July 22-- Brewton-Parker College’s Board of Trustees named longtime Georgia Baptist Educator Dr. Mike Simoneaux as the college’s new president Thursday by a unanimous vote.
Dr. Simoneaux and his wife, Bonnie, at BPC's alumni weekend.
Dr. Simoneaux was recommended to the Board by Trustee Lynda Yawn of Statesboro, chair of the Presidential Search Committee. Dr. Simoneaux has served as BPC’s interim president since March 2011.
Yawn reported the committee felt like Dr. Simoneaux’s leadership over the past several months of transition and the decision to offer the position to him was “an act of God”.
“We prayerfully approached this process and had a dozen capable and experienced applicants,” said Yawn, “however, we felt strongly that Dr. Simoneaux was our president and that we were led to ask him. So we did. It took him a while and he said he really needed to pray about it, but in the end, he accepted.”
BPC Board of Trustees Chairman Gary Campbell praises the decision and welcomes Dr. Simoneaux and his wife, Bonnie, into their new permanent role with the college.
“Dr. Simoneaux came to Brewton-Parker as our Interim President at a critical time in the history of the college,” said Gary Campbell, chair of the Board of Trustees. “His background and experience, particularly at Truett-McConnell College where he served as Acting President, then as Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, prepared him well for his mission at Brewton-Parker. The college and our community are fortunate that Dr. Simoneaux and his wife Bonnie have decided to join us in a permanent role.
“There is much to be thankful for at Brewton-Parker College,” Campbell continued. “We are thankful for Dr. Simoneaux’s very capable leadership through this difficult time. We are thankful to Truett-McConnell College who was so gracious and generous to allow Dr. Simoneaux to serve as Interim President at Brewton-Parker. We are thankful to our community who has stepped up in a tremendous way to support the college, and we are thankful to our Lord who continues to bless Brewton-Parker College.”
Dr. Simoneaux, who had been on loan to BPC from Truett-McConnell, where he served as Vice President for College Advancement, is “honored” to be selected as the president of Brewton-Parker College.
“I look forward to continuing the rich heritage of Brewton-Parker,” said Dr. Simoneaux. “Please pray for the college, Bonnie and me. We believe that the college’s brightest days are ahead of us, as we strive to honor Jesus Christ in everything we do.”
An induction ceremony will be held at a later date but Dr. Simoneaux’s status as president is effective immediately. Campbell appointed Yawn as chair of the Induction Ceremony committee, which also includes community, faculty and staff members, including Dr. Bucky Kennedy, pastor of First Baptist Church of Vidalia, and Dannie Williams, pastor of First Baptist Church of Lyons.
“We want everyone to feel that this is ‘their’ president and ‘their’ college and be a part of the future of Brewton-Parker College under Dr. Simoneaux’s leadership,” said Yawn.
BPC staff and faculty interim Provost Chris Jones, Lynn Addison and Jennifer Blaylock, join Trustee Gilbert Westberry round out the group.
Randy Minton, chief operations officer and business professor, echoed the sentiment of many employees and students when the decision was announced at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in a campus-wide email.
This decision is one that many of us have long prayed for, and we hope you will all take a moment to congratulate Dr. Simoneaux as we welcome in not just our new President, but a member of the Brewton-Parker family in whom we have great faith and trust.”
Dr. Susan White, Education Division Chair, adds, “I am so thankful to hear that Dr. Simoneaux will be our President now. Our campus has been through some tough times; however, with God's help, we have weathered the storm. Thank you, Dr. Simoneaux, for assuming these awesome responsibilities. You will be in our prayers.”
Josh McPhatter, former Student Government President and the student representative on the Presidential Search Committee, reacted by saying he’s “delighted” that Dr. Simoneaux is the new President.
“This is truly an answer to prayer. I am thankful to Dr. Simoneaux and to the Board of Trustees. I recall sitting with Dr. Simoneaux at a student forum in March. A student asked why we needed to search for a new President, clearly implying that Dr. Simoneaux was the man for the job. Many of us have thought that to be the case. I am convinced that the future for BPC is bright.”