MOUNT OLIVE — Approximately 300 people attended the 2011 Bridge Builders Appreciation Dinner at Mount Olive College Saturday night. The dinner is the college’s way of expressing appreciation to donors from Free Will Baptist churches throughout Eastern North Carolina.
Last year gift support from the dinner program to Mount Olive College totaled $507,387 from more than 2,000 donors who were designated as Bridge Builders by giving $100 or more in unrestricted gifts. Altogether, 84 persons were designated as Society members, giving $1,000 or more.
At the dinner Jean F. Ackiss, director of Church Support, said to the Bridge Builders, “This is the twenty-sixth year that Mount Olive College has shown appreciation to Bridge Builders, who have provided financial resources to help the College develop into the institution it is today. In 1984 the College began the Bridge Builders program by inviting Free Will Baptists to give an unrestricted gift of $100 or more at the annual fall dinner program. Since that time FWBs have given more than $9.8 million through the Bridge Builder program. Tonight, we thank you for your consistent support which has helped thousands of students transform their lives through the educational opportunities offered at Mount Olive College.”
Josh Barfield, a senior religion major from Newton Grove, spoke about his transforming educational experience at Mount Olive College. “Mount Olive College is a place of becoming. Within the walls of the many buildings here on campus, I have become the person that I am today, and I continue to grow due to Mount Olive College’s influence. This transformation would not be possible without the gracious contributions made by the Bridge Builders each and every year,” he said.
Alumnus Brian Parnell of Wilson provided the dinner music. The highlight of the evening was a presentation of Christian musical selections by the Mount Olive College Concert Choir, the Mount Olive College Chamber Choir, Free Spirit, and the Mount Olive College Brass Ensemble.
Bridge Builders will all receive a copy of “To Jerusalem” by Pepper Worthington at their county dinner.
Mount Olive College 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, Jacksonville, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park and Washington. For more information, visit www.moc.edu.