “Service above Self.”

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

Pictured L-R: Rotary member Al Southerland, Rotary member Barbara Bryan, Rotary member Barry Merrill, Rotary President and Cabin Fever committee member Paul Rutter, Rotary member Frank Clifton, Cabin Fever Committee Member Branny Vickory, University of Mount Olive Vice President for Institutional Advancement Jimmy Williams, Rotary Treasurer and Cabin Fever Committee member Barton Baldwin, and Rotary member Doug Connor.