WILMINGTON - There is no denying the pressure placed upon young people trying to find their place in the world. Whether they have their target set on the perfect first job right out of high school, or a place at their college of choice, the gravity of their decision can weigh heavy on their minds. Both paths can be extremely intimidating, so many high school graduates decide to look elsewhere for their futures. Laura Hadley chose a life by the beach, seeing the world and caring for her young family; her future was not a priority. But longing to be an inspiration for her daughter, she eventually cast her sights on the University of Mount Olive and the prospects it could give her.
Hadley one of the 320 expected to graduate from the University of Mount Olive on Saturday, May 3, at the 60th spring commencement service. The graduation service is set to begin at 2 p.m. in the George and Annie Dail Kornegay Arena. These will be the first graduates to have their diploma from the university. UMO officially changed its name from college to university at the start of the spring 2014 semester.
After graduating high school in Pittsburg, Pa., Hadley spent her time traveling and raising her family. Although she enjoyed her time spent meeting new people and seeing new sights, she began to look to her future. With an eight year old daughter at home, Hadley decided that going back to school was the best way to inspire her to follow her dreams. She heard about the University of Mount Olive and the one-night-a-week programs, and decided the classes fit perfectly into her busy schedule. She enrolled in August of 2009 and decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business management and organizational development with a minor in human resources.
Hadley hopes to fuse both her education and love of music together to help build a successful career. “I have always had a passion for music and have dreamed of working for a record label booking venue for musicians.”
While studying at UMO, Hadley has been busy with her motherly duties and also volunteering as coordinator of the First Reconciliation and First Eucharist at her church. Even with juggling her many responsibilities, she has maintained an impressive cumulative GPA of 3.8.
“My life has forever been changed thanks to UMO,” Hadley expressed. “I will have a college education that I have earned through hard work and dedication. I will be able to strive for the goals I want to reach with my education, something I could never have done before.”
After graduation, Hadley plans to further her education by enrolling in the MBA program at the University of Mount Olive.
“I have enjoyed my education at UMO and really have a passion for learning,” says Hadley. “I have thought about my future and what is a priority. I believe if I can get this far, I can achieve my MBA too. I feel that an MBA would make me even more marketable in my career goals.”
Hadley is set to graduate on May 3rd and is excited to move on to the professional path of life. Looking back at her college education, she expresses, “UMO has given me the tools, skills and resources to strive for success.”
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, Goldsboro, Research Triangle Park, Washington and Jacksonville. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.