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UMO’s Newest Students Dine with the President and First Lady


MOUNT OLIVE –When the University of Mount Olive President and First Lady David and Mary Poole welcome students and tell them, “We want you to consider this your home for the next four years,” they mean it! Each fall Dr. and Mrs. Poole invite all first time students, to a cookout at their home. Because of the sheer number of new students, the Poole’s host four consecutive events in early September. Attendees gather under festive tents in the Poole’s backyard for food, fellowship, and the making of new friendships.
The reason they do it is simple. “We want students to feel welcome and appreciated,” said Mrs. Poole. “Being able to have one-on-one connections with students and helping them to realize the value of community is an important component of the UMO experience,” Dr. Poole added.
After a meal of hamburgers, grilled chicken, and Kielbasa sausage with all the fixings, the Pooles invite the students to find commonalities amongst themselves. One-by-one the students link arms and call out something that connects them, whether is it their love of sports, their appreciation for the beach, or the fact that they have siblings or pets. “The exercise is simple, but profound, indicating that we are different, yet so much the same,” said Dr. Poole.
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 education service centers in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and online. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.

One-by-one the students link arms and call out something that connects them, whether is it their love of sports, their appreciation for the beach, or the fact that they have siblings or pets.

University of Mount Olive President and First Lady David and Mary Poole host all new students for a cookout at their home. Because of the sheer number of new students, the Poole’s host four consecutive events in early September.

UMO’s newest students gather under festive tents in the Poole’s backyard for food, fellowship, and the making of new friendships.