University of Mount Olive to Inaugurate New President

University of Mount Olive to Inaugurate New President

MOUNT OLIVE – University of Mount Olive (UMO) President Dr. David L. Poole will be inaugurated on Friday, October 5, at 10 AM in the George and Annie Dail Kornegay Arena on the UMO campus.  It will be a historic and special moment in the life of the University.

Poole joined UMO on July 1st.   He has over 36 years of experience in the business and education environment with significant experience in academic and enrollment management, marketing administration, operations, customer relationship management, information technology services, and program development.

Poole received both his master of science in administration and technology and his bachelor of arts in music education from Pepperdine University. He completed his doctorate in higher education leadership at California State University Fullerton and is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. Poole has been married to his wife, Mary, for 32 years. They have three adult daughters.

UMO Board Chair Earl Worley said, “The University of Mount Olive is proud of its heritage that provides a transformative education focused on students, community, and the church. We are excited that President Poole is committed to continuing this legacy and achieving the next level of excellence.”

Building on the University’s great tradition of academic excellence over the past six decades, President Poole is committed to distinguishing UMO in new ways and making a strong impact in the lives of students, the community, and the church.  The theme for his inauguration will be “Called to Lead.”

In keeping with that theme, Poole has sparked a movement within the University and the surrounding communities that has the potential to have not only a local, but also a national impact.

“In order to be a great university we need to commit to being a great community partner,” Poole said. “Whether it’s through our students volunteering to help elementary students read or University staff offering to assist with a clean waterways project, or any number of other initiatives.  UMO will be committed to public service.”

During a special inauguration dinner for Poole, more than 90 volunteer service projects will be unveiled in which faculty, staff, students, and community members are committing to accomplishing during the upcoming year.  According to Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Dan Sullivan, it is the largest community service initiative in the history of the University.

“The generous instincts of students has always been present at UMO, but this push from President Poole is bringing new light and new vigor to service-oriented projects,” Sullivan said.  “Dr. Poole is encouraging students to choose initiatives that most align with their own passions and skills, and this has made all the difference.  They are exciting to a part of something bigger than themselves, while gaining valuable experience and making a difference in the lives of those around them.”

Poole believes that if the UMO campus community engages in public service activities it will be a catalyst for a greater good beyond the campus walls.  “When you take the effort to make a difference in the community around you and you commit your hands and your feet to a project, you feel not only a sense of ownership, but also a sense of accomplishment doing great things for others.”

UMO Senior Gayla Olvera of Lucama, NC said, “One of the most important things I am learning at UMO is to serve others.  In every club or activity I’m involved with, we are serving others in the community. Not only are we helping people, but we’re also being the hands and feet of Jesus.” Olvera volunteers with the Make a Difference Food Pantry, raises funds for Southeastern Cancer Care, and helps with STEM activities.

“At UMO, we recognize that our commitment to the community extends beyond the work we do in the classroom,” said Poole. “By contributing our gifts and talents we are connecting to the community and making a pivotal step in our growth as an institution and as a responsible corporate citizen.”

The public is invited to attend the inauguration and reception.

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

University of Mount Olive President and First Lady Dr. and Mrs. David L. Poole.