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A dollar for his thoughts

Posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 1:08 pm

Randolph-Macon College has fostered more than a few brilliant minds and inspirational students in its years as an educational institute. This success can be attributed to a number of sources—a devoted staff, the proper facilities, and alumni who continue to support their alma mater even years after graduating.

Macon F. Brock Jr., a 1964 graduate of the college, never fails to give back to R-MC, and remembers fondly how his time at the school helped to shape his success. Brock went on to co-found Dollar Tree, starting by opening K&K Toys in Norfolk, Virginia with Doug and K.R. Perry.

Today, Dollar Tree has over 5,400 locations in the continental U.S., and five Canadian provinces.

After recovering from a double lung transplant surgery a few years ago, Brock decided to write his first book “One Buck at a Time: An Insider’s Account of How Dollar Tree Remade American Retail” alongside Earl Swift. Brock fittingly signed copies of his publication with his wife Joan in Brock Commons last Friday.

Brock said that the book details not only his own part in the making of Dollar Tree, but the people and partners who made what the company is today.

As his name suggests, Brock is a major contributor to the Brock Sports and Recreation Center, The Brock Residence Hall, and Brock Commons student center. After serving on R-MC’s Board of Associates, Brock served on R-MC’s Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2009. During his last 10 years on the board he served as the chair. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from R-MC in 2009.

Brock served as chairman of the college’s Building Extraordinary capital campaign, for which he has donated over $27 million to the $125 million initiative. The Brocks were also awarded the Council of Independent Colleges Award for Philanthropy in 2014, and the Darden Award for Individual Leadership by the CIVIC Leadership Institute in 2015.

Brock signed copies of his book in the Brock Commons, where students and community members lined up to meet the man whose name they knew since their first day of classes at R-MC. He sat next to his wife, Joan, who also greeted guests waiting to have their books signed.

After displaying what Brock described as a less than enthusiastic work ethic in high school, he buckled down and worked for better grades in his post-graduate career.

“I like success, so I kept studying and it changed my life,” Brock said.

According to Brock, his time at R-MC helped shape the successful man he is today.

“It’s the best school in Virginia—besides Longwood,” he joked to his wife next to him, who attended the university.

After graduating with a degree in Latin, Brock went through Marine Corps Officer training in Quantico and served in the Vietnam War. Brock said that during his training and experience he learned leadership skills that he carried with him throughout his life.

Macon said that he was glad to promote his book in Ashland and be back at his alma mater.

“I love Ashland, we come here all the time,” Brock said.

His book tour will continue in Norfolk in March.

“I hope people will enjoy the book, and hope people can take a nugget or two out of it.”