03/16/10 — Mount Olive College prepares for president's inauguration

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Mount Olive College prepares for president's inauguration

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on March 16, 2010 1:46 PM

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News-Argus file photo

Dr. Philip Kerstetter relaxes at his home in Mount Olive. The president of Mount Olive College will be officially inaugurated during ceremonies Friday.

MOUNT OLIVE -- Mount Olive College will officially inaugurate its fourth president, Dr. Philip Kerstetter, Friday at 2 p.m. in Kornegay Arena.

Although Kerstetter has held the position since taking over from former President and current MOC Chancellor Dr. J. William Byrd in July 2009, the inauguration will be a special recognition of his stepping into the role.

Kevin Jean, vice president for institutional advancement and chairman of the inauguration planning committee, said an inauguration is a major event in the life of a college.

"The event will be a celebration of the college's history, values and vision for the future. As we affirm our new president, we will also affirm the ideals that Mount Olive College has always represented: Academic quality, Christian values and student focus," he said.

The ceremony will feature academic customs and regalia, including a colorful procession by robed representatives from local, regional and national academic institutions. For the first time in the college's history, the installation will include the introduction of the Mount Olive College Lectionary Cross. The cross will be given by the Original Free Will Baptist Church and used in tandem with the College Mace at all future academic celebrations. Kerstetter will also be presented with a presidential medallion engraved with the college seal. A luncheon will kick off the day and the ceremony will be followed by a reception.

Representatives from the college's Board of Trustees, faculty, staff and students will help to officially welcome the president. Representatives of the Original Free Will Baptist Church, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and local and state government officials will also be part of the event. The Mount Olive College music department will provide special music for the occasion.

Kerstetter will deliver a keynote address in which he will talk about his vision for the college and his future plans for the institution.

The ceremony will be the capstone of a series of events held throughout the week. The theme of the week, "Transforming through Connections," includes a variety of activities planned to celebrate the college and the community. The campus community is putting together Easter baskets of donated non-perishable food items for needy families in the area. This Sunday, the Moye Library at the college will host the grand opening of the Lincoln Exhibit, coinciding with Kerstetter's inauguration week.

The ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday in Kornegay Arena is free and open to the public.

For more information about the inauguration week events, contact Kathy Gardner at 658-2502.