Earl W. Worley Jr., chief operating officer of KS Bank, has been elected chairman of the University of Mount Olive Board of Trustees. He replaces Darrell Horne, who had been chairman 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. He has chaired the trustees’ Business Affairs Committee and served on the Institutional Advancement Committee.
“I am honored and humbled that the board of trustees has given me the opportunity to serve as chair,” Worley said. “I consider this a great privilege to serve in this capacity. It is an exciting time to serve.”
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Worley said one of the most rewarding parts of his board service 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.”
Worley said he sees his role as trustees chairman as being a Christian leader. “The role requires you to be a good listener and to facilitate healthy dialogue so that the board can make prudent decisions,” he added. “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 said 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,” he said. “We need to be a leader in the next cutting-edge innovation in higher education in this region of North Carolina.”
Worley said the university also needs to continue to work with its donor base to build a robust endowment to sustain the future of the institution. “In addition, I would like to see us continue to grow our traditional student population,” he stated.
A member of the first Mount Olive College four-year graduating class in 1986, Worley earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. He has been in the banking industry for more than 24 years.
Worley serves on the board of the Tuscarora Council of Boys Scouts of America and the Church and Pastor’s Council at Princeton Church of God. He is a member of the N.C. Bankers State Government Relations Working Group.
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.