Blick family honors son’s legacy with new APSU agriculture scholarship
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Brock Blick wanted some cows. That’s all the 11-year-old talked about (along with hunting and fishing and golf and baseball), especially after spending the day on his grandfather’s farm. Brock would come home at night and inform his father they needed more land to hold all his cows—he wanted 15.
“I said, ‘Ok, we’ll do that,’” Mark Blick, Brock’s father, said. “‘When you turn 15, we’ll buy some land, and we’ll get you some cows.’ He absolutely loved cows.”
On Jan. 8, 2017, Brock Wyatt Blick—a sixth grade student known for his warm smile and his eagerness to help others—died while on a hunting trip with friends and family.
In the days that followed, the phrase “Be Like Brock” appeared all over Clarksville, reminding people to be more like the 11-year-old. His mother, Jeri Blick, was amazed by this response.
“When they said ‘Be Like Brock,’ it meant to be kind to others, help others,” she said. “During those two days of the service and the funeral, I heard so many stories of things he’d done or said. Even though he was only 11, he had such a big impact on people. And we thought, how can we honor him?”
On July 29, the Blick family, along with a few close friends, gathered at the Austin Peay State University farm to begin the first phase of a plan to honor Brock’s legacy. That afternoon, the Blicks presented APSU President Alisa White with a large financial gift, establishing the Brock Blick Endowed Scholarship in Agriculture.
“When this happened, Jeri and I were trying to figure out how to do his legacy, it automatically came to a scholarship in agriculture here at Austin Peay,” Mark said.
The presentation took place in the farm’s new classroom building, with Mark holding a large, framed photo of his son. President White immediately noticed the boy’s famed smile.
“I want to make a pledge that we’ll make sure he’s not forgotten,” she said. “You’ll always remember him, you’ll always have that. But we’ll make sure that other people know, and not just what he did but the kind of heart he had and the kind of heart his family had.”
Dr. Don Sudbrink, chair of the APSU Department of Agriculture, told the Blicks he was honored to help continue Brock’s legacy, and he pointed out that the new scholarship will help the entire community by producing qualified agricultural professionals.
“We’re pleased to have this wonderful opportunity to remember Brock, and to help agriculture students,” he said. “Right now there are 7.4 billion humans on this earth, and there will be almost 10 billion by 2050. Those are all mouths that have to be fed, and agriculture has to continue to produce in order to keep up with it. We need a trained group of scientists and technicians and salespeople who know how to work with farmers to help grow agriculture.”
The new scholarship is only part of the Blicks’ larger plan for honoring their son. The family received overwhelming community support in the days and months since Brock passed away, and this November, they plan to funnel that support into the creation of the Brock Blick Fund of Excellence in Agriculture at APSU. On Oct. 6, the Blicks will host a golf tournament at both the Clarksville Country Club and the River Club of Clarksville. At 6 p.m. that night, they will also host a dinner at the country club, with a silent and live auction. The auctions will include several high-end items such as a guitar signed by Paul McCartney, a guitar signed by Brooks and Dunn and a robe signed by wrestling legend Ric Flair. The proceeds from all those events will go toward the Brock Blick Fund of Excellence in Agriculture at Austin Peay.
“We’ve made a special commitment to Austin Peay so his legacy will go on and on forever,” Mark said.
“He just loved to be around cows,” Jeri added. “I just feel like this is the best place to honor his legacy.”
For information on these events, or on the scholarship and the fund of excellence, contact the APSU Advancement Office at 931-221-7127.