Randolph-Macon College President Robert R. Lindgren announces the formal dedication
of Brock Commons, a new student
center. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held during
Family Weekend on Saturday, October 5, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
The public is welcome to attend.
“We’re thrilled to officially dedicate this extraordinary building,” says R-MC President
Robert R. Lindgren. “Brock Commons is a stunning addition to our fine campus, and
we are deeply grateful to Joan and Macon Brock for their generosity and support
in making this dream a reality for our students.”
Construction of the 26,000-square-foot Brock Commons was made possible through a
$5 million gift from Joan and Macon F. Brock Jr. ’64 as well the generous support
of the Birdsong family and numerous alumni and friends of the college.
The building, located at 304 Henry Street, is situated next to the Frank E. Brown
Fountain Plaza, which was constructed in 1969 as a gift from Richmond businessman
and philanthropist Frank E. Brown. In summer 2013, the Plaza was updated with beautiful
new brickwork. In addition, yellow and black Adirondack chairs support the college’s
close campus culture.
The all-brick Brock Commons, designed by Marcellus Wright Cox Architects and built
by English Construction, features arched windows, keystones, and stately columns.
Designed to complement R-MC’s other buildings, the first floor includes a spacious,
two-story atrium and a game room. The first-floor portico is lined with white rocking
The second floor boasts a balcony, lined with comfortable rocking chairs, that overlooks
the Frank E. Brown Fountain Plaza. The second floor also serves as the hub for Student Life, providing office space,
meeting rooms, a large conference room for the
Student Government Association, and staff offices.
About Brock Commons
Student life is enriched by the opportunities that Brock Commons provides: weekly
films in the SunTrust Theater, First and Third Friday events featuring live music
in the Birdsong Café and Dollar Tree Community Room, craft nights, open mic nights
and poetry slams. The innovative Live and Unexpected Series provides special events,
including comedians and live music. And Yellow Jackets are especially excited about
a performance of songs from “The Turn of Autumn,” a CD by Derek Dittmar ’16,
which will take place in the Birdsong Café in Brock Commons on October 19, 2013
at 9:00 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.
“The central location of this great new building invites our students to a place
of community,” says Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Grant
Azdell. “It has also brought new life to Fountain Plaza.”
Yellow Jacket pride is everywhere in the
Campus Store, from the large assortment of lemon-and-black clothing and
accessories to the artfully arranged textbooks on the second floor.
Campus Store Manager Barclay DuPriest says the new space is a “long-awaited dream
come true. We are so excited about being able to serve the R-MC community in such
an attractive and welcoming new store.”
The 100-seat SunTrust Theater is a welcome addition to campus. The theater’s comfortable
seating and large screen make for an inviting movie-going experience, and the theater
also provides a venue for other types of entertainment or lectures. The theater
is named in recognition of the generous financial support of SunTrust Bank.
Dollar Tree Community Room
Large windows in The Dollar Tree Community Room offer guests a great view of the
picturesque campus. The room can accommodate 100 guests and will be used for a variety
of purposes, including seminars, dinners, receptions and meetings. The room is named
for Dollar Tree, Inc., which made a significant gift in honor of its founder and
Board Chairman, Macon Brock Jr. ’64.
The 93-seat Birdsong Café has already become a big hit with students. The café offers
delicious burgers, snacks, sandwiches and other items. Jude Martin, senior director
for Chartwells Dining Services, says Birdsong Café is a popular spot on campus.
“Students love Birdsong Café,” says Martin, who also oversees Estes Dining Hall.
“It’s especially busy at lunchtime, and the newly installed tables and chairs on
the Brock Commons patio are a great place for students, faculty and staff to enjoy
a bite any time of day.”
Construction of the Café was made possible through the generosity of Constance and
Thomas Birdsong ’49 and The Birdsong Corporation.
The Thomas H. Maeder ’66 Fire Pit
The Thomas H. Maeder ’66 Fire
Pit, located just outside the Birdsong Café, is available for gatherings.
The Fire Pit was named in Maeder’s honor by his friends Ann and Buddy Allen ’62.
The patio is paved with beautiful bluestone pavers, and the pit is veneered in brick.
The natural-gas burners are surrounded by crushed, recycled glass. A dedication
of the Fire Pit took place on July 24, 2013 and also served as a celebration of
Maeder’s life; he passed away on July 2, 2013.
A favorite on campus and operated by Chartwells, Greenberry’s Coffee offers freshly-ground
coffee, lattes, espresso, shakes, and all-natural fruit smoothies.
“Greenberry’s Coffee is a franchise out of Charlottesville, Virginia,” says Martin.
“All coffee is roasted in-house in small batches and shipped weekly to R-MC. Greenberry’s
is a hit with students, faculty and staff.”
Original artwork created by Mitchell Johnson ’86, Duane Keiser
’88, Stacey Redford Salazar ’89, Dr. W. Baxter Perkinson
Jr. and Professor Raymond Berry adorns the walls the Brock Commons. Two of Johnson’s
pieces were donated in honor of faculty members who greatly influenced him while
he was a student at R-MC: Professors John Rabung (computer
science) and Raymond Berry (studio arts).
Brock Commons will achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)
certification in fall 2013. The building was designed to use as much natural daylight
as possible to reduce the need for artificial light during the day, and it includes
the latest LED fixtures and efficient HVAC, plus recycled materials and regionally
Cupola and Weather Vane
Adorning the top of the Brock Commons cupola is a Yellow-Jacket-inspired
weather vane. Constructed of copper and embellished with gold and palladium
leafing, it was made by West Coast Weather Vanes, a Santa Cruz, California company.
The first weather vane on campus was installed in 2011 and graces
Andrews Hall. It was commissioned by Ashland residents Carol and Ray Martin
in honor of their good friends Ira and Anne Andrews. Religious Studies Professor
Ira Andrews III ’59 was a beloved member of the R-MC community for more than 50
years. The Field House at the
Hugh Stephens Field at Estes Park is also capped off by a weather vane,
and plans are in place to top
Birdsong Residence Hall, which is currently under construction, with a weather
Be sure to look skyward the next time the Yellow Jackets win a
football game. The lights in the four-ton cupola change from white to gold
when the Jackets score a victory.