Burney L. Parkinson, 1927-1928
Dr. Burney L. Parkinson, a native of Lincoln County, Tennessee, had a Ph.D. from Peabody College. Prior to coming to PC as the tenth president, he was the director of extension at the University of South Carolina. His one-year tenure was marked by personal frustration and a substantial increase in the college’s debt.
After serving as President for nine months, President Parkinson’s resignation was announced by the trustee chairman at the Commencement exercises of 1928. Parkinson felt the president’s duties were far too extensive and announced his nomination of Professor Marshall Brown as the man to become the first dean of instruction at Presbyterian College. Before Commencement, Parkinson said to Brown, “An announcement is going to be made today. Don’t say you won’t do it until you talk to me.” Dr. Brown, a new history professor and the youngest man on the faculty at age 28, was taken completely by surprise but was willing and began his own training program, and “sought out all available information on the duties of a dean.” (Hammet, Spirit of PC, 49)
Parkinson left PC for a state job in Alabama and eventually served for many years as head of the Mississippi State College for Women. He retired from there in 1952 and died on Dec. 7, 1972.