Peacocks' Legacy of Teaching Lives on Through Scholarship
Catherine and Bill Peacock touched countless lives during their combined 74 years of teaching.
Their son Mike remembers how an older woman approached Catherine last year with warm memories of being in her thirdgrade class. "You had to make an impression on someone for them to remember you that long ago, and it happened all the time with both of them," Mike says. "Teaching was their life, as they loved working with young kids (and) shaping their lives."
Catherine passed away last year, eight years after Bill, but the couple is still shaping lives through education. Before her death, Catherine made a $300,000 gift to Jacksonville State University to endow the Bill and Catherine Peacock Scholarship, which will benefit students in the College of Education and Professional Studies. The scholarship, which will be awarded to four incoming freshmen annually, will cover the cost of tuition for two semesters.
Learning and teaching played a major role in the Peacocks' lives. Catherine grew up in Riverside, Ala., and earned her teaching certificate from Judson College in Marion, Ala. She taught for six years in Pell City before enrolling at JSU, where she earned her bachelor's degree in teaching. Bill grew up in Rockmart, Ga., and played football at the University of Alabama before coming to JSU. The couple met in the College of Education in 1950, and both went on to earn master's degrees in education from Peabody College in Nashville, Tenn.
The Peacocks lived and taught in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri, Wyoming and Arizona over the years. They had two sons, Mike and William, a daughter, Charlotte Ann, and two grandchildren. The couple retired in 1986 and settled on Bill's family farm in Rockmart.
In addition to the scholarship, Catherine left a substantial sum to the College of Education and Professional Studies through her estate.
"We earned a great education at JSU," she said. "I wanted to be able to provide the same opportunities for students today to earn their degree in education from such a great institution."