UMO Student Pursues Passion for Language and Literature

UMO Student Pursues Passion for Language and Literature

MOUNT OLIVE- Having lived in Mount Olive her entire life, Meredith Futrelle likes to describe the University of Mount Olive as being in her backyard.

“Growing up in a Free Will Baptist church and being from Mount Olive, the University of Mount Olive was always familiar to me,” Futrelle said. She is a member of Walnut Creek Original Free Will Baptist Church in La Grange.

However, like many high school seniors, Futrelle saw her future plans as unclear. “I didn’t really know where I wanted to go to college. My sister attended UMO at the time, and my dad graduated from UMO as well. They both encouraged me to attend, and it seemed that UMO was the best choice for me too.”

Futrelle enrolled at UMO in the fall of 2015 as an English major.

“Reading has always been my favorite hobby,” Futrelle said. “I love getting lost in a fictional world and discovering new places in a story. In high school, I had the most incredible English teachers who taught me how to closely read and analyze texts. This furthered my fascination and passion for the intricacies of the English language, and I knew I wanted to learn about it as much as I could.”

Beyond academics Futrelle is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society, is an intern in the Public Relations Department, and is involved in the UMO Honors program.

“Being in the Honors program has been an amazing experience. This past spring I traveled to Central Europe with the group.  It was one of the best times of my life. I really appreciate the program’s focus on giving back to those in need. It is rewarding to be a part of that.”

Family has been an inspiration for Futrelle throughout her educational journey. “My family has always motivated me to be the absolute best I can be,” she said. “I’m grateful to have a support system that focuses on hard work rather than perfection. I know they’re proud of me for just doing my best, and that makes it all worthwhile.”

Futrelle expects to graduate in May of 2019. After graduation, she hopes to go into journalism as a writer, and one day she would like to become an editor.

“UMO has allowed me to meet some wonderful people and learn from incredible professors,” she said. “The experiences and opportunities I have had through this University have been invaluable.”

Futrelle believes that she has learned important skills to not only carry with her to the workforce, but also to have when communicating with others in general.

“One of the most important things I’ve learned is how to be more open-minded. Reading increases empathy, which is very important. In many of my English classes, we have discussions that are heavily opinionated about literature and the issues it sometimes presents. I have learned how important it is for us to listen to each other so we can progress as a society and learn from one another.”

Futrelle concluded, “UMO has opened my eyes to new ideas and perspectives, and I feel that I am ready to take the things I’ve learned out into the ‘real world’ to make a difference.”

Futrelle is the daughter of George and Renee Futrelle, and sister to Samantha.

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, in Smithfield at Johnston Community College, and online.  For more information, visit