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David Olive elected as Bluefield’s president

BLUEFIELD, Va. (BP)–David W. Olive has been elected by Bluefield College’s board of trustees as the ninth president of the Baptist-affiliated Virginia college, effective July 1.

Olive, 44, currently is executive vice president and chief operating officer at Pfeiffer University in Charlotte, N.C. He joined Pfeiffer’s administration in 1998 as vice president for advancement and, before his current position, was executive vice president for administration and advancement.

Olive’s election April 21 followed a 10-month presidential search process led by a committee of five trustees and one representative each from the faculty, staff and student body.

Olive succeeds Dan MacMillan who led the college for nine years and is now director of the Ed.D. program for Dallas Baptist University’s Gary Cook Graduate School of Leadership and special assistant to the president.

Before his nine years at Pfeiffer, Olive served three years as director of charitable gift planning at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn., two years as a legal advocate for students at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and one year as coordinator of alumni and development programs at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, where he earned his undergraduate degree.

“Dr. Olive is a man of Christian character who lives his faith,” Bluefield trustee chairman and search committee member Jack Marcom said. “Everyone sees him as a match for the vision of Bluefield College. What impressed me most was his warmth that radiates love.”

Before turning his career toward higher education, Olive was a licensed attorney with a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Tennessee. He worked in law firms in Tennessee and Kentucky for six years. Also an ordained minister with a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., Olive served two years as an interim and associate pastor for First Baptist Church in Georgetown, Ky., and is a fifth-generation Baptist.

“Being a Baptist my entire life, this is a dream come true to serve in this capacity at a Baptist college,” Olive said of Bluefield, which is affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia. “I also believe the best days of Bluefield College are still ahead. This place has phenomenal potential to impact a greater number of students’ lives and demonstrate servant leadership to the community and surrounding region.”

Olive and his wife Kathryn have a daughter, Kayla, 12, and son, Will, 7.

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