University of Mount Olive at Jacksonville Breaks Ground on New Location

JACKSONVILLE – City officials, Chamber members, and Economic Development representatives were on hand for the ground breaking of the new location of University of Mount Olive at Jacksonville.  Construction is set to begin any day on the facility at 2543 Onslow Drive, with an expected completion date of January 2013.  The 10,000 square feet of space, will give students an easier location to access with more parking, additional classroom space, a student community area and additional office space.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lazzara stated, “On behalf of Mayor Phillips and all of the Jacksonville City Council, we applaud this next step for University of Mount Olive and wish you well in your new building.  I know you have helped create success in the lives of many by your unique approach to education.  Many of our police officers and other City workers have been part of your programs.  Your one-night-a-week scheduling options allowed them to continue working, while they work to improve their value to the City.  I’m confident there are many more similar success stories.  This ceremony today endorses the success of your programs here in Jacksonville, and we hope it will produce much more success.”

Budda Howard, chairman of Onslow Economic Development, said, “It is always good to see a business, especially an institution like University of Mount Olive with a rich history, do well in our community.  The services the College provides for its students, especially working adults, serves to benefit not only its students, but also the employers they work for.  Jacksonville Onslow Economic Development works to attract new industry to Onslow County, and as any developer will tell you, having quality education is an important consideration for any business in their decision making process to relocate.  We are therefore very pleased to have University of Mount Olive in our arsenal to help us with our work.”

Guy Bradbury, director of University of Mount Olive at Jacksonville said, “The Jacksonville location has grown significantly since its beginning in January 2009.  The area is in need of the educational services that we provide and we want to be a significant part of Onslow County’s development for the future.”

University of Mount Olive at Jacksonville serves around 200 students per semester, and the new location will allow the College to serve more citizens of Onslow County and surrounding areas.

Program offerings include bachelor degree programs in Business Management, Criminal Justice and Criminology, Early Childhood Education, Health Care Management and an associate degree in General Studies.  The one-night-a-week class format is specifically designed to accommodate the career goals and busy lifestyle of working adults.

Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter, president of University of Mount Olive, stated, “University of Mount Olive was founded 60 years ago, and from the very beginning it fully understood that education is a transformational experience. Our tag line says, “Lives Transformed.”  We recognize that education comes in all kinds of sizes, shapes, formats, and the important thing is how we work together to make certain that everybody has legitimate access to a quality higher education experience. We want to be a key educational provider here, providing not only the non-traditional degree completion programs, but we also want to look at other, innovative ways to provide educational services that address the needs of this region. That’s what we are all about here today at Jacksonville.”

The architect for the expansion project is J. C. Woodall.  Construction will be completed by Atlantic Construction Company under the guidance of Rose Family Developer Eddie Rose.

University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The College, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville.  For more information, visit

Pictured (L-R):  Rose Family Developer Eddie Rose, Joe Henderson with Atlantic Construction, Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lazzara, University of Mount Olive President Philip P. Kerstetter, Director of University of Mount Olive at New Bern and Jacksonville Guy Bradbury, University of Mount Olive President Emeritus J. William Byrd, and University of Mount Olive Vice President for Finance John Kunst.