06/22/17 — MOUNT OLIVE MESSENGER: Tag your pride, support for university

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MOUNT OLIVE MESSENGER: Tag your pride, support for university

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 22, 2017 8:06 AM

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This is a mockup of how a University of Mount Olive license tag could look. At least 300 North Carolina drivers are needed to sign up before the university can petition the state for the tags.

MOUNT OLIVE -- The University of Mount Olive has more than half of the 300 names it needs to petition the state to issue a license tag featuring its logo.

If the drive gets 500 names, it does not have to have the First in Flight background and can do an entire university background on the tags, said Hope Fields, the university's director of alumni relations.

"We had tried this a while back to have the license plate with the logo and never got the required minimum number of people to do it," Mrs. Fields said. "You also have to have a General Assembly member support you in this.

"Right now we are in the interest-gathering phase. Of course we are extending that to alumni, Free Will Baptists, and we would love to have community members if they would like to have one, to jump on board with us, too."

Along with the regular cost of a tag, one with the university logo would cost an additional $25 of which $15 will come back to the university as a gift.

"So it is a way to show your pride and support the university," Mrs. Fields said.

Mrs. Fields and Brooke Bitzenhofer, assistant director of alumni relations, said they are pleased with the early response.

Within the first week the university received 165 forms from people interested in getting one of the specialty tags. As of June 13, the total had reached 172.

Mrs. Fields and Mrs. Bitzenhofer contribute the interest to the university's growth and increasing number of alumni.

The initial push was through social media reaching mostly faculty, staff and students since there was not really had way to get it out to the community at large, Mrs. Bitzenhofer said.

It will be featured in the July edition of the university's "Today" magazine.

Plans are to have sign-up forms available in November during the university's annual homecoming activities.

"We are hoping to maybe get to 350 to 375 before we start (the process)," Mrs. Fields said. "We have their contact information and will reach out to them with the application. The due date is Feb. 15, 2018.

"We would have to submit all of the applications and the fees by Feb. 15. We can of course submit it earlier, but they won't take it to the General Assembly until March."

Even if the university reached the 300 threshold early, Mrs. Fields said the university may wait until late January to submit the names. More can be added after the initial 300 submitted by the Feb. 15 deadline.

If approved, the tags could be available in June.

People have asked if they could get the tag, but keep the message from an already personalized tag.

Because of the logo there can only be four characters on the tag, she said.

For more information, call 919-299-4626 or to complete the interest form visit www.umoalumni.com/licenseplates.