Randolph-Macon College welcomed alumnus Macon F. Brock Jr. '64 to campus on February 10, 2017. Brock, author of One Buck at a Time: An Insider's Account of How Dollar Tree Remade American Retail (Beachnut Publishing, 2017), signed books for dozens of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends in the lobby of R-MC's student center, Brock Commons. The book, co-written with Earl Swift, traces Brock's success as an entrepreneur. The Richmond Times-Dispatch published an article featuring Brock and his book on January 29.
At the event, Brock, accompanied by his wife, Joan, took time to chat with each person who stopped by to say hello or get a book signed. Brock wrote a personalized message in each book, caught up with fellow alumni, and talked to visitors, including members of the greater community. In the window of the campus bookstore, posters promoting One Buck at a Time were proudly displayed amid copies of his book, with a lemon-and-black backdrop of Yellow Jacket memorabilia.
"The impacts of Joan and Macon are obvious given that so many campus buildings and initiatives are here because of their generosity," says Environmental Studies and Geology Professor Michael Fenster, the Stephen H. Watts Professor of Science. "But I also admire their gentle leadership and wisdom in steering the college in a positive direction over many years and feel incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to cross paths with them through Strategic Planning and other events. I've learned a great deal from their leadership qualities, wisdom and character."
Chemistry Professor Serge Schreiner was one of the first people in line to get a book signed.
"I cannot even imagine where R-MC would be today without Macon's leadership and his very substantial financial support," he says. "All of us at the college are very much indebted to him for a lifetime of support."
P.J. Costello '17, a computer science and political science major, was excited to have his book signed.
"It was a great experience to meet Mr. Brock in person," says Costello. "He has done so many great things for R-MC, and it was an honor to thank him in person. Events like the book signing are an excellent way for current students to see how successful you can be with a liberal arts education. They are also a good way for students to meet alumni and make connections that can last a lifetime."
Macon Brock Jr. '64
In 1986 Brock co-founded Dollar Tree, Inc. He served as CEO of the company from 1993 to 2003, and continues today as chairman of the Board of Directors. In 2015 the company purchased the Family Dollar chain of 8,000-plus stores. One Buck at a Time: An Insider's Account of How Dollar Tree Remade American Retail highlights Dollar Tree's commitment to being the store "where everything's a dollar," despite inflation and fluctuations in international currencies.
Throughout the years, Macon Brock and his wife, Joan Brock, have been generous supporters of the college. The Brock Sports and Recreation Center, the Brock Residence Hall in Thomas Branch, and renovations to Fox and Haley Halls were all made possible with the help of the Brocks. In addition, the Brocks endowed the Joan and Macon Brock Professorship in Psychology, and generously supported the construction of the Brock Commons student center through their $5 million gift.
Brock graduated from R-MC 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 before co-founding K and K Toys and Dollar Tree, Inc. He served on the R-MC Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2009 and as its chair from 1999 to 2009, and he is a former member of the college's Board of Associates. In 2009 he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from R-MC.
Brock served as chairman of R-MC's capital campaign, Building Extraordinary, a $125 million initiative. The Brocks gave gifts exceeding $27 million to support the priorities of the campaign, including construction of a new science building, which is slated for completion in summer 2017.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Brock Environmental Center, at Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach, Virginia, is named in the Brocks' honor and is one of the most energy efficient buildings in the world.
In 2014, the Brocks were awarded the Council of Independent Colleges Award for Philanthropy. In 2015 the CIVIC Leadership Institute presented the Brocks with the Darden Award for Individual Leadership.