UMO Trustee Gives Back to Alma Mater

MOUNT OLIVE – University of Mount Olive Board of Trustee Albert Elrod has been instrumental in establishing two scholarship funds in memory of former UMO employees.   Elrod is the branch manager for Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. offices in Wilmington and Southport and a partner with Elrod, Jones & Lawerence Financial Group.  He wanted to honor the legacy of longtime UMO employees, Margaret Wells and John Kunst, for dedicating their time, talents, and service to the University.

Kunst became the Vice President for Finance at UMO in 2012.  He served the institution with a quiet humbleness until his death in 2018.  Wells worked at the University for 29 years as an administrative assistant in the Business Office until her death in 2018.  She was well known for her personal integrity, moral character and good citizenship.

The two $500 scholarships will be awarded to rising juniors or seniors at the University with a GPA of 3.0 or better.

“Mount Olive College was very important to me as an 18 year old beginning college,” said Elrod. “All the staff helped to foster an environment that allowed me to succeed in college and later in life. Both John and Margaret embodied that element of service and kindness to students in their roles within the Business Office.  That is the reason I wanted to help establish these scholarships as a means to honor their memories and to help current students and future alumni at the same time.”

Elrod graduated from Mount Olive College with an associate’s degree and earned a bachelor of science in business administration from East Carolina University.

“I want to do everything possible to make sure other students have the same opportunity I was given,” he said.

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