MOUNT VERNON – On Saturday, August 13th, 2022, Brewton-Parker College (BPC) honored the late Barbara Thompson Conner by dedicating a dorm in honor of her love and dedication to the college. In attendance were members of her family, members of the community, and various BPC faculty and staff.
Brewton-Parker College President Dr. Steven Echols shared his thoughts during the dedication ceremony, “I am reminded of Proverbs 6:7, ‘the memory of the righteous will be a blessing.’” He went on to say, “I think that is such an appropriate passage today as we honor the memory of Barbara Thompson Conner. I have been hearing stories of so many dimensions of her time here. It is really remarkable how much she has equally impacted Montgomery and Toombs counties.”
Barbara Thompson Conner was born on March 17, 1956, in Ailey, Georgia, and received her diploma from Montgomery High School. She attended Brewton-Parker College and graduated with her associate degree in 1976. As a BPC student, she was an active member of the student government association and sang in the choir. She continued her education at Georgia College where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics. After graduation, she lived in Athens, GA for several years before moving back to Mount Vernon to teach Family and Consumer Sciences in the Montgomery County school system. During this time, she reconnected with John Conner, a classmate from BPC, whom she married in 1994.
John Conner also had a chance to speak at the occasion by stating, “This is such a tribute to my wife. Barbara would be so proud, thrilled, and humbled.” Mr. Conner also shared, “a year ago at Barbara’s funeral, I overheard someone talking about a description of Barbara, and they said she was ‘precious.’ That word describes her better than anything I could think of, and in her life, she lived an example of a Godly life.” Mr. Conner also shared memories of meeting Barbara on campus and how they eventually reconnected years later and married.
Mount Vernon Mayor Joey Fountain expressed gratitude toward the growth and persistence of BPC. “Brewton-Parker College was founded on Christian principles and values; because of that foundation that we laid so many years ago, this school has endured numerous difficult times. We are fortunate to have Brewton-Parker here, and we could not ask for a better school.”
BPC Trustee and long-time supporter of the college, Mr. Kenneth Dowling, knew there was a need for additional housing on campus and wanted the name to represent what it means to be a BPC alumni. He donated the funds needed in memory of his first cousin, Barbara Conner. Mr. Dowling knew that Barbara loved the Lord and put the Lord first in all things she did. The five-thousand-square foot dormitory has a shared bedroom for two female students and a connected bathroom. The space also has a grass-covered breezeway. Additions have also been made to a common area that has a space for laundry and for social activities. The dorm officially opened during the first week of school, August 15, 2022.