Earl W. Worley, Jr. has been elected chair of the University of Mount Olive Board of Trustees. He replaces Darrell Horne, who has served on the Board since 1986 and as chair since 1999.
“I want to thank my predecessor, Mr. Darrell Horne, for the leadership he has provided the Board during the past 16 years as chair,” Worley said. “He has done an outstanding job and the University is indebted to him for his years of tremendous service.”
Worley was first appointed to the UMO Board in 2006. His service on the Board includes chairing the Business Affairs Committee and serving on the Institutional Advancement Committee. His role as Board chair began on December 1.
Worley said, “I am honored and humbled that the Board of Trustees has given me the opportunity to serve as chair. I consider this a great privilege to serve in this capacity. It is an exciting time to serve.”
Worley indicated that one of the most rewarding parts of his service on the Board thus far has been seeing the innovation in UMO’s approach to education.
“UMO has been and continues to be a leader delivering quality education to a variety of constituents in different ways,” he said. “In addition, this helps individuals achieve their dreams of gaining a degree which in turn allows them to get better jobs and support their families. Knowing that we are helping people and transforming lives is very rewarding and fulfilling to me.”
As Board chair, Worley says he sees his role as being one of a Christian leader. He also stated, “The role requires you to be a good listener and to facilitate healthy dialogue so that the Board can make prudent decisions. The role of the chair is also to ensure that all of our constituents have their voices heard. Additionally, the role of the chair is to be a liaison between the administration and the Board of Trustees at large and to ensure that all concerns are heard on both sides of the isle.”
Worley would like to see the University continue to build on its foundation of innovation in education. “We have been a leader in meeting the educational needs in the fields of education, health care, criminal justice, business, and now agriculture. We need to be a leader in the next cutting edge innovation in higher education in this region of NC,” he stated.
Worley feels the University also needs to continue to work with its donor base to build a robust endowment program to sustain the future of the institution. “In addition, I would like to see us continue to grow our traditional student population,” Worley stated.
A member of the first, Mount Olive College four-year graduating class in 1986, Worley earned his BS in business administration with a concentration in accounting. He has been in the banking industry for more than 24 years and currently holds the title of chief operating officer/executive vice president for KS Bank, Inc. in Smithfield. Worley’s community involvements include serving on the Executive Board of Directors for the Tuscarora Council of Boys Scouts of America; serving on the Church and Pastor’s council at Princeton Church of God; and membership in the NC Bankers State Government Relations Working Group. He is the past president of the Johnston Community College Foundation Board of Directors, past president of the UMO Alumni Association, and is the past chair of the Board of Directors at the Greater Smithfield/Selma Area Chamber of Commerce.
Worley credits much of his professional success to UMO. “UMO believed in me when I really didn’t believe in myself,” he said. “While at UMO I had the privilege of learning and practicing great leadership skills and seeing those skills being lived out in front of me with professors like Dr. James Coats, Dr. Kathy Best, Dr. Pepper Worthington and certainly from administrators like Dr. Burkette Raper and Dr. Opey Jeanes. I learned a lot of life lessons and life skills from these individuals and they all had a part in shaping me into the person I am today.”
Worley has been married to Melissa Savage Worley for 25 years. They have two children, Julia Beth, 20, and Will, 13.
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.