Brown’s gift largest in BPC history
Lyons agri-businessman leaves college $3.5 M in estate
MOUNT VERNON—Longtime Brewton-Parker College supporter and former trustee, Bill Brown of Lyons, recently left BPC $3.5 million in his estate to endow a scholarship for needy students, said Dr. David R. Smith, president.
| Another example of Brown's generosity and support of BPC: Bill Brown, center, donated a riding lawn mower to BPC in 2004. Pictured are l-r, Dr. David R. Smith, Brown and Ray Hamilton, director of plant operations.
BPC received $500,000 of the funds last summer, and the remaining $3 million will join earlier contributions for the endowed scholarship, added Dr. Smith.
“Mr. Brown’s wonderful gift becomes the largest contribution in the history of the College,” said Dr. Smith. “(His gift) will assist students with inherent talent and limited financial means for many generations to come.”
Brown, an agri-businessman, was a longtime member of the First Baptist Church of Lyons. He served as trustee of the college from 2000-2005.
For many years, Brown provided financial assistance to deserving BPC students who could not afford the cost of private college tuition and fees.
“It is absolutely in line with his appreciation for such students and for Christian higher education that he made this generous gift,” explained Dr. Smith. “In and around Lyons you will find many examples of his philanthropy. He was equally generous with his home church where he worshipped and served for a lifetime.”
“Mr. Brown’s contribution has meant so much to me. Without his assistance I would have never been able to attend Brewton-Parker College simply because I could not afford it,” said Landrum. “Now, because of his generosity, I am attending a college that feels like family. "
- Linda Marie Landrum
One student who has already benefited from Brown’s generosity is Linda Marie Landrum, a senior at BPC.
“Mr. Brown’s contribution has meant so much to me. Without his assistance I would have never been able to attend Brewton-Parker College simply because I could not afford it,” said Landrum. “Now, because of his generosity, I am attending a college that feels like family. Because of his scholarship, I was able to enjoy the full college experience without having to have the demands of a job and I will graduate this May without any debt, making my start in the working world much easier.
“(Mr. Brown) was a man who was a good steward of the resources God had given him and has used his resources to honor God by contributing to futures that would continue to honor God. I don't get many opportunities to talk about Mr. Brown’s generosity, mainly because while he was still alive, he asked that I not tell anyone what he was doing for me,” Landrum continued. “However, since he's now dead, I think that telling about what he did would honor him very much.”
Most farmers in this region did business at one time or another with him, added Dr. Smith. Brown pioneered the use of center-pivot automatic irrigation systems in this area, as well as introduced many other agricultural innovations not in standard practice for regional agricultural production.
Norman Winter, vice president for college advancement at BPC, said this endowment will have a tremendous legacy helping students for years to come.
Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college in south Georgia.