MOUNT OLIVE –The University of Mount Olive’s new president is on the job. Dr. David L. Poole begins his tenure as the institution’s fifth President this week. Poole earned his doctorate from California State University Fullerton and he is a graduate of the Harvard Institute for Educational Management. He has over 36 years of experience in the business and education environment with significant experience in academic and enrollment management, marketing administration, operations, customer relationship management, information technology services, and program development. He most recently served as Vice President for Online and Professional Studies and as an Associate Professor of Leadership and Management at California Baptist University. The past six months have been an exciting time for Poole and his wife, Mary. They celebrated the marriage of their oldest daughter, Amy, in February, and the marriage of their second daughter, Mallory, in June. Their youngest daughter, Kimberly, just began her career in Speech Language Pathology in the Los Angeles area. On Sunday, David and Mary completed the 2,572 mile trek from California to Mount Olive to begin a new phase in their lives as President and First Lady of the University of Mount Olive.“It is with great excitement and anticipation that Mary and I begin our journey with the University of Mount Olive,” Poole said. “We are passionate about the mission of the University and look forward to joining an outstanding faculty, staff, board of trustees, and community on this journey into the future. The University of Mount Olive’s decision, many years ago, to serve both traditional age students and adult working professionals clearly establishes the conditions for success and broadens the University’s reach to offer Christian higher education to a significantly growing market.”The University of Mount Olive Board of Directors selected Poole as its fifth president in April after an extensive eight month search. “David brings a rich combination of academic expertise, innovation, and student-centered focus that are at the heart of the UMO mission,” said Earl Worley, Chair of the UMO Board. “We are fortunate to have someone of his experience, accomplishment, and vision leading our University.” In a letter sent to UMO faculty and staff, Poole said, “We look forward to building a premier, comprehensive, Christian faith-based, values-centered private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition. A place where we can change lives, and faculty and staff can live their dream and God’s calling for them. A place where prospective and current students of all ages would see as the preferred place to receive a quality education. An institution that academically prepares students to excel in their professions, that has a global mindset and heart for the nations and equips the entire community for a life of service.”Poole will spend his first few weeks getting familiar with each of the University’s eight eastern North Carolina locations and their communities. He will meet with leaders in agriculture, business, education, civic organizations, and the Original Free Will Baptist Church. The University of Mount Olive fall semester begins on August 21. The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, in Smithfield at Johnston Community College, and online. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.