As introduced by Goode, the bill named the college Henry and Macon, but Nathaniel Alexander changed it to Randolph Macon, and so styled, the bill ultimately passed the Senate on February 3, 1830. (Whether a Henry-Macon College would have endured the reputation of iconoclast Henry L. Mencken a century later lies beyond guessing.) Patrick Henry was long dead and the name may no longer have carried the old magic. Since neither Macon nor Randolph was a Methodist (in fact the latter once professed Muhammadanism and later high-church Anglicanism), their association would help dispel the notion that the school was to be only a sectarian one.
John Randolph still lived nearby in the area of Farmville and was the only national figure in Southside Virginia. The other namesake, Nathaniel Macon, had presided over the U.S. House of Representatives for years and hailed from North Carolina, a large section of which still belonged to the Virginia Conference. If either man gave anything to the school other than their names, no record remains.
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