Virginia Wesleyan University Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong was honored at the CIVIC Leadership Institute’s 2017 Darden Awards on November 15 with the Individual Leadership Award. Dollar Tree, co-founded by long-time Virginia Wesleyan supporter Macon Brock, received the Corporate Award. Birdsong and Dollar Tree have had significant impact on the VWU community through various philanthropic contributions and service endeavors.
Birdsong joined the Virginia Wesleyan Board of Trustees in 1989. He served as Board Chair from 2007-2010 before assuming his Trustee Emeritus status. In 2016, he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University and served as keynote speaker during the institution’s first Founders Day. George and Sue Birdsong, the Birdsong family, and the Birdsong Corporation were instrumental in the University’s founding. Birdsong Hall, an original building in Bray Village, was dedicated to the Birdsong family in 1968. A plaque in the building recognizes the Birdsongs as dedicated Methodists whose generosity helped establish Virginia Wesleyan.
Birdsong Peanuts and the Birdsongs made a number of significant gifts throughout the University’s history. The Birdsong Community Services Endowment Fund was established in 1995 to provide support for Virginia Wesleyan’s acclaimed community services program. They also established the Birdsong Corporation/George and Sue Birdsong Endowed Scholarship that provides assistance to deserving students. In 2015, the University dedicated VWU’s Birdsong Field in honor of the Birdsong family to celebrate their generous commitment to the facility, and the following year, established the Birdsong School of Social Science. The University did so with recognition and deep appreciation for the contributions by Harvard Birdsong, a charter member of the Board of Trustees, George and Sue Birdsong, Thomas Birdsong, III, and his wife Jane, the Birdsong family, and the Birdsong Corporation.
Dollar Tree Co-Founder Macon Brock and his wife, VWU Trustee Emerita Joan Brock, are well known for their community leadership, their generosity and vision, and they are among the closest friends of Virginia Wesleyan University. The strength of VWU today can be traced in significant ways to their guidance and support, as many programs of the University have benefited from their genuine interest in student success.
In 2006, the University named a residence hall complex after the couple—Joan and Macon Brock Village—in recognition of their generous support of student scholarships, residence hall improvements, athletics, and other programs. The Brocks have also long supported Virginia Wesleyan’s Center for the Study of Religious Freedom. Most recently, we announced the formation of the Joan P. Brock School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and we were pleased to recognize Joan’s father and former Board member by naming Kenneth R. Perry Field in his memory. Joan Brock also served for many years in an administrative role at Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., and K & K Toys.