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Brewton-Parker taps Simoneaux as president

MOUNT VERNON, Ga. (BP)–Longtime Georgia Baptist educator Mike Simoneaux has been named president of Brewton-Parker College.

Simoneaux, an administrator at Truett-McConnell College for the past 12 years, has been on loan to Brewton-Parker since February when BPC trustees named him acting president. He was serving as Truett-McConnell’s vice president for advancement at the time.

Both Brewton-Parker and Truett-McConnell are affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.

BPC search committee chair Lynda Yawn of Statesboro, Ga., said the election was unanimous. Since he was already serving in the interim role there will be no transition to a new administration; Simoneaux will begin his new role immediately. No date has been set for an installation ceremony.

The New Orleans native is no stranger to college board rooms, having served as TMC interim president for 12 months between the administrations of Jerry Pounds and Emir Caner. Simoneaux joined TMC’s office of academic services in 1999.

BPC trustee chairman Gary Campbell praised the decision and welcomed Simoneaux and his wife Bonnie into their new role with the south-Georgia college.

“Dr. Simoneaux came to Brewton-Parker as our interim president at a critical time in the history of the college,” Campbell said. “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.”

Simoneaux, 72, said he is honored to be named president of the institution.

“I look forward to continuing the rich heritage of Brewton-Parker. 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,” the new president said.

Simoneaux and his wife are members of Helen First Baptist Church. They have two grown children and seven grandchildren.

Randy Minton, BPC chief operations officer and business professor, echoed the sentiment of many employees and students when the decision was announced at 3:30 p.m. July 21, in a campus-wide email and Facebook post.

“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.”

Ron Melton, BPC history professor, said calls Simoneaux’s leadership at BPC is an answer to prayer.

“I am thankful to Dr. Simoneaux and to the board of trustees,” Melton said. “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.”

Education division chair Susan White said she is “thankful to hear that Dr. Simoneaux will be our president. Our campus has been through some tough times. However, with God’s help, we have weathered the storm.”

Josh McPhatter, who served as student representative on the presidential search committee, said he is “delighted” that Simoneaux will become the new president, noting, “He is student-friendly, a humble servant-leader, and right for the job.” McPhatter is also a former president of the campus Student Government Association.

The naming of Simoneaux fills the last presidential vacancy among Georgia Baptist educational institutions.

Caner, who was elected eighth president of Truett-McConnell in August 2008, is now the most senior college president in terms of service. He will observe his third anniversary at the college on Aug. 31, days after his 41st birthday.

Donald Dowless was named president of Shorter University in Rome on Jan. 8 of this year and assumed the post on June 1.

Brewton-Parker College is the only accredited four-year Christian college in south Georgia.
Joe Westbury is managing editor of the Christian Index (www.ChristianIndex.org), newsjournal of the Georgia Baptist Convention.

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