A Heart For Alumni: Summer Brock

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A Salty, Charismatic, Renaissance Woman

Summer Brock may best be described as a Renaissance woman. Her personal interests are as varied as the activities within her professional role at Barton College. She loves theatre, traveling, reading, gardening, sports (particularly Duke basketball), movies, and great food. She can discuss a range of topics with people of all ages and backgrounds, and she is adept at juggling any number of details to ensure the success of multiple projects. From running a meeting to organizing an Annual Fund phon-a-thon, to overseeing an alumni mail campaign, to planning Homecoming Weekend, she is able to handle each and every task with apparent ease. For more than 30 years, her professional skill set has been envied by alumni and development colleagues up and down the East Coast.

Prior to joining the Barton campus community, Summer served as Executive Director of Alumnae and Alumni for Goucher College in Baltimore, Md. Earlier professional appointments include Director of Alumni Relations at Keuka College in Keuka Park, N.Y., Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Director of Alumni Affairs at Methodist University in Fayetteville, Executive Director of the Methodist University Foundation, and Director of Development for Alumni Affairs and Director of Alumni Affairs at St. Andrews University in Laurinburg.

Her professional reputation precedes her as a valued and respected peer/mentor across the Southeast Region. Summer’s memberships include the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), and Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Fraternity. She is a past member of the CASE District III Board of Directors and has served as Co-Chair of the CASE District III Annual Conference.

Summer has a great appreciation for the small, private liberal arts college, having earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts – Theatre from St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, North Carolina. And, while she continued her education with graduate studies in theatre/speech communications at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she never lost her zeal for the intimate college setting.

Fortunately, Summer discovered a job opening at Barton College in 2006, and, when hired, she never looked back. An integral member of the Institutional Advancement staff at Barton for the past 13 years, she has served as Director of Alumni and Parent Relations, and, most recently, as Senior Director of Donor Relations and Special Events.

Barton faculty, staff, students, and, especially, the alumni are drawn to her salty, charismatic demeanor. And, her disarming smile and the mischievous glint in her eye captures the attention of even the wariest.

When she arrived on campus, she quickly set out to meet alumni, learn the history of Atlantic Christian College and Barton College, and discover the treasured traditions that Bulldogs hold dear. From those early meetings, she began to develop programming that would appeal to young and old alike. Within a short time, her efforts to intertwine new ideas with beloved traditions were rewarded with exponential increases in alumni attendance at events, especially during Homecoming Weekend.

Among Summer’s most valuable skills has been her innate ability to listen. She has reveled in the many stories told by alumni, as well as faculty, staff, and students over the years. She has come to know and value not only these campus stories, but also the family legacies of many students and alumni. Summer’s deep and abiding love for Barton, and its sons and daughters, has been demonstrated repeatedly throughout her work during the last decade.

Summer’s expertise in event planning can be matched by few. In addition to her gift for bringing multiple generations together to celebrate their alma mater, her excellent taste in food and wine, coupled with her discernment of venue design, have only served to make the College’s alumni and friends feel welcomed and appreciated over the years. Whether it was an alumni tailgate before a basketball game, a Prelude to Christmas event at the Barton-Graves House, a Scholarship Luncheon for donors and student recipients, or a 50th Class Reunion celebration during Homecoming Weekend, Summer has always known what was needed to make each event a memorable success.

She was most recently recognized at the 2017 Homecoming Alumni Awards Brunch with the Gary W. Hall Employee Service Award, honoring her significant service to the College. This award serves as a testament of Summer’s generosity of time, expertise, and leadership to help ensure the prolonged success of Barton College’s alumni program for generations to come.

And, now, as Summer prepares for retirement at the end of February 2019, we remember and celebrate her enthusiastic spirit and support for Barton College, her faithful commitment to alumni and their programming, and her devoted mentoring of Barton students. We, at Barton College, will be forever in her debt.

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