BPC Dormitory Dedication: Donald and Beverly Thigpen

Donald and Beverly Thigpen (center) with their family at the dormitory dedication at Brewton-Parker College (two children, daughter Janet Thigpen Stanley and husband Byron Stanley, and son D. Alan Thigpen and wife Lacey Thigpen; seven grandchildren: Tyler Stewart, Anna Stanley, T. Conner Thigpen, Carolina Thigpen, Catherine Thigpen, Tyler Best, and Alexis Best) [Photo by Evan Riekhof].

MOUNT VERNON — On Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 Don (Donald) Thigpen and Beverly Conner Thigpen were honored with a dormitory dedication at Brewton-Parker College (BPC) on the hill of Crawley Commons. Several members of the college’s faculty and staff, members of the community were in attendance for the dedication, and members of the Thigpen family. The dormitory has officially been named Don and Beverly Thigpen Hall.

The honoring of the Thigpens comes after sixty-plus years of exemplary service and dedication to their community and to BPC.

Don Thigpen and Beverly Conner met while pursuing their education at Brewton-Parker college and later married in September 1961. During their time at Brewton-Parker, they grew in wisdom, professionalism, and spiritually, leaving an everlasting impact on their lives. The Thigpens have continued to support BPC in hopes that newer generations will have the same experience while attending the college.

Alan Thigpen, son of Don and Beverly Thigpen and current CEO & President of Mount Vernon Bank, said, “My dad has always been someone who I consider to be honest and forthright, by which he instilled in me growing up. Without Brewton-Parker, our family and my dad’s legacy would not exist. BPC is where my parents met and this community is where they chose to build a life together. It’s a privilege to have this building dedicated in their honor.”

Mayor Joey Fountain addressed the crowd by stating he and Janet grew up together and that the Thigpens have always been good people. He goes on to say that Mr. Thigpen has supported many efforts of the community over the years but did not want his contributions publicized. Mr. Thigpen has been a great community supporter for years and will leave a lasting impact on the Montgomery County community.

Mayor G.M. Joiner, who served as a director of the bank for twenty-plus years shared, “The more mature I get, I realize the only thing we have in life is what we leave behind.” This was in reference to the constant generosity of the Thigpen family to the community and to BPC. The ceremony concluded with a prayer of dedication by BPC’s Provost, Dr. Robert Brian.

Dr. Steven Echols, President of BPC, shared his thoughts on the dedication, “Brewton-Parker College has been blessed with incredible community support as exemplified by Mount Vernon Bank. They have never wavered from standing with the school in a generous fashion in both good and challenging times. Mount Vernon Bank has gone above and beyond in their generosity and through their latest magnanimous legacy level gift have helped make possible the funding of one of our new dorms which most appropriately is being named the Don and Beverly Thigpen Hall. Mr. and Mrs. Thigpen are greatly admired and respected in our community.” Echols continued by stating, “We are honored to have the dorm to carry forth their name as an acknowledgment of their contributions to our city, county, and region and their gracious support and that of Mount Vernon Bank to Brewton-Parker College.”

Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college south of Macon and north of Jacksonville, FL. As a comprehensive Georgia Baptist institution, Brewton-Parker College provides liberal arts and professional programs in a learning community of shared Christian values. Through the application of biblical truth in scholarship and a co-curricular focus on character, servant leadership, and cultural engagement, the college strives to provide a transformational experience that equips the whole student for lifelong learning and service in Christ.

Visit Brewton-Parker College online at www.bpc.edu.


Joanna Phillips-Mock

Student Enrichment Director

Joanna Phillips-Mock is a proud third generation Baron, both as a student and a staff member.

Beginning her teaching career in Middle Georgia in 1995, Mrs. Mock worked with a state funded program that served some of the most disadvantaged special needs students within the local school districts. She ultimately moved into leadership positions within the organization, serving and training others in multiple initiatives. She enjoys working with students of all ages to recognize and to achieve their greatest potential.

Mrs. Mock holds a Bachelor’s degree from Brewton-Parker College, a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Behavior Disorders, and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Georgia College and State University. She resides in Ailey, Georgia, with her husband Don, their son Tye Lewis, her mother Carol Joyce, and multiple fur babies. She enjoys traveling, gardening, camping, and attending concerts.

Candace Lilford

Profeessional Tutor

Candace Lilford graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Generalism in 2021 from Anderson University and with her master’s degree in English Literature in 2023 from the University of Alabama. She presently serves as Professional Tutor for the Student Enrichment Center while also teaching sections of ENG 101 and 102. 

As part of her two-year master's program, Ms. Lilford taught sections of ENG 101 and 102, while also serving as teaching assistant for British Literature Survey courses and volunteering in the university’s Writing Center. Ms Lilford has also presented papers at the Hudson Strode Conference and the South Eastern Christian and Literature Conference as well as working on various theatrical productions.

Born in North Carolina of South African descent, Ms. Lilford has lived in Uganda, Botswana, South Africa, and Trinidad before settling in Mount Vernon with her family in 2016, where she attended Brewton-Parker College as a dual enrollment student. She presently resides in Mount Vernon with her family and spends her free time watching old TV shows.

Linda Armstrong

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Linda Armstrong earned an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice Technology from Southeastern Technical College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Walden University. Throughout her career, Linda has worked with diverse populations, including at-risk youth and families and youth in crisis because of mental health and other issues. Her empathetic nature has made her an effective advocate for those in need. In addition to her professional work, Linda is also is committed to volunteerism. She has dedicated countless hours as a youth mentor, and to teaching about her faith at various Christian organizations. She believes in the power of positivity and its ability to transform not only her life but also the lives of others.

"If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully." ~ Maya Angelou

Willie Ford

Academic Advising and Career Specialist

Greetings, Baron Nation!

It's truly a joy to be back in a place that has shaped me so profoundly. I'm Willie Ford, a proud 2022 graduate of historic Brewton-Parker College, holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Education. Following my graduation, I embarked on a journey in education, teaching Special Education within the Vidalia City School District. In addition to my role as an educator, I had the privilege of serving as the Unit Director at the J.D. Rabun Boys and Girls Club. All the while, I was honored to pastor at the esteemed New Hope Baptist Church of Rhine, Georgia. With God's grace, I managed these responsibilities, and now, I'm thrilled and ready to contribute to the welfare of our students, aiming to inspire through service.

Dusty Arnold

Mental Health Counselor

Dusty Arnold  is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst as well as a BPC alumnus. He has years of experience working with a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, grief, and challenges related to Autism. He specializes in behavior-related interventions that can help college students build on their strengths to set achievable goals while also learning how to deal with the thoughts and feelings that sometimes get in the way. He incorporates Biblical values and evidence-based treatments to meet students wherever they happen to be on their journey to spiritual and psychological health. 

Carl Anthony "Tony" Wardlaw

Assistant Student Enrichment Director & Student Success Coach

Carl Anthony “Tony” Wardlaw – For over 25 years, Dr. Wardlaw has worked in leadership, counseling, and pastoring. Beginning with working in middle management for a manufacturing company in Douglas, GA, Dr. Wardlaw has also worked in the academic, nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Additionally, he served over 7 years in the United States Military as a Military Intelligence Officer before resigning his commission as a Captain in the Army.

Currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Student Enrichment Center, Student Success Coach, and Adjunct Faculty at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, GA, he also serves as the Pastor of The Green Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Dublin, GA.

As a member of the renowned International Gospel Singing Group, The Wardlaw Brothers, Dr. Wardlaw has traveled all over the nation and abroad ministering and singing the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Dr. Wardlaw has served as a consultant for various agencies and has worked as a Fatherhood Coordinator and G.E.D. instructor within the Technical College System of Georgia and participates in local and national civic and philanthropic work.

Dr. Wardlaw holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in International Business from the University of Georgia, two master's degrees from Troy University (Master of Science in Clinical Counseling and Psychology and Master of Education in Counseling), and a Doctorate in Education from Argosy University in Organizational Leadership. Dr. Wardlaw is a Lifetime Silver Member of The NAACP and a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. He is happily married to the former Mrs. Stephanie Scott. They have 3 Children; Chambria, Marc, and Carleigh.

Scroll to Top