MOUNT OLIVE — Dr. Paul Rutter began working at the University of Mount Olive in October of 2011 as the director of the Evening College. Working with adult students who juggle full time jobs, families, and school, Rutter understands the financial and emotional challenges of returning to college during adulthood. That is one of the reasons he is establishing an endowed scholarship fund at UMO.
“One of the more common plights of adult learners is juggling many aspects of life to squeeze education into the mix,” said Rutter. “For this reason, I have chosen to establish an endowment with the scholarship funds set aside for single parents who are struggling to earn an education.”
Another reason for Rutter’s generosity to the institution where he works is, “This is where I spend most of my waking hours,” he said. “I believe in the mission and vision of the University of Mount Olive. I see the tangible results of students’ lives being transformed every day as a result of their educational achievements. Being a part of making those transformations happen is important to me, and that is why I choose to give back.”
Once the corpus of the endowment fund reaches $10,000, it will provide scholarships for qualified recipients who are working single parents experiencing financial hardship. Second priority will be given to veterans who have received honorable discharge. In addition, recipients must be enrolled in the Evening College at the Mount Olive or Smithfield location and maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA.
Not only does Rutter believe in the importance of giving back financially, he believes in giving back of his time and talents as well. He serves as president of the Mount Olive Rotary Club. He is on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors for both the Partnership for Children for Wayne County and the Mount Olive Chamber of Commerce. He serves on the Education Committee of the Smithfield Selma Chamber of Commerce, is a member of Saint Stevens Episcopal Church in Goldsboro, and is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, having served on nuclear submarines in the Western Pacific.
“Giving back financially is not always possible, but even a small amount helps the University,” said Rutter. “What we can do regardless of financial ability, is give back to our communities through service clubs, chambers of commerce, coaching athletic teams, and our churches. It is important to give back and be grateful to God for the opportunity to serve and do more. “
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, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.