Brewton-Parker College
BPC News
BPC News

Graduate returns to Brewton-Parker as Prof. after serving in the military

William David Wilkes
Dave Wilkes

By Jerusha Yoder

BPC Staff Writer

 

A new face walks familiar paths on the campus of Brewton-Parker College.  He carries years of experience in one hand and a desire to make a difference in the other.  Alumnus William David "Dave" Wilkes has returned to Brewton-Parker College as a professor and has recently been offered the position of Chaplain to the Brewton-Parker College baseball team.

It all began in 1967 when Wilkes received his high school diploma from Dublin High School.  Born in Dublin, Georgia, he was not a stranger to the area. He was aware of Brewton-Parker College located in Mount Vernon, but it was his mother who urged him to attend what was a Junior College at the time. While attending classes and working in the school library, Wilkes was surrounded by individuals who shaped his life. His time at Brewton-Parker, although short-lived, was long-effecting.

“All of those people really grounded me,” he claims. It was that grounding that led to his success in future years.

William David Wilkes
Wilkes poses for a photo in front of the arch after receiving his diploma in 1970.

           

In the summer of 1970, the Vietnam War was in full swing. Drafts stretched across the country in search of young men to pull into the war. Wilkes did not escape its reach. Soon after his graduation from Brewton-Parker, he was drafted into the Army. Due to the persuasion of a recruiter in Atlanta, he enlisted in the United States Navy in October of 1970, where he would serve his country for over twenty years.

Leading officers recognized esteemed training in the young man which led to Wilkes’ ascension in the ranks. In April 1980, Wilkes was promoted to a Naval Officer in the United States Navy. Two years later he was stationed near St. Marys, Georgia, at TRIDENT Refit Facility in Kings Bay, Georgia. Wilkes labored to build the base, and his work paid off. By the time he finally retired in 1991, the base was fully staffed with over two thousand civilian and military personnel. He finished his career as the Administrative Officer of the largest command at Kings Bay.

William David Wilkes
Mr. Wilkes serving his country as officer in the United States Navy.

Deciding to stay in the area, Wilkes began to teach fifth grade at Mary Lee Clark Elementary school in August of 1997. Later, he transferred to St. Marys Middle School to teach eighth grade and coach the first baseball team at the school. Wilkes taught his students with an excitement that captured their attention and prepared them for the next steps in their lives. However, he would not remain in St. Marys. In July of 2005, he returned to his hometown of Dublin after living in St. Marys for over twenty-three years.

Although Wilkes left St. Marys behind, he carried his desire to educate with him. Eighth grade students of Dublin Middle School sat in his Georgia History classes, gleaning everything they could from the Veteran. The baseball and softball teams also grew under his coaching. Later, Wilkes was selected as the first Graduation Coach for the school and he served in that position until his retirement from the Dublin City School System in June of 2010. His experiences in the public school helped him prepare for his future involvements with Brewton-Parker College.

The opportunity to teach approached Wilkes in the summer of 2012; this time on the college campus of his Alma Mater. He began work as an adjunct professor for the Fall Semester, and in the following summer, Wilkes was asked to teach for Brewton-Parker’s 2013 Summer Bridge Program. The program is designed to bridge the gap for potential students who have just missed entry requirements. It was a task that Wilkes was ready to accomplish. During that summer, Dave Wilkes was asked to serve Brewton-Parker College as a fulltime professor.

“I never dreamed I would come back,” he comments.

It has been close to fifty years since Wilkes had been a student here, and faculty, staff, and students, could not be more pleased to have him back. June 16, 2014, will hold the second start of the Summer Bridge program and Professor Wilkes is excited to participate once again.  The skills he learned as a Graduation Coach benefit everyone involved in the program.

Starting this school year, Professor Wilkes will also take on the role of Chaplain to the Brewton-Parker Baseball team. While working with the Summer Bridge Program last summer, he began to cultivate a relationship with the head baseball coach, Greg Mullins, who was just recently named SSAC Coach of the Year. When Wilkes was introduced to the baseball team as the new Chaplain, the team huddled around him for their first prayer together.

“I’m so excited that I can hardly wait for the sun to come up,” he responds when asked about his position as Chaplain. “I had the chocolate cake as a full time professor at Brewton-Parker and now my Heavenly Father has put the vanilla ice-cream on top.”

David Wilkes Greg Mullins
Mr. Wilkes serves as chaplian for the Barons Baseball team standing alongside Head Baseball Coach Greg "Boo" Mullins.

As Alumnus and Professor, Dave Wilkes has been a beneficial aspect to the development of Brewton-Parker College. No doubt that when Professor Wilkes leaves Brewton-Parker College, his mark will be seen for years to come. 

“I’m still serving my country by serving the students of this school, and by doing what God has called me to do,” he explains. “We have a chance every day to change lives and to change the course of history. I didn’t leave a mark my first time at Brewton-Parker, but now God has given me another chance.”

The mission of Brewton-Parker College, a Georgia Baptist college, is to develop the whole student through the application
of Biblically-centered truth to a liberal arts curriculum in a community of shared Christian values.
 
Brewton-Parker College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Brewton-Parker College.
 
Brewton-Parker College | Located on U.S. 280 at 201 David-Eliza Fountain Circle, P. O. Box 197, Mount Vernon, GA 30445
with a site in Newnan
912-583-2241, 1-800-342-1087
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June 2, 2014 4:31 PM