Community As Memory

This week’s assignment comes from Chapter eight and references organizations roles as holders of “community of memory” in personal experiences in “rhetorical interruption”. According to Levanis (1969, pg. 152-153), “A home, as a building, belongs to a world of objects. But this belongingness does not nullify the bearing of the fact that every consideration of objects, and of buildings too, is produced out of dwellings.” At my organization of employment, University of Mount Olive, we strive honor our covenant of:


The University of Mount Olive is a Christian faith-based, values-centered private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition. We serve our students, our founding church, and our communities.


The University of Mount Olive will exemplify lifelong learning and engaged participation among our students, faculty, staff, and constituents. To serve our students, our founding church, and the communities in which we are located, we will:

  • Provide our students – regardless of age, location, or learning style – a high quality education rooted in the liberal arts and strengthened by Christian values
  • Enrich and support the ministries of our founding church
  • Customize innovative and beneficial services to each community in which we are located


The following core values are fundamental to achieving our mission and vision and are articulated in our University Covenant:

  • Honesty and Trustworthiness
  • Justice and Courage
  • Responsibility and Gratitude
  • Caring and Respect


The University of Mount Olive strives for higher learning, higher standards and higher values for its board of trustees, administration, faculty, staff and students through its commitment to integrating a chosen set of virtues into all aspects of the University. These virtues illustrate what the University considers appropriate and necessary for fostering the development of a healthy, safe, and caring university community. The University community includes the board, administration, faculty, staff and students.

Established by the Original Free Will Baptist Church, the University of Mount Olive calls for each person in this community to demonstrate the virtues modeled by Jesus Christ who taught that the demands of the gospel could be summarized in one word: love…love the Lord thy God with all thy heart…soul…mind and…strength love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these (Mark 12:30-31). The New Testament word for love is agape which has been defined as sacrificial love and the desire for the highest well being of other persons. This kind of love provides the conceptual framework for the discussion of the virtues that persons in this community are called to manifest.

I have been at the University for five years and I can only think of one “rhetorical interruption” was the changing of the name of the institution from Mount Olive College to University of Mount Olive in 2013. The change came about as the College sought expansion of degree programs to offer Master’s in several field of study. Our upgraded approach to higher education in Eastern North Carolina would increase diversity the way we recruit, education and garner support for the University. This task was not seamless and there was much debate over the new name but after much meetings and conversations, the University was named and kept most of its original mission and covenant virtues, the hallmark of the institutional.

Today, the University of Mount Olive has honored to have many accolades and distinctions to be honored with: the below are just a few……

  • 2016-17 College of Distinction
  • Military Friendly School
  • #1 Best Bang for the Buck
  • Top 20 “Best Colleges in NC”
  • Best Colleges in North Carolina
  • Safest Colleges in NC
  • 2016 Best Online Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice
  • Top 20 in Sports Management Degree Guide
  • Top 20 Ranking for Exceptional Online Education


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