Ferrum College is a private college in Ferrum, Virginia, USA, in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia. Ferrum College has the second-oldest environmental science program in the nation and was ranked 41st by U.S. News & World Report in Comprehensive Colleges–Bachelor's (South) for 2006. The college itself is on the Virginia Historic Register. Roberts Hall and Beckham Hall are part of the Ferrum College Historic District and listed in the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.
Ferrum was founded in 1913. It is a liberal arts institution founded on Christian principles and related to the United Methodist Church. Ferrum's official mission is to educate students in the disciplines of higher learning and to help them be thoughtful and perceptive, to be articulate and professionally capable, and to be caring and concerned citizens of their community, nation and world.
The branch schools closed as public education took hold in the area. The elementary division closed in the early 1940s, followed by the high school division in 1955 to allow the program to concentrate on its junior college offerings. The junior college received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1960.
The college experienced dramatic growth and facilities improvement in the 1960s and 1970s and began offering bachelor's degrees in a selection of human service fields in 1977. The college was awarded accreditation as a four-year college by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1976. The last associate degrees were awarded in 1991.
Today, Ferrum College offers bachelor's degrees in twenty-eight major degree programs. The college continues to operate under the auspices of the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women of the Virginia Annual Conference.
Timeline of Presidents Dr. Benjamin M. Beckham (1913-1934) Mr. John A. Carter (1934-1935) Dr. James A. Chapman (1935-1943) The Reverend Luther J. Derby (1943-1948) Dr. Nathaniel H. Davis'24 (1948-1952) The Reverend Stanley E. Emrich (1952-1954) Dr. C. Ralph Arthur (1954-1970) Dr. Joseph T. Hart (1971-1986) Dr. Jerry M. Boone (1987-2002) Dr. Jennifer L. Braaten (2002-2016) Dr. Joseph Carson Spooner (2016-Present)
The Ferrum campus is located on 700 acres (2.8 km2) near the town of Ferrum, Virginia. The nearest large cities are Roanoke, Virginia (35 miles (56 km) miles northeast) and Greensboro, North Carolina (70 miles south).
The Blue Ridge Institute and Museum, designated as the State Center for Blue Ridge Folklore by the Virginia General Assembly in 1986, is on the main campus near the Blue Ridge Farm Museum.
The Institute holds the annual Blue Ridge Folklife Festival on the fourth Saturday in October to showcase regional traditions. In 1999, the museum's collection of Great Road Pottery was featured on an episode of the American version of Antiques Roadshow.
Ferrrum's Schoolfield Hall is also home to the Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre. Local legend has it that Schoolfield Hall is haunted.
Ferrum's sports teams participate in the NCAA's Division III in the USA South Athletic Conference (formerly the Dixie Conference). Its football team played in the Atlantic Central Football Conference from 1998 to 2000. Ferrum joined the NCAA Division III in 1985 after being previously classified as a junior college. Under head coach W.H. "Hank" Norton, Ferrum won the National Junior College Athletic Association national football championship four times (1965, 1968, 1974, 1977). Norton's last great team, in 1989, finished third overall in NCAA Division III, losing in the national semifinal to Dayton. This team featured the double-threat backfield of future AFC leading rusher Chris Warren and Freddie Stovall.
The 2010–2011 men's basketball team received the pre-season first-place ranking. They are currently ranked #23 in NCAA division III. Under future Evansville head basketball coach (who died in the December 1977 plane crash) Bobby Watson, Ferrum's basketball team was the national runner-up in 1972, losing in the NJCAA title game to Vincennes (Indiana) Junior College, led by future NBA great Bob McAdoo.
Academic All-Americans 2000 – Elizabeth Adams (women's soccer/women's tennis, 3rd team) 2006 – Dustin Hamoy (football, 2nd team) 2007 – Wilson Paine (men's tennis, 1st team) 2012 – Paul Jaglowski (baseball, 1st team) Many Ferrum alumni have competed in professional sports.
Distinguished alumni in sports:Jim Grobe – former head football coach, Wake Forest University
Chris Warren '90 – football, running back for the Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, and Philadelphia Eagles
Billy Wagner – baseball, pitcher for the Atlanta Braves; has played for the Boston Red Sox (2009), New York Mets (2006–2009), Philadelphia Phillies (2004–2005), and Houston Astros (1995–2003) and was a first-round draft pick (12th pick overall) in the 1993 MLB draft.
Eric Owens '93 – baseball, outfielder, most recently played for the Anaheim Angels in 2003. Played for the Florida Marlins (2001–2002), San Diego Padres (1999–2000), Milwaukee Brewers (1998), and Cincinnati Reds (1995–1997).
Bruce Gossett – kicker for San Francisco 49ers in the 1970s.
Billy Joe Mantooth – 1970 All-American at Ferrum, transferred to West Virginia University and later played in the NFL.
Julius Campbell – Defensive standout immortalized by the film Remember the Titans.
Watkins Abbitt, Jr., member of the Virginia House of Delegates
Al Latimer, former NFL player
Larry Robinson, former NFL player