The '64 graduate - onetime math teacher, former payroll manager for two successful businesses, community volunteer and champion of access to higher education is still leading the way and still managing, raising and donating money. Earlier this year Joan and her husband, Macon F. Brock Jr., made a decision that will literally transform the Longwood campus. They gave a $3 million gift designated for Brock Commons, a beautifully landscaped promenade in which Pine Street will be closed to vehicles and the space redesigned to create a pedestrian mall and central focal point for the College.
The gift was announced last May at Joan's Homecoming reunion, during which she received Longwood's Distinguished Alumni Community Service Award. It is the largest gift ever for a capital project and the largest gift in Longwood's history from a living donor.
"This is a magnanimous gift from an extraordinary couple," says President Patricia Cormier. "This idea has been a dream of ours for many years. Brock Commons will enhance the beauty of our campus and bring it together so that we will feel more like a true campus community. It's an integrated approach that will unify the campus."
Macon is president and chief executive officer of Dollar Tree Stores Inc., headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia, which is the leading operator of discount variety stores offering merchandise for $1. Joan is a major shareholder and served for 11 years as assistant secretary/treasurer of the company, which operates approximately 1,600 stores in 37 states. Joan and Macon grew up in Norfolk and have lived in Virginia Beach for 26 years.
have always worked with numbers and have always appreciated business,"
she says. "I worked in my father's retail business when I was 16, extending
invoices in his 'five and dime' variety store. Years later, in 1969,
my husband and my brother went to work in the same store, and I started
working there the following year. We were young and eager and wanted
to expand the business with new store locations, so when the new Military
Circle Mall began its leasing procedures we inquired. Their leasing
agents, however, were not interested in a small, independently owned
variety store. They were interested in the more proven successful retailers
such as Woolworth's or Roses.