Winter Glitz 2011 Provides a Dose of Southern Hospitality

MOUNT OLIVE – A trickling fountain and the gentle scent of magnolia welcomed guests to the fourth annual Winter Glitz at University of Mount Olive.  The theme for this year’s event was Experience Savannah: A Glimpse into the Olde South.  Upon arrival, guests were escorted by student scholarship recipients dressed in vintage hoop skirts, ascots, and top hats, to tables representing the traditional and beloved landmarks of Savannah including Lafayette Square, Forsyth Park, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, and the Flannery O’Connor House.

Pioneer College Caterers provided a menu of gourmet southern cuisine including shrimp and grits, spinach salad, cornbread muffins, stuffed pork with apple and brown sugar glaze, sweet potatoes with cinnamon butter, sweet early garden peas, and peach cobbler.

Entertainment included musical selections by Dueling Pianists Thomas Casey and Gloria Wallace Edwards, Vocalists Earl Worley, John Clifton, and Jason and Jaime Britt Cox, Pianist Joshua Wiggins, and Trumpeter Mark Webb.  Eleanor Hawkins, retired Craven County librarian and wife of Board of Trustee member Carol Hawkins, shared stories and poignant narratives of life in the Olde South.

Since its debut in 2008, an essential element of Winter Glitz has been the silent and live auction items.  This year’s selection included an assortment of distinctive jewelry and handcrafted items, autographed memorabilia, a unique selection of paintings and photography, as well as themed gift baskets.  The highlight of the live auction was a Savannah vacation package complete with hotel accommodations, reserved seats for a performance at the Savannah Theatre, historic tours of Olde Savannah, and a buffet dinner at Paula Deen’s Lady & Son’s restaurant.

According to Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kevin J. Jean this year’s event raised approximately $20,000 for student scholarship support.

“Sometimes financial considerations can be the deciding factor in whether or not a student is able to attend college,” Jean said.  “Winter Glitz has become an annual event that helps raise awareness and support for these students.  Because so many scholarship recipients participate in the event, donors can also recognize the transformation of lives happening on this campus.”

Jean went on to thank the Co-chairs Francine Cooke and Rhonda Wiggins; alumni staff members Dianne Riley, Vickie Robinson and Brenda Edwards; and the entire committee.

“I appreciate the hard work and attention to detail that each of you made to create a special event for all in attendance,” he said.

Bob Tillman, MOC Foundation Board member and donor, stated, “This event is special to me particularly since I grew up in Mount Olive.  I enjoy attending because the event allows me to see many of the people I grew up with, and at the same time provides an opportunity to support student scholarships.”

Scholarship recipient Rochelle Branch said, “This is my third year participating in the Winter Glitz. I enjoy the Winter Glitz because it is a way to give back to the institute that has provided me several scholarships to earn an education and a promising career. Also, I enjoyed dressing up in 1800’s dress. The costumes really helped set the tone for the event.”

Taking the stage to thank donors President Philip P. Kerstetter said, “It is my privilege to serve University of Mount Olive as President and to set a vision for educating the leaders for the 21st Century.  Incredible things are being done here because of your support – thank you.  May God bless you and may God continue to bless University of Mount Olive.”

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



Top:  2011 Winter Glitz at University of Mount Olive

Middle Right: Lindsay Parnell and Brian Parnell

Middle Left:  Vocalist John Clifton

Bottom Right:  President and Mrs. Philip P. Kerstetter