Ask any student, alumni or faculty member what makes Randolph-Macon College special, and they’ll tell you it’s a place where close personal relationships between faculty and students create a community where educational pursuits can be fostered and nurtured. That certainly was the experience of alumnus Macon Brock, who graduated in 1964 with a Classics degree and now serves as Chairman of the R-MC Board of Trustees.
As a tribute to Randolph Macon and in appreciation of the education he received there, Macon and his wife Joan, have given $5.1 million dollars to jump start R-MC’s upcoming capital campaign. “We all have something in common at Randolph-Macon, in that we all benefited from the knowledge and guidance of superb faculty and staff," said Brock. "Most of us have made lifelong friendships here. The ties that are forged with teachers and friends in lasting, small moments are an essential ingredient in the educational process."
The Brock’s recent gift will allow R-MC to make more teaching and learning opportunities available by helping to achieve several top priorities of the college. They include the financing of a major new capital project (that will be defined upon the completion of the campus master plan), providing a professorship with academic support and underwriting a series of important programs designed to further engage R-MC students.
Brock says it’s important that their gift not only enhance the physical campus, but also support the liberal arts and science enterprise. "When you graduate with a liberal arts education, you don’t finish and suddenly become a professional person like an engineer or accountant," Brock stated. "But you are educated and are free to find your own path. A liberal arts education will teach you that there is so much to learn, and most importantly, you know how to find it."
By kicking off the capital campaign with this generous gift, the Brocks hope to inspire other Randolph-Macon family members to follow. "Randolph-Macon is a place where I have chosen to make a difference. It is a place where everyone can make a difference," explained Brock. "The college’s record and experience of helping students makes it an excellent investment for us, both now and for future generations. One person can’t do it alone, but by working together, we can make a tremendous difference."
Macon and Joan Brock have established a legacy of giving to the college. They were the lead donors for the college’s state-of-the-art $9 million Brock Sports and Recreational Center. They also championed the renovation of the Thomas Branch building which houses the Brock Residence Hall, the Birdsong Peaks of Excellence Center and the Wilkins Atrium. Additionally, Brock has a long record of distinguished service to the college, including serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees since 1999.
"Randolph Macon is my philanthropic priority at this time because I believe it gave me the education and foundation upon which I was able to build my life and achieve success," Brock states. After studying Latin at Randolph Macon, he went on to Quantico, Virginia, for Marine Corps Officer training at the Basic School. He served in Viet Nam before becoming a successful entrepreneur, co-founding K and K Toys and Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., a retail chain with over 3,400 stores across the country. Macon and Joan reside in Virginia Beach and Wyoming.