Randolph-Macon’s professors represent the convergence of superb teaching, distinguished scholarly research and exceptional minds at work. They are the foundation for life at the college, attracting our brightest students, engaging them with new ideas, and, ultimately, propelling them towards a trajectory of lifelong inquiry and learning.
The College considers the continued establishment of faculty endowments a high priority and a vital component in the continued attraction of outstanding students and dynamic new faculty. With such endowed professorships, we shall retain, reward and promote the energies of first-rate professors and scholars, and in doing so, we will empower them to seek new knowledge which, in turn, will capture the imaginations and fire the minds of our students as they become aware of new worlds, simultaneously drawing on and developing the unique, fundamental strengths of Randolph-Macon College.
Dr. Robert Emory Blackwell Professorship of Humanities
Robert Emory Blackwell, former president of Randolph-Macon College, was born in Warrenton, Virginia, in 1854. He entered Randolph-Macon College in 1868 at the age of 13, and with only one year excepted, Blackwell remained connected to the College until his death 70 years later. Dr. Blackwell graduated in 1874 and returned in 1876 to teach English. In 1902 he was elected acting President, and the next year he was named President. He continued as President until 1938, helping the College grow in reputation, size, scope, and character.
Though beloved by faculty and students, Dr. Blackwell was an imposing figure. He placed his greatest emphasis on the academic achievement of Randolph-Macon students and in “making a boy into an influential citizen.” He insisted that students develop within themselves a capacity for great thought, analytic dexterity, and courage of conscience. After helping a generation of students grow towards fulfilling their potential, the Blackwell Chair of Humanities was named, after his death, in his honor.
The Macon and Joan Brock Professorship in Psychology
Macon F. Brock, Jr. ’64, served as an exemplary member of the Randolph-Macon College Board of Trustees from 1992 until 2009, acting as chair from 1999 until 2009. He was also a member of the College’s Board of Associates and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Alumni in 2006. Mr. Brock graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1964 with a B.A. in Latin. He went on to Quantico, Virginia, for Marine Corps Officer training, served in Vietnam, and was a special agent with the United States Naval Intelligence at the Norfolk Naval Station. After his distinguished service as a special agent, he became a successful entrepreneur, co-founding K and K Toys and Dollar Tree, Inc.
Joan P. Brock earned her B.A. in secondary education with a minor in mathematics from Longwood College (now Longwood University), and her M.A. in Humanities from Old Dominion University. Steadfast in her community work, Mrs. Brock dedicates her knowledge and skills to organizations and programs that benefit culture, education, and community. She has been a trustee of the Chrysler Museum, the Access College Foundation, and Virginia Wesleyan College, where she served as chair of the VWC Board of Trustees.
Macon and Joan Brock are recognized leaders in philanthropy at Randolph-Macon College. In 2009, Randolph-Macon awarded the Brocks Honorary Doctor of Law Degrees for their service, their commitment to, and their impact on Randolph-Macon and its students.
During Macon’s lifetime, he and Joan gave generously of their time, support, and leadership to numerous major projects including the renovation of the Brown Campus Center, the Brock Sports and Recreation Center, the Brock Residence Hall in Thomas Branch, renovations to Fox and Haley Halls, Brock Commons, and the new science building, Macon F. Brock, Jr. Hall. An extraordinary bequest from Mr. Brock, who died in 2017, established the Brock Venture Fund intended to fund innovative ideas aimed at growing enrollment at the College. Joan and the Brocks’ son, Macon F. Brock, III, continue to financially support the College and encourage R-MC to think boldly when developing plans in which the Brock Venture Fund can be used to ensure the College’s future growth and success.
The Dorothy and Muscoe Garnett Professorship in Mathematics
The Dorothy and Muscoe Garnett Professorship in Mathematics was established in 2008 through the estates of Dorothy and Muscoe Garnett. This professorship recognizes a senior member of the Mathematics Department for exemplary teaching and scholarship. Muscoe Garnett developed a deep interest in mathematics and science while attending Randolph-Macon. After graduating in 1930, he moved to Suffolk, Virginia, where he taught math, science, and English briefly before moving to Washington, D.C. to work as a correspondent with the Public Works Administration. After serving in the United States Army, he returned to Suffolk, where he eventually became the founder and president of Garnett Oil Company. The company was later sold to the Exxon Corporation. Mr. Garnett died in 1981 and afterward, his wife, Dorothy, continued to participate in the life of Randolph-Macon, carrying out her husband’s wish of providing new and innovative learning opportunities for Randolph-Macon students and faculty.
Garnett-Lambert Professorship in Chemistry
The Lambert family has influenced the form and function of the Randolph-Macon campus since the College relocated to Ashland, Virginia. Jordan Wheat Lambert, a member of the Class of 1871, helped raise the funds to erect Washington-Franklin Hall, the first brick structure on campus, raising money dollar-by-dollar, so that the school could build this now historic building. He was also a charter member of the Zeta Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order and was the benefactor of the KA house, which is now named for him. Mr. Lambert went on to invent Listerine antiseptic and market it brilliantly to the nation. His son, Gerard Lambert, also attended classes at Randolph-Macon. In recognition of the Lambert family’s generosity, Randolph-Macon gratefully named its historic campus the Jordan Wheat Lambert Historic Campus.
Jordan Lambert’s legacy is more than a building or an academic landscape: his generosity provided for both the construction and renovation of R-MC’s academic buildings, as well as for the improvement and advancement of the departments that teach within them. Specifically, in 1925, he made a gift to endow a fund to benefit the Chemistry Department. Since that time, the fund has grown, and its income has supported the research and teaching of chemistry. In 2009, to establish a formal focus for his research, the Board of Trustees voted to combine with it a second fund, the Garnett Endowment for Chemistry, given through the estates of Dorothy and Muscoe Garnett ’30, to create the Garnett-Lambert Professorship in Chemistry. This fund rewards excellence in the teaching and research of chemistry.
A.G. Ingram Professorship in English
The A.G. Ingram Professorship in English was established in 1998 by Alexis Gordon Ingram ’61. It recognizes a senior member of the department of English for exemplary teaching of a traditional English curriculum as an essential, vital constituent of Liberal Arts education.
Alexis Gordan Ingram attended Randolph-Macon for three years where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order and the Washington Literary Society. He completed his undergraduate work in 1962 at the University of North Carolina with a B.A. in English, where he also attended Law School. After serving a three-year stint in the U.S. Navy as a Communications Officer, he began a career as a stockbroker with Wheat & Company in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Thirty-two years later, he retired from Wheat as a Senior Vice-President Investment Officer. He later joined efforts with his son, Stephen, and established Ingram Construction Company based in Rocky Mount.
Mr. Ingram felt indebted to Randolph-Macon for providing the education, experience, and guidance that spurred his entry into the real world. Due to a firm belief in the lasting importance of a strong faculty and the career influence of so many outstanding teachers, such as Pannill, Webb, Jones, Wooten, Macdonald, Wood, Tarry, Hasker, and many others, Ingram chose the Professorship in English as the vehicle to reward deserving incumbent faculty for upholding the classic values of a Liberal Arts education.
Mr. Ingram remained connected with Randolph-Macon until his death in 2015. In addition to creating the A.G. Ingram Professorship, he also established a scholarship in honor of Burnell Pannill ’44, Professor of Philosophy, in 2007. He served on the Board of Associates and was a member of the President’s Society and Heritage Society. He served on the Class of 1961 50th reunion committee.
The Dudley P. and Patricia Custer Jackson Professorship in Chemistry
Patricia Custer Jackson graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1945 with a degree in chemistry. Although Randolph-Macon was at that time a men’s college, local women from the town of Ashland were permitted to attend as day students. After graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C., and completed post-graduate work at George Washington University. She then spent her career studying how plants take up nutrients, primarily at the United States Department of Agriculture, and she was recognized nationally and internationally as a leader in this research.
Professionally, she published numerous articles in journals, books, and USDA periodicals and was a member of several academic societies. Moreover, she was active in civic and cultural affairs, serving with the Baltimore Symphony Association and the Board of Directors for both the Howard County Symphony Association and the Howard County Symphony Society.
Dr. Jackson married a fellow graduate, Dudley P. Jackson, M.D. ’44. The two met in the summer of 1943 during a physics class on electricity and magnetism given by Dr. Keeble in Pace Hall. During that summer they began to date and married after Dudley graduated from Medical School at the Johns Hopkins Institute. From 1971 until 1992, Dr. Dudley Jackson taught at the Georgetown Medical School.
Patricia Jackson became a member of the Board of Trustees in 1993. She died in 1999, and, as a result of a generous bequest from her estate, The Dudley P. and Patricia Custer Jackson Professorship was created to support the study of chemistry.
James L. Miller Professorship in Political Science
Established in 2018 by James L. “Jim” Miller, Class of 1952, this professorship recognizes and promotes exemplary teaching and scholarship, and is awarded to an accomplished, senior member of the Political Science Department.
Mr. Miller received his law degree from the University of Virginia and served in the Judge Advocate Generals’ Corps, U.S. Army. In 1959, he began his career in private practice and went on to be an extremely successful attorney and President of the law firm of Williams, Kelly & Greer in Norfolk, Virginia.
For nearly seven decades, Mr. Miller has demonstrated his remarkable commitment to Randolph-Macon by the time, dedication, and contributions he has made to his alma mater. Among his many roles, he is a former President of the Society of Alumni, the past Chairman of the Tidewater Regional Committee for the “Our Heritage, Our Future: Campaign for Randolph-Macon,” and he served on the Board of Trustees and the Board of Associates. Moreover, he created the James L. Miller Endowed Scholarship in 2009 to assist academically promising students from Winchester, Frederick County, and Norfolk, Virginia who demonstrate financial need.
With the establishment of the James L. Miller Professorship in Political Science, Mr. Miller is assisting the College by retaining, rewarding, and promoting the energies of outstanding Political Science professors, empowering them to seek new knowledge and to impart this knowledge on the College’s students who aspire to encourage nonpartisanship and reduce polarization. The College considers no investment more important than assembling and supporting an outstanding faculty, and a named, endowed professorship is the highest honor the College can bestow upon a member of its faculty.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Professorship in Classics
Stavros Spyros Niarchos understood the meaning of thinking and acting globally long before the term “globalization” became popular. His business operations began in Greece, the country of his birth and heritage, yet his accomplishments were notable worldwide. Since his death in 1996, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has continued his work.
In 2009, the Niarchos Foundation created the Niarchos Professorship in Classics at Randolph-Macon College, which benefits the Classics Department and supports the work of Dr. John M. Camp, leader of Randolph-Macon’s excavations in the Agora in Athens, Greece. The Agora, located at the base of the Acropolis, was the democratic center of Athenian economic, social, and political life. Dr. Camp compares the excavation to “digging the Mall in Washington, D.C.” and emphasizes that “the American society owes much to the influence of the ancient Greeks: architecture, painting, sculpture, theatre, philosophy, and law.” Every year several Randolph-Macon students participate in the dig under the supervision of Dr. Camp, leaving their marks on the most important archaeological site in Greece.
The Charles J. Potts Professorship in Social Sciences
The Charles J. Potts Professorship recognizes a distinguished member of the teaching faculty at Randolph-Macon College. It was established in 1995 by the Board of Trustees in recognition of Mr. Potts’s very generous bequest to the College. After graduation from Randolph-Macon Academy in Front Royal, Virginia, Mr. Potts attended Randolph-Macon College for just one year, participating in the Franklin Literary Society and pledging Phi Delta Theta, before leaving for Pennsylvania State University for his undergraduate degree and the University of Maryland School of Law for his Juris Doctor. When Mr. Potts returned for his 50th class reunion at R-MC, however, he realized how much that year in Ashland had meant to him. After he died in 1994, half of his estate was bequeathed to the College to help others experience the extraordinary liberal arts education that Randolph-Macon offers.
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of a Methodist minister, Mr. Potts was a founding member of the law firm Adkins, Potts & Smethurst in Salisbury, Maryland. A lifelong member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Salisbury, where his father served as the original pastor, Mr. Potts, himself, was a member of their Board of Trustees. He served in World War II and subsequently held the position of the solicitor of Salisbury from 1939 until 1946, president of the Wicomico County Bar Association in 1957, and delegate to the Maryland House of Delegates from 1947 until 1950.
Previous Potts Professorship holders are Dr. Howard Davis in 1995, Dr. Bruce Unger in 2000 and Elizabeth Gill in 2007. Dr. Davis was the founder and first chair of the Political Science Department and served as Dean of the College between 1970 and 1977. Dr. Unger also served as chair of the Political Science Department and was a six-time recipient of the Thomas Branch Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Gill held the position of Associate Dean, as well as that of Associate Director of the College’s First-Year Experience. She, too, received several distinguished honors, including the Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Professor Award and the Thomas Branch Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Edward W. Seese Professorship in Business and Economics
Edward Seese was born September 16, 1907, and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He attended Randolph-Macon College in the fall of 1925, leaving in 1927 to finish his education at Temple University.
The son of a music teacher and small businessman, Mr. Seese got his start in business at age nine buying cucumbers at a farmer’s market in Bucks County and then reselling them for a profit to residents of nearby villages. In his adult life, he worked for Philadelphia Electric, where he became the residential sales manager. He also served as the producer and host of the first daytime television show in the Philadelphia market during the early 1950s.
Following his retirement, Mr. Seese moved to Florida where he became a prominent and effective leader of the real estate and hotel industries in that state. He developed, as a result, several large hotels and resorts in the Pompano Beach area and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Fort Lauderdale, as well as a member of the American Hotel Association.
Edward Seese was a generous man, leaving his entire estate to friends and charity; he provided for Brevard Community College, Duke University, The Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, Holy Cross Hospital, and Randolph-Macon College. To honor his memory, Randolph-Macon created the Edward W. Seese Professorship in Business and Economics to emphasize the importance that business and education had in Mr. Seese’s life.
Dr. Jean Renner Short Professorship
Dr. Jean Renner Short, a graduate of the University of West Virginia and Abbot School of Art in Washington, married Dr. Shelton H. Short III, a longtime Randolph-Macon supporter, in 1990. They lived for many years in Clarksville, Virginia, collaborating on forestry stewardship, historic preservation, and a collection of other charitable enterprises.
Early in her career, Dr. Short worked in the U.S. Bureau of the Budget and the Executive Office of the President, during the administrations of Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. Later, she served four terms on the Board of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation and the Jamestown-Yorktown Education Foundation, agencies that oversee the running of Jamestown Settlement in Jamestown, Virginia and the Yorktown Victory Center. She was also active with the Jamestown 400th Anniversary celebration and served four terms as president of the First Thanksgiving in America Festival, which is held annually at Berkley Plantation. She was also a trustee of the Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation based in Brookneal, Virginia.
Together, the Shorts created two prominent scholarships at Randolph-Macon, the Honorable Shelton H. Short, Jr. Scholarship, and the Shelton H. Short III and Jean Renner Short Scholarship. In 2000, for their loyal, dedicated service, Randolph-Macon bestowed Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters to each of them, celebrating their mutual commitment to forests, wildlife, historic preservation, humanitarianism, and higher education.
After her death in 2009, the Jean Renner Short Professorship was established in 2010 through the Short Trust.
Shelton H. Short III Professorship
Shelton H. Short III, Ph.D., was a longtime friend of the College and was the son of the late Shelton H. Short, Jr., a member of the Class of 1918. Dr. Short was also connected to the College through his mother’s family, including William Goode, his great-grandfather, who introduced the legislation in the Virginia Senate which later became Randolph-Macon’s Charter.
Shelton H. Short III, who received his B.A. from Hampden-Sydney College, his M.A. from both the International People’s College in Elsinore, Denmark and the University of Nevada, Reno, and his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, was a scholar and historian with a deep interest in Virginia’s forests. His family owned Jeffreys-Spaulding Manufacturing Company, which harvested and processed timber. The company was eventually sold, but Short dedicated his talent and energy to forestry stewardship. He owned more than 6,000 acres of pine forests and received the Forester of the Year Award in 1995 by the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts.
Dr. Short also had an interest in history, particularly in R-MC’s origins in nearby Boydton, Virginia. He spent years studying colonial statesmen, including R-MC namesakes John Randolph and Nathaniel Macon. In 1972, he served as the Patrick Henry Scholar in Residence at Hamden-Sydney. In 1973, he held the position of John Randolph Bicentennial Historian at R-MC, and in 1999, he returned as the Nathaniel Macon Scholar and Historian. He served for at least 18 years as Virginia’s representative of the United Nations and was chairman of “United Nations Day in Virginia.”
In 1990 Dr. Short married Jean Renner and together, the Shorts created two prominent scholarships at Randolph-Macon, the Honorable Shelton H. Short, Jr. Scholarship, and the Shelton H. Short III and Jean Renner Short Scholarship. In 2000, for their loyal, dedicated service, Randolph-Macon bestowed Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters to each of them. The degrees honored their commitment to forests, wildlife, historic preservation, humanitarianism, and higher education.
Shelton H. Short III died in 2005. The Dr. Shelton H. Short III Professorship was established in 2010 through the Short Trust.
The Isaac Newton Vaughan Professorship in History
Mrs. Emma Lee Vaughan of Ashland, Virginia endowed the Isaac Newton Vaughan Professorship in 1898 in memory of her husband. At that time, she also created a scholarship in his name. The I.N. Vaughan Professorship was the first endowed professorship at Randolph-Macon and is traditionally awarded to the senior professor of American History.
The Vaughan ties to Ashland and Randolph-Macon have been continuous. Isaac Newton Vaughan served as superintendent of the Sunday School at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church and was a benefactor to the College. His sons, Ritchie and Isaac both attended Randolph-Macon. In 1905, Mrs. Vaughan renamed the original scholarship in memory of Ritchie. Members of the Vaughan family, including Mrs. Vaughan’s great-grandson, Walton Vaughan, maintain a close association with Randolph-Macon as supporters and sponsors.
Recipients of the Isaac Newton Vaughan Professorship become members of an elite group of distinguished Randolph-Macon educators, whose names, engraved in the memories of generations of students and faculty, form a printed record of continual professional distinction: William Edward Dodd, Charles Henry Ambler, Early Lee Fox, William Alexander Mabry, George Brown Oliver, and James Edward Scanlon
Stephen H. Watts Professorship in the Physical Sciences
Dr. Stephen Hurt Watts, a native of Lynchburg, Virginia, attended Randolph-Macon and the University of Virginia before receiving his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins Institute in 1901. He served as Professor of Surgery at the University of Virginia Medical School from 1907 until his retirement in 1928. Remembering R-MC in his estate plans, upon his death in 1953, he left a bequest to Randolph-Macon which has been used for the development of the sciences.
Specifically, The Stephen H. Watts Professorship in the Physical Sciences was established on September 13, 1979, in memory of and gratitude to a distinguished and loyal alumnus. The Stephen H. Watts Professorship recognizes and honors a distinguished faculty member from the physical sciences whose teaching, scholarship, and service bring honor and distinction to Randolph-Macon College. Although the holder of this professorship will normally be one whose academic discipline is either biology or physics, in exceptional circumstances the recipient’s discipline may emphasize other physical sciences. The Stephen H. Watts Professor is appointed by the President of the College after consulting with the Provost and appropriate members of the physical science faculty.
The Paul H. Wornom, M.D., Professorship in the Biological Sciences
The Paul H. Wornom, M.D., Professorship in the Biological Sciences was established in 1999 by Dr. Paul Wornom ’37. This professorship recognizes a senior member of the Biology Department for exemplary teaching and scholarship. Dr. Wornom was a retired family practice physician who specialized in allergies, arthritis, and immunology.
Dr. Wornom followed his three older brothers, Herman, John, and Marchant, to Randolph-Macon. He attended the College during the height of the Great Depression, essentially earning his way through scholarships and by assisting on campus in both the chemistry labs and the Latin department. After graduation and before entering the University of Virginia Medical School, he worked as a chemist for eight years during World War II at DuPont’s Eastern Laboratory near Woodberry, New Jersey. After medical school, Dr. Wornom returned to the Tidewater Region of Virginia and built his medical practice.
For decades Paul Wornom was a strong supporter of Randolph-Macon. In 1986, he and his three brothers created a scholarship in honor of their parents, John and Cosmus; in 1999, he established the Paul Wornom Professorship in the Biological Sciences; in 2006, he created the Paul Wornom Scholarship to support pre-medical students; and after his death in 2011, a significant bequest from his estate created the Dr. Paul H. Wornom Pre-Medical Endowment. He, in effect, contributed to the intellectual, especially the scientific advancement of undergraduates and faculty through his extraordinary range of support. He was a member of Randolph-Macon’s President’s Society and Heritage Society.