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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Namesake of Brock Commons Amphitheater Dies at 75

By Jon Cawley

Macon Brock, the namesake of Old Dominion University's Brock Commons amphitheater, died Saturday at home with his family. He was 75.

Brock, a co-founder and former CEO of Dollar Tree, was a Norfolk native. He and his father started K&K Toys in 1970, and Brock served as the company's president until 1991, according to a Bloomberg biography. He served as a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and a special agent for Naval Intelligence before entering the retail business.

Brock and his wife, Joan, were well-known in Hampton Roads for their commitment to community service, higher education, environmental issues and the arts. Joan Brock holds a master's in humanities from Old Dominion University.

The couple gave $1 million to the University to help complete the $3 million outdoor amphitheater on Monarch Way, which is part of ODU's Arts Village. It was dedicated in September 2015.

They also created a $100,000 Brock Foundation Endowed Honors Scholarship for a junior or rising senior in good academic standing willing to tutor local high school students through the ACCESS College Foundation.

"I always marveled at his genuineness," said Old Dominion President John R. Broderick. "Joan and Macon never failed to make someone speaking with them believe it was their most important conversation of the day. He serves as a role model for anyone aspiring to be a true community leader."

Along with Richard Barry, a former rector of Old Dominion's Board of Visitors, Brock was instrumental in negotiating the Jean Outland Chrysler Library's move to Old Dominion's Barry Arts Building in the Village. Brock was a member of the Chrysler Museum of Art's Board of Trustees.

At the time, Brock said the partnership was "a wonderful opportunity to showcase one of the best art libraries in the country in a university environment." He called it "an essential resource for the community."

Brock was a graduate of Randolph-Macon College, where he later served as chairman of the college's Board of Trustees. He also served on the boards of several other privately held companies and non-profit organizations, including the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, the Bloomberg biography said.

The Brocks' philanthropy was recognized not just locally, but also nationally. They were named the country's Outstanding Philanthropists in 2015 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.