Mount Olive College

Mount Olive College
Mount Olive College
Motto Terras Irradient (Latin)
Motto in English Let Them Bring Light To The World
Established 1951
Type Baptist
Endowment $152 million
President Philip P. Kerstetter
Undergraduates 3,500
Location Mount Olive, North Carolina, USA
Campus Rural area, 250-acre (1.0 km2) Main Campus
Colors Green and White          
Nickname Trojans
Mascot Oliver the Trojan

Mount Olive College (MOC or Mount Olive) is a private liberal arts college located in Mount Olive, North Carolina. Founded in 1951, the college is supported by the Original Free Will Baptist Convention of North Carolina. Mount Olive is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, The North Carolina Association of Colleges and Universities, and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. A member of the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas, its sports teams compete as the Mount Olive College Trojans.




From its inception as a junior college, Mount Olive College has been sponsored by the Original Free Will Baptist Convention. The institution was chartered in 1951 and opened in 1952 at Cragmont Assembly, the Free Will Baptist summer retreat grounds near Black Mountain, under the direction of the Reverend Lloyd Vernon. The school was originally called Mount Allen Junior College, taking its name from the mountain near Cragmont.


In September 1953, the college was moved to Mount Olive, North Carolina, nearer the center of denominational strength in the eastern section of the state. Under the leadership of the Reverend David W. Hansley, Chairman of the Board of Directors, plans were made to develop a junior college offering programs in arts and sciences and in business. The Reverend W. Burkette Raper was elected president in the summer of 1954, and in September the college began its first collegiate year with an enrollment of twenty-two students.

In 1956 the name "Mount Allen Junior College" was changed to "Mount Olive Junior College". In that same year plans were launched for an enlarged campus which today consists of 250 acres (100 ha). In September 1970, the college's name was officially changed to “Mount Olive College.”


In 1977 the Original Free Will Baptist Convention requested that the Board of Trustees of Mount Olive College work aggressively toward making the college a four-year institution. The 1979 Session of the Convention endorsed the projected timetable set by the College Board of Trustees to add the junior year in 1984 and the senior year in 1985.

In 1975 the college began an educational program in Goldsboro, North Carolina at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

In 1986, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools officially accredited Mount Olive College as a four-year institution to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.


Since Mount Olive's expansion to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, the college has opened five (5) additional campuses throughout North Carolina: New Bern (1993), Wilmington (1995), Research Triangle Park (1997), Washington (2005), and Jacksonville (2009).

In the fall of 1994, the transfer of all operations to the Mount Olive campus was completed, and the college's original downtown campus was sold.

In January 1995, the Board of Trustees selected J. William Byrd as the third president of Mount Olive College. Dr. Byrd assumed the duties of office on January 31 and was inaugurated on September 30.

In 2001, Mount Olive College celebrated its 50th anniversary.

In April 2009, the Board of Trustees selected Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter as the fourth president of Mount Olive College. Dr. Kerstetter assumed the duties of office on July 1.


Mount Olive College educates over 4,000 students, making the College one of the fastest growing liberal arts college in the state of North Carolina. The average classroom size is 20 students.

The college is governed by a 24-member Board of Trustees with eight members being elected each year to a three-year term. The Original Free Will Baptist Convention also maintains at least three ad hoc members on the board who each serve three year terms.


Admissions profile

Fall 2010 Applicant Data:

  • Male- 45.29%
  • Female- 54.71%
  • Students from North Carolina- 79%
  • International Students-1%
  • Average SAT Score-980
  • Average ACT Score-21
  • Students Receiving Financial Aid-90%


Faculty are very accessible to students whether it be through small classes, open office hours, or one-on-one research projects. Mount Olive College has a student-faculty ratio of 15:1. 85% of full time faculty members hold terminal degrees.

Majors and minors

Mount Olive College consists of the following schools offering the following areas of study:

  • School of Arts & Sciences
  • Tillman School of Business
  • School of Professional Studies
  • Special Programs

School of Arts & Sciences

Tillman School of Business

  • Accounting
  • Business Management
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Human Resource Management
  • Agribusiness
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Health Care Management
  • Management and Organizational Development

School of Professional Studies

Special Programs

Student life


Mount Olive College competes at the NCAA Division II level in 16 sports:

Men's Sports Women's Sports
Baseball Basketball
Basketball Cross Country
Cross Country Golf
Golf Soccer
Soccer Softball
Tennis Tennis
Track and Field Track and Field
Volleyball Volleyball

Mount Olive College's sports teams are known as the Trojans; their colors are green and white. The Trojans participate as a member of Conference Carolinas.

In 2008, Mount Olive won the NCAA Division II Baseball National Championship. The Trojans posted a 58-6 record that year, winning the Conference Carolinas and NCAA II South Atlantic Regional titles. The Trojans defeated Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) 6-5 in the first round of the National Finals and Ashland (Ohio) 18-7 in the second round. Mount Olive defeated Central Missouri 5-3 in the semifinal round and claimed its first-ever national championship with a 6-2 victory over Ouachita Baptist in the title game. The national championship game was televised live on CBS College Sports. The National Finals took place in Sauget, Illinois.

In 2005, the Trojan men's basketball team won the NCAA II East Regional and advanced to the Elite 8 in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

12 of Mount Olive's 16 teams have captured at least one conference regular season or tournament title. Eight Trojan teams have been represented in at least one NCAA Division II Championship.


Men's Sports

Women's Sports


Mount Olive College's baseball team first reached considerable success beginning in the 1990’s under Coach Carl Lancaster, when they achieved a No. 1 national ranking in Division II baseball in 1996.

The Mount Olive College baseball team has competed in 13 NCAA tournaments (1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008). In 2008, the Mount Olive College Baseball Team won the NCAA Division II World Series capturing the college’s first national title in any sport.

Student Organizations

Historically, the main student newspaper on campus has been the Olive Leaf, which was published bi-weekly. The Olive Leaf was founded in 1964. On November 1, 2008 students at Mount Olive College launched The Trojan Times. The Trojan Times is a student-run online newspaper covering events both on campus and in the community, and provides an opportunity for students interested in journalism, professional writing, and numerous other fields to gain experience and express their opinions in a public venue. The online newspaper currently reaches an audience on four continents and several dozen countries.

Mount Olive College offers a wide variety of student organizations, including arts & culture organizations, performance groups, sports groups, political organizations, health & sexuality groups, religious organizations, social action groups, and fraternities and sororities. The Student Activities Office encourages and is available for students wishing to develop an organization not yet established at Mount Olive College.

Some of Mount Olive College’s organizations include:

  • Alpha Chi
  • Alpha Phi Sigma
  • Art Club
  • Beta Beta Beta Honor Society
  • Campus Activity Board
  • Chemistry Club
  • College Ambassadors
  • College Choir
  • Collegiate FFA
  • Commuters Club
  • English Society
  • Fellowship with African American Students
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Fellowship of Christian Students
  • Free Will Baptist Fellowship
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Henderson Science Club
  • International Club
  • Institute of Management Accountants Student Chapter
  • Mad Hatters Club
  • Math Club
  • History Club
  • Mount Olive College Cheerleaders
  • Mount Olive
  • Omega Upsilon Sorority
  • Pep Club
  • Phi Beta Lambda
  • Prospective Teachers' Association
  • Psi Chi
  • Praise Ensemble
  • Psychology Club
  • Recreation Majors Club
  • Route 7 Campus Ministries
  • Sigma Tau Delta - International English Honor Society
  • Society of Human Resource Management
  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD)
  • Student Athlete Advisory Committee
  • Student Government Association (SGA)
  • The Trojan Times
  • Student Theological Followship
  • Tennis Club
  • Trojan Voices
  • Volunteer Corps


  • Dr. W. Burkette Raper – First President (1954-1990)
  • Dr. J. William Byrd – Second President (1995-2009)
  • Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter - Third President (2009-Present)

Notable alumni



  • Neal Lancaster '84 - Professional golfer
  • Richard Racobaldo '09 - Professional baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals organization
  • Barrett Dail '09 - Professional baseball player for the Chicago Cubs organization
  • Dameion Baker '03-Professional Basketball Player (Germany/Japan)
  • Jo Kurino '02-Professional Basketball Player (Japan)
  • Elton Coffield '07-Professional Basketball Player (Germany)
  • Melvin Creddle '09-Professional Basketball Player (Austria)
  • Maurice Horton '06-Professional Basketball Player (Finland)
  • Brandon Streeter '08-Professional Basketball Player (Germany)
  • Wojciech Rogacewicz '07-Professional Basketball Player (Poland)
  • Fao Giovanonni '03-Professional Basketball Player (Spain)

External links


Coordinates: 35°12′30″N 78°04′08″W / 35.2084309°N 78.068759°W / 35.2084309; -78.068759

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