BPC’s Newest Dorm Named Ben & Pat Cochran Hall

From left to right, President of BPC; Dr. Steven Echols, Benjamin and Patricia Cochran, and members of the Cochran family stand in front of the new dedicated dorm, Ben & Pat Cochran Hall

MOUNT VERNON — Recently Brewton-Parker College (BPC) honored Benjamin and Patricia Cochran by dedicating the dormitory to commemorate their support of BPC’s commitment to Christian Education. Members of the Cochran family, the local community, and various BPC employees attended the dedication ceremony. The dorm has officially been named Ben & Pat Cochran Hall.

 Mr. and Mrs. Cochran grew up in Laurens County, Georgia. After graduating from Dublin High School, Mrs. Cochran graduated from Georgia College, where she served as Student Body President her senior year. Mr. Cochran attended and graduated from DePauw University. He served in the military as an Air Force fighter pilot. After his service, the two returned to Dublin, where Mr. Cochran joined the family business, Cochran Brothers Company Inc. From there, he became the company’s president and started a retail division with his son-in-law, Gus Ladson called Friendly Gus. In addition, Mr. Cochran has served as a Trustee at BPC for several years. The Cochrans have four children, thirteen grandchildren, and twenty-six great-grandchildren.

Brewton-Parker College President, Dr. Steven Echols, opened the dedication ceremony by sharing how valuable the Cochran family is to the school and the local community. Next was the invocation given by Dr. Cliff Morris, who recently retired as the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Dublin. Morris shared, “These are some great people, and I love them. It is exciting to be here on this day.”

 Mount Vernon Mayor, Joey Fountain, expressed his appreciation for the Cochrans by stating, “You have been a great supporter of Mount Vernon and Brewton-Parker College for many, many years. It’s an honor to have you as part of our community.” Mayor Fountain continued by saying that without supporters like the Cochrans, BPC and the local community wouldn’t be where it is today.

Guy Cochran, Son of Ben and Pat Cochran, thanked everyone for being there and introduced the family, including his son-in-law, Matt Jones, who represents the fifth generation of the Cochran Brothers Company Inc. family business. He said, “My mom and dad have always been gracious and generous.” He also described how the term philanthropic means you have something to give. Being the oldest and directly associated with the family business, it almost seemed like they had nothing to give with all their struggles in the early days of the family business. However, as the company began to grow, so did the Cochrans’ ability to support the community. When they started the convenience store chain, the plan was to sell fried chicken inside the store, an endeavor that hadn’t been done before. That idea grew to what is now known as the ‘Friendly Gus’ gas stations. Guy Cochran finished by stating, “Thank you Brewton-Parker, for honoring my mom and dad in this way. I know they feel honored to be able to make this contribution to help promote Christian education.”

Dr. Echols followed by sharing, “It is a special privilege that this dorm will be remembered as Ben and Pat Cochran Hall. The heritage of this family has been so deep and gracious through the years in many ways. We are very excited about the renovations that have been done.” He closed by stating, “This will be a crucial part of helping us fulfill our mission, ‘to see the lives of students transformed academically and spiritually for God’s glory.”’

Dr. Darrell Paulk, Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dublin, gave the benediction and prayed over the meal after the dorm dedication. Dr. Paulk thanked the Cochran family for their generosity and the fact that their giving will help current and future generations of BPC students.

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.

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