UMO Hires Dr. Twyla Wells To Lead Advancement Program

Dr. Twyla Wells

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive has announced that Dr. Twyla Wells will head its Office of University Advancement.

Wells will begin her role as Vice President for University Advancement on July 10. Prior to joining UMO, she worked at Johnston Community College for 23 years in various roles in the Advancement Division including as Vice President for Advancement and Community Relations and Executive Director of the JCC Foundation, Inc. She continues to serve as President and CEO of her own consulting business concentrating on assisting organizations with strategic planning, fundraising initiatives, and board development.

“Given my 30 years of experience in various roles in higher education Advancement, my knowledge of UMO, my life experience as an eastern North Carolinian, and most importantly, Gods’ timing, I feel incredibly poised to take on building UMO’s philanthropy program,” Wells said. “I have been incredibly blessed to have led significant growth in all areas of my past roles with the greatest emphasis of these being on the fundraising success enjoyed at the community college level.”  

Wells believes that her greatest strengths are her transparent and genuine nature, as well as her passion in promoting higher education. “My father was one of 16 children who did not get a chance to further his education; therefore, he and my mother always challenged my brother and I to embrace the educational opportunities afforded to us,” Wells said.

Wells obtained her master’s and doctorate degrees all while working full-time as a single mother to twins. She said, “I understand what many of our students are enduring as adult learners, but I am also not too old to remember those wonderful and carefree days as a young 18-year-old college student. For me, my life’s work is an extension of my Christian faith. I work hard to extend that same support and passion provided to me to those with whom I work, and to the beneficiaries of these collaborative efforts. I love working collaboratively with others to advance and grow any area of my responsibility, as well as the institution and the greater community. I sincerely want to see everyone succeed from the individual team members with whom I’ll be working to the University and most importantly our students because they are the true heartbeat of the University.”

When asked about her immediate goals in this new position, Wells said, “My immediate goals are to develop the UMO philanthropy program into a stellar example of how the creation of lifelong relationships while engaging the time, loyalty, intellectual, and financial resources of individuals will lead to transformation for the University. I aspire to not only support the University of Mount Olive’s aspirations and goals to become one of the top nationally recognized institutions, but to also continue positioning UMO as a leader where Christian values are appreciated and integrated into the learning and personal growth of our students as future leaders.”

Wells earned her doctorate of education and her master of education with a concentration in adult learning and community colleges from NCSU. She earned her bachelor of music degree with a concentration in vocal performance from the UNC School of the Arts. She holds various certificates in fundraising, cultural diversity, and leadership from such institutions as Duke University.

Wells is a newly appointed member of Preservation Johnston County. She is an awardee of the ATHENA International Leadership Award, a Rotarian and Paul Harris Fellow. She is a member of the SECU (State Employees Credit Union) Advisory Board, sits on the Princeton High School and Middle School Advisory Board, has been involved in all Johnston County Chambers, the JOCO Works initiative, and is a member of the North Carolina Resource Development organization. Wells is an advocate for the special needs community, as a result of having lost her seven-year-old daughter Caroline in December 2009 to the effects of Rett Syndrome.

Wells has one son, John Thomas Wells (21). She resides on her family’s working farm about four miles outside of Princeton, NC. Wells was raised in Riverside Original Free Will Baptist Church where her great, great grandfather was a founder of the church. Presently, she attends two churches in Princeton, Princeton Church with her son, and Progressive Presbyterian Church.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Twyla Wells to the University of Mount Olive,” said UMO President Dr. H. Edward Croom. “Her eastern North Carolina roots, her extensive background in the area of collegiate advancement, and her outgoing personality will be tremendous assets to her as she leads our University Advancement program to the next level.”