Three Rotarians celebrate club anniversaries

Dr. Sandra Maddox talks at a recent Mount Olive Rotary Club meeting.
Dr. Sandra Maddox talks at a recent Mount Olive Rotary Club meeting.
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Three Rotarians celebrated Mount Olive Rotary Club anniversaries this month.
Doug Connor, Barton Baldwin and Joe Caveness have combined to serve the club for 144 years.

Rotarian Jason Gipe, who is the vice president for advancement at the University of Mount Olive, shared the growth of the university through the eyes of a fundraiser.

He thanked club members for their support with endowed scholarship, lacrosse/track complex donations and contributions to the Black Box Theater. His theory of enrollment is “grow ‘em where you’ve gotten ‘em.” Gipe noted many of the university’s students are from North Carolina.

Gipe provided an update on the UMO Flight School and aviation management program, the BS in biomedical science, the family nursing practitioner program, the nursing simulation lab and a new master’s degree in counseling.

Dr. Sandra Maddox, dean of the School of Agriculture and Life Sciences at UMO, summarized changes in the program, which now offers 13 degrees.

Students can pursue studies in agriculture, agribusiness, ag education, ag communication and leadership, ag production, animal science, environmental and natural resources, plant science, pre-vet science, biology, biomedical science, biotechnology and ecological and environmental sciences.

Maddox said there are 300 students enrolled in the programs. Representation includes future degree holders from 70 NC, other states within the nation and a few international countries.

Currently there are three student farms which have been donated to UMO to be used as laboratories for the students. An online agriculture program was started for adults in January, and the future includes the development of master’s degrees.

Rotarians participated in the recent annual “Litter Sweep” in Mount Olive and the Walk to Prevent Polio at Stoney Creek Park in Goldsboro.

The club’s next guest speaker is retired Air Force officer Doug Connor on May 27. He will provide a program about “Operation Reflex.”

On Oct. 1, 1957, the Strategic Air Command commenced an overseas alert operation called “Operation Reflex” with twenty B-47 nuclear-capable bombers deployed to Sidi Slimane Air Base in Morocco.

Connor will share his personal story of involvement in “Operation Reflex.”

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