Ferrum College

Ferrum College is a private college in Ferrum, Virginia. 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 College
MottoNon sibi sed aliis (Latin); Not Self, But Others (English)
TypePrivate college
Religious affiliation
United Methodist Church
EndowmentUS $31.8 million [1]
PresidentDavid L. Johns
ProvostAimé Sposato
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
CampusRural, 700 acres (2.8 km2)
ColorsBlack, Gold and White
AthleticsNCAA Division III ODAC


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 thirty 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.


  1. Benjamin M. Beckham (1913-1934)
  2. John A. Carter (1934-1935)
  3. James A. Chapman (1935-1943)
  4. The Rev. Luther J. Derby (1943-1948)
  5. Nathaniel H. Davis '24 (1948-1952)
  6. The Rev. Stanley E. Emrich (1952-1954)
  7. C. Ralph Arthur (1954-1970)
  8. Joseph T. Hart (1971-1986)
  9. Jerry M. Boone (1987-2002)
  10. Jennifer L. Braaten (2002-2016)
  11. Joseph "Jody" Carson Spooner (2016-2017)
  12. David L. Johns (2018+)


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) northeast) and Greensboro, North Carolina (70 miles south).

Notable buildings

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.


Ferrum's sports teams participate in the NCAA's Division III in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, formerly having played in the USA South Athletic Conference from 1998 through 2018. 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. Seven members of the Panthers' 1968 championship teamall of whom had transferred to Marshall Universitydied in the 1970 plane crash which also claimed the lives of 37 Marshall University Thundering Herd players and 30 others, including the team's coaches, 25 boosters and the entire flight crew.[2]

In June 2017, the school announced that it would be leaving USA South to join the more Virginia-centric Old Dominion Athletic Conference, starting with the 2018-2019 school year.

Notable alumni


  1. As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-12-14. Retrieved February 17, 2010.
  2. "Ferrum honors Marshall victims". herald-dispatch.com. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  3. "Abbitt, Watkins Moorman (1908–1998)". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved November 4, 2012.

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