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UMO Honors Retiring Board of Trustees

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

MOUNT OLIVE, NCDuring its most recent Board of Trustee meeting, University of Mount Olive President Dr. H. Edward Croom recognized five trustees for their dedicated service.

Retiring from the Board are Lloyd Jones, Jr., Chris Greene, Gene Jernigan, and E. Judson Pope, III. Their collective years of service equate to more than a century of leadership at the University.

Lloyd Jones

Lloyd Jones has been a part of the fabric of the University of Mount Olive for over three decades. As one of the longest-serving Trustees, Jones began his service on the Mount Olive College Board of Trustees in 1986, serving on the Student Affairs Committee. During his tenure, the campus expanded to include Raper Hall, the Communications Building, Pope Wellness Center, the Byrd Building, and four residence halls. Over the years, Jones has shown enthusiastic commitment to the mission of the University of Mount Olive as a parent and Board member by giving his time and financial support. A member of Mt. Zion Free Will Baptist Church, he is rooted in the heritage of the University’s founding denomination.

Chris Greene

Chris Greene joined the Mount Olive College Board of Trustees in 1993. A respected NC school counselor and educator, Greene has used her professional experience and connections to advise the University on areas of importance pertaining to academia. She has also used her connections to share the transformative power of a UMO education. Throughout her 30 years on the Board, Greene has served on the Academic Affairs Committee and as a Member-at-Large on the Executive Committee.

Gene T. Jernigan joined the Mount Olive College Board of Trustees in 1993. As President and owner of Bemco Sleep Products, Inc., Jernigan has used his business expertise to enhance the business practices of the University of Mount Olive. His primary role on the Board has been with the Business Affairs Committee. His involvement with Lee’s Chapel Original Free Will Baptist Church has helped to strengthen the University’s relationship with its founding denomination.

Judson Pope

Judson Pope formerly joined the Board in 2007. However, his support of the University dates back to the early 1980s when his dad, Buddy Pope, was a Trustee. Over the years, the philanthropic support from the Pope family has been so instrumental to the University that in 2006, the University dedicated its wellness center in honor of the family calling it Pope Wellness Center. In addition, Judson’s leadership of the Handy Mart Golf Tournament is renowned. Over the years, the tournament collectively raised more than $2 million in scholarships for UMO students. Serving on the Business Affairs Committee, Pope’s advice on UMO matters has always been astute.

George H. Futrelle Family

In addition to the retiring Board members, UMO President Croom acknowledged the service of George H. Futrelle, who unexpectedly passed away in May of this year. Futrelle’s wife, Renee, and daughters, Samantha and Meredith, accepted the resolution posthumously presented in memory of their husband and father. In the resolution, it was noted that Futrelle began his service on the Board in 2019. Through his personal and professional involvements in the aviation field, Futrelle ably advised and promoted the University’s Aviation program. Through his service as pastor of Daly’s Chapel FWB Church and Walnut Creek OFWB, as well as being a UMO alumnus and UMO dad, Futrelle helped to share the transformative power of a UMO education.

“These individuals are highly respected in their work ethic, expertise, and relentless commitment to excellence,” said Croom. “We appreciate the leadership and guidance that each has graciously and sacrificially provided to the University. Individually and collectively their service has not only been meaningful but also monumental. As an institution, we are forever grateful for their leadership.”


The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University was founded by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit

Submitted by Rhonda Jessup, UMO Director of Public Relations

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