School board names board room for longtime attorney

Published 8:00 am Saturday, October 2, 2021

The Brookhaven School District’s boardroom has been named for a former board attorney.

At its regular meeting Tuesday night, the Board and Superintendent Dr. Roderick Henderson named the central office board room the Robert O. Allen Board Room in memory of its longtime attorney.

Robert “Bob” Allen served as the board’s attorney for 43 years until his death in 2020.

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The board presented a proclamation to Allen’s widow, Pat Allen, and family, along with a plaque that now hangs over the board room door. The proclamation reads, in part:

“Whereas, Robert O. Allen was a 1964 graduate of Brookhaven High School, where he lettered in track, baseball and football before going on to the University of Arkansas and then Mississippi College where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Biology … received his law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1972 … practiced law with his father, Lt. Col. Emmette P. Allen … (and) served as board attorney for the Brookhaven School District for 43 years … hereby it is proclaimed, the Brookhaven School District Board of Education and Dr. Roderick Henderson, Superintendent of the Brookhaven School District, that the board room located in the Central Office of the Brookhaven School District be named after Mr. Robert O. Allen.”

Allen’s son, Will, now serves as the board attorney, following in the “big shoes” of his father and grandfather before him. Bob’s father Emmette Allen served as a board member, and was its attorney until the 1970s, when Bob Allen was hired.

“There’s been an Allen there for about 70 years,” Will Allen said.

When superintendent Henderson announced he was about to make a proclamation, Will said he thought it must be concerning some Boy Scouts who were present for the meeting. Instead, he saw his daughter walk into the room, followed by his wife and mother.

“He made the proclamation, then he walked us out into the hallway and I saw they had already hung the plaque over the door,” Will said. “It was a lot to take in, and such a sweet, sweet honor.”

The timing could not have been better for the honor, he said.

“They did it the night before what would have been his birthday — he would have been 76 — so it was like a birthday present for him given to my mom,” Will said.

Bob Allen would have been moved by the dedication, his son said.

“He would have been so proud because he loved the school district and he loved the board members and it was just so sweet of Dr. Henderson and the board to recognize him,” Will said. “He would have been so proud.”

Going to work at the board meetings will be a little different in a good way for the current attorney, seeing his father’s name above the door as he enters, Will said.

“I love knowing that every time I walk into that board room it’s dedicated to him.”