An Introduction to Ferrum College
Statement of Mission
Ferrum College is a liberal arts institution founded on Christian principles and related
to The United Methodist Church. It is our mission 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. We therefore commit ourselves to developing the whole student,
both in openness to a wide range of intellectual discovery, and in the physical, spiritual,
and social aspects of life.
Our campus environment supports service to others and the development of a personal
code of values. Toward these ends, we expect all members of the campus community to
treat each other with compassion, to respect each other’s diverse qualities and backgrounds,
and to support each other in the common pursuit of insight and discovery. In all these
endeavors, we encourage students, faculty, and staff to appreciate excellence and
to dedicate themselves to achieving it.
Hallmark of a Ferrum College Graduate
The Ferrum College graduate possesses integrated knowledge in the liberal arts and
a depth of knowledge in a chosen major field of study. He/she thinks critically, communicates
effectively, appreciates diversity, and serves his/her community, nation and the world.
Ferrum College Student Learning Outcomes
The Ferrum College graduate develops integrated knowledge in the liberal arts and
depth of knowledge in a chosen major field of study. Learning experiences span across
the five broad domains enumerated below.
- Liberal Arts
Through experiences in the Core Requirements, the Ferrum College graduate will
• Demonstrate integrated knowledge in the liberal arts
• Demonstrate information literacy, using available technology when appropriate
• Demonstrate competency in quantitative skills and reading
- Critical Thinking
Through opportunities to engage in critical thinking, both curricular and co-curricular,
the Ferrum College graduate will
• Think critically and solve problems through analysis, evaluation, and inference.
- Communication Skills
Through experiences in both the Core Requirements and the Major, the Ferrum
College graduate will
• Communicate with unity of purpose and coherent organization consistent with
standard rules and recognized conventions using appropriate methodologies
- Competence in Academic Discipline
Through experiences in the Major, the Ferrum College graduate will
• Demonstrate a depth of knowledge, capability and ethical reasoning in a chosen
Through opportunities, both curricular and co-curricular, the Ferrum College
• Demonstrate awareness of local, national and global issues
• Demonstrate personal responsibility
• Collaborate with people of diverse cultural attitudes, beliefs and values
Learning at Ferrum
The nature of a college is determined by the goals it sets for itself. But it is
also determined by living and working within the college’s lovely physical setting,
experiencing its traditions, enjoying daily encounters with caring teachers and developing
new ideas and friendships in a supportive learning community. In its ninety-six year
history, four qualities have emerged which give Ferrum College its distinct character:
accessibility, dedicated faculty, community pride, and preparation for life in the
world beyond the campus.
Ferrum was founded by The United Methodist Church for the purpose of bringing quality
secondary and higher education to students in the beautiful hill country of southwest
Virginia. Our founders believed that there were able young men and women in the region
who, with the advantage of a caring, quality education, could realize their potential
and go on to higher achievement for themselves and for their fellow human beings.
The first faculty members at Ferrum believed that it was their responsibility as teachers
to make knowledge accessible by reaching out and showing students the way to the top.
Thus began a tradition of caring instruction and willingness to work with any student
with the determination to succeed.
Education is not accessible if it is too expensive to be afforded by those who desire
it. As most of the early Ferrum students could not afford the cost of an advanced
education, from the beginning, every effort was made to keep costs low. Today the
college continues its commitment to keeping costs low while providing the faculty,
staff, and facilities for a quality education. Financial aid options provide each
student the most affordable college education possible. We have been and still are
an outstanding educational value.
At the heart of the Ferrum experience is the college’s earnest effort to enable students
Through the years Ferrum faculty have sought to draw out the innate abilities in each
of their students. We believe today, as we believed in 1914 when the doors of the
institution opened, that human beings mature and learn at different paces and in different
ways. Good teaching demands flexibility and imagination every bit as much as it demands
thorough knowledge of the subject matter. To be a teacher in the finest sense of
the word requires the ability to recognize the interests, capabilities and ambitions
of the individuals to be taught, and the ability to bring these qualities to bear
on the mastery of a subject.
It is gratifying when Ferrum alumni tell us that their college experience was the
turning point in their lives. More often than not they will single out a particular
teacher or two at Ferrum who made all the difference. We believe that such quality
instructors are absolutely essential to the learning experience at Ferrum. We consciously
seek the teacher who enjoys working closely with students, who understands that giving
help outside the classroom is a part of the job, and who approaches the art of teaching
open-mindedly and creatively for the purpose of enabling college students to learn
Ferrum College’s unparalleled setting in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains forms an
inspiring backdrop for a unique and multifaceted educational experience that will
focus on leading-edge learning opportunities, diverse outdoor, cultural, and service
activities, and spiritual enrichment.
Statement of Aspiration
As it seeks to uphold its historic mission and continue on its journey toward excellence
as a comprehensive, residential liberal arts and professional studies institution,
Ferrum College aspires to grow in stature, size, and strength.
Preparation for a Life in the World Beyond Campus
“Not Self But Others” proclaims the Ferrum College motto, a most apt byword for a
college whose history brims with the unselfish dedication of many teachers and staff
persons. It is not surprising that when the college heeded the request of many students
and expanded its curriculum to the bachelor’s degree, it did so initially with five
programs committed to human services. The first of these majors, social work, is
now a professionally accredited program. Strongly reliant on field experiences, this
major led the way to the extensive use of internships, which is today a significant
characteristic of the Ferrum undergraduate program.
This brief example from college history illustrates that Ferrum strives to prepare
students to go out and interact meaningfully with the world beyond the campus. It
is our hope that the quality of life of our community and the caring nature of its
residents will serve as a model of excellence for our graduates moving out into the
world. The college believes that learning should not occur in isolation and that
its graduates must develop the skills necessary to meet the demands of the contemporary
world in which they must compete for the realization of their goals.
Ferrum believes that liberal arts study is the best foundation for undergraduate majors,
and the courses basic to our curriculum are within the mainstream of liberal learning.
Ferrum is a college with a difference, however, the difference being the range of
majors specifically directed toward serving today’s needs. In addition to traditional
majors, Ferrum offers programs in teacher education, accounting, recreation leadership,
agriculture, social work, international studies, and environmental science, to name
just a few. It is a varied array of programs, more commonly found in universities
rather than small colleges. This curriculum reflects the college’s belief that it
must equip students for the challenges and opportunities of our time.
As a college in partnership with a major Christian denomination, we believe that we
must help our students learn to live with dignity, with physical and psychological
well being, and with a commitment to making the experience of living as meaningful
and fulfilling as possible for themselves and men and women everywhere.
At its beginning, the Ferrum Training School opened vistas of knowledge to students
who had never before been able to look beyond the everyday concerns of the Blue Ridge
life. We have evolved from this regional perspective into a four-year college with
an outlook on the global community of today. It is to the reality of our time and
to the challenge of tomorrow that the Ferrum learning experience is directed.
Becoming a Ferrum Student
Ferrum recognizes that different people learn differently and that no single college
campus will bring out the best performance in all students. Therefore, in reviewing
the applications of prospective Ferrum students, it is our task to determine if our
learning environment and the applicant will have the proper fit to bring about success.
We also recognize that during the high school years many students are changing and
growing and are only beginning to give a true account of their academic capability
by the time they earn diplomas. We look at all of the information available to us
– high school grade-point average, rank in class, SAT/ACT scores, as well as high
school activities, evidence of leadership, dependability, industry. We also look
for candid recommendations by guidance counselors and teachers. We may also request
that the student come for an interview or will defer an admissions decision until
the current semester’s final grades can be reviewed. We bring together as much information
as is appropriate to help us determine if Ferrum and the applicant are the right match
for each other.
It is important for all prospective students to understand that Ferrum will probably
make more demands on their time and energy than any institution they have previously
attended. This reality determines the qualities we look for in selecting students
for admission: 1. Adequate secondary school preparation and the ability to accomplish
college academic work. 2. The motivation, maturity, and self-discipline required
to apply one’s efforts effectively to the fulfillment of college requirements and
objectives. 3. An understanding that, although Ferrum offers much academic support,
it is by individual effort that course content must be mastered and graduation requirements
fulfilled. 4. A college expectation consistent with the mission and educational goals
of Ferrum College.
If we believe that an applicant possesses these qualities, we will gladly offer an
invitation to join our student body. We recommend, though, that all future Ferrum
students visit our campus, walk about the grounds, eat in the dining hall or on-campus
Subway, visit the library and the residence halls, and meet staff and students in
an effort to get a good feeling of what it is like to go to college here and to feel
comfortable in our campus environment.
Ferrum is a distinct community, not simply because it is a group of people living
and working in a common place, but because it is a group of people striving for a
common purpose and subscribing to the goals and values outlined in our mission. Students
in harmony with this community will likely do well at Ferrum and come to value it
– as so many of our alumni have – as one of the finest experiences of their lives.
At the time of its founding in 1913, Ferrum’s community was the mountains of southwest
Virginia, and students came from homes in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Public
education in the area at that time was also in its infancy. In the Ferrum system
of five branch schools in Franklin, Floyd, Patrick and Madison counties, teachers
struggled to bring elementary and secondary education to a student body that at one
time numbered 600.
Among those responsible for the founding of Ferrum was Dr. Benjamin M. Beckham, then
presiding elder of the Danville District, who became the school’s first president.
The Woman’s Missionary Society, under the leadership of their president, Miss Lutie
Roberts, and the Board of Missions of the Virginia Annual Conference of the Methodist
Church provided the initial funds. Together they were able to secure land for the
campus, a faculty of six, and ninety-nine students when the school opened its doors
Ferrum 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
As public educational facilities became more available, Ferrum’s branch schools were
closed. In the early 1940s the elementary division was closed, and in 1955 the high
school department was discontinued so that the educational programs could be concentrated
in the junior college work that had begun in 1926. The junior college received accreditation
from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1960.
Under the guidance of Ferrum’s seventh president, Dr. C. Ralph Arthur, the college’s
enrollment increased to over 1,000, and the campus experienced dramatic physical improvements,
with over 11 new facilities being constructed in the early 1970s. They included modern
classroom, dormitory, and athletic buildings, as well as a new student center, library,
audio-visual center, science laboratories, chapel, gymnasium, and football stadium.
In 1974 the college began to offer bachelor’s degrees in five human service fields.
In December 1976 the college was awarded accreditation as a four-year college by the
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The last associate degrees were awarded
Today the College offers thirty-one major degree programs leading to the Bachelor
of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Social Work degrees.
The presidents of Ferrum have been 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; and Dr. Jennifer L. Braaten, 2002-present.
Set in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, Ferrum College
provides the ideal environment for study and cultural enrichment. The college’s proximity
to the mountains and to nearby lakes enables students to enjoy many outdoor activities,
including picnicking, hiking, camping, fishing, boating, swimming, and skiing.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the nation’s most scenic highways, is only a 30-minute
drive from campus. Even closer to the Ferrum campus in a wooded setting within sight
of the Blue Ridge Mountains is beautiful Philpott Lake. In nearby Patrick County
is Fairy Stone State Park, which takes its name from the lucky fairy stones found
in the region.
A few miles to the east of Ferrum lies Smith Mountain Lake, well known for its recreational
facilities that feature campgrounds, picnic areas, and marinas. In this natural setting,
Ferrum College offers a unique opportunity for the student and the lover of nature.
Ferrum is located just 35 miles southwest of Roanoke, Virginia, where an abundance
of shopping, dining, and cultural-recreational facilities are to be found. Air and
bus transportation are available to other points from Roanoke. The college, however,
is not responsible for the transportation of students at any time. Rocky Mount, the
county seat and the center of commercial activity for Franklin County, is about 10
miles from the college.
The college operates on the semester system. The Fall semester lasts usually from
August until December and the Spring semester lasts usually from January until May.
The College has its Experiential Term (E-Term) for three weeks in May.
Notification of Rights Under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights
with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of
the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar,
dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests
that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College official will make
arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records
may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the College official to whom
the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official
to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student
believes is inaccurate. Students may ask the College to amend a record that they
believe is inaccurate. They should write the College official responsible for the
record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why
it is inaccurate. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by
the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student
of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional
information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when
notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained
in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure
without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure
to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a
person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research,
or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff);
a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor,
or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving
on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting
another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate
educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order
to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the College may
disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which
a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged
failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address
of the office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
Student Conduct Records
The Office of Residence Life and Housing has the responsibility of maintaining judicial
records of all documented violations of Community Standards. These records are maintained
for a period of three years from the time a student graduates or leaves the College.
Records of a disciplinary suspension or failure to complete sanctions will be kept
for a period of ten years. If a student is judicially expelled from Ferrum College
the records are kept indefinitely. The Office of Student Affairs will not release
any information concerning a student’s disciplinary record to any individual or agency
outside the College without the prior written consent from the student unless the
records are subpoenaed or unless the release is otherwise required or allowed by law.
Notice Regarding Directory Information
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that
the College, with certain exceptions, obtain student's written consent prior to the
disclosure of personally identifiable information from student education records.
However, the College may disclose appropriately designated “directory information”
without written consent, unless the student has advised the College to the contrary
in accordance with College procedures. The primary purpose of directory information
is to allow the College to include this type of information from student education
records in certain College publications. Examples include:
- - College Directory;
- - Honor roll or other recognition lists;
- - Graduation programs;
- - Sports activity sheets, showing weight and height of team members;
- - News/publicity releases.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful
or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations
without the student's prior written consent.
If a student does not want the College to disclose directory information from their
education records without prior written consent, he or she must notify the College’s
Registrar, Ferrum College, P.O. Box 1000, Ferrum, VA 24088, in writing by September
15th (if the student begins school with the second semester, by January 31st). The
College has designated the following information as directory information:
- - Student’s name
- - Address
- - Hometown
- - High school attended
- - Previous or future institutions of study
- - Parents’/Guardians’ names and hometowns
- - Telephone listing
- - Electronic mail address
- - Photograph or video clip
- - Date and place of birth (student age)
- - Dates of attendance
- - Class year
- - Major field of study (major and/or minor)
- - Degrees, honors, and awards received
- - Grade point average, in recognition of academic achievement
- - Research or special curricular projects
- - Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- - Athletic record
- - Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
No other information will be made available unless the student gives Ferrum College
written permission to release information to specific individuals regarding academic
progress, student conduct, and financial services. Students wishing to waive their
right under FERPA can complete an Education Record Release Form. Forms are available
in the offices of Student Services and Registrar.
Student Residence Halls
All college-owned student housing has the following amenities: cable, internet, free
laundry, parking decal if needed, meal plan, furnishings, paid utilities, and Residence
FERRUM VILLAGE EAST AND WEST, 602 Apartments, and HILLCREST APARTMENTS house approximately
100 upper-class men and women students in one and two bedroom apartments. Students
living in these facilities will have a choice of a modified meal plans.
ARTHUR and MOORE HALLS house 50 students each. Each student room has cable and
ethernet connection. Students living in these apartments have a full meal plan.
ROBERTS HALL, a historic campus building, was built in 1921 and completely renovated
in 2006. This residence hall houses 45 students and faculty offices.
BASSETT HALL houses approximately 420 students in an attractive suite arrangement.
CHAPMAN, RIDDICK, and SUSANNAH WESLEY HALLS are situated around scenic Adams Lake
and together house approximately 450 students.
MARGARET CLARK HALL houses 117 students with hotel-style rooms with private bathrooms.
This facility currently houses upper-class students and is located adjacent to Chapman
During Fall and Easter Breaks, residential students wishing to stay in their assigned
Residence Hall rooms must make their request three days in advance in writing to,
and receive written approval from, the Assistant Director of Residence Education.
The college dining hall will be closed during these breaks. Any person entering into
halls without written permission will be considered trespassing and may be subject
to discipline, up to and including suspension or expulsion. Students are not permitted
to have guests on campus when staying for breaks.
During Thanksgiving, Winter Semester, and Spring Breaks, the residence halls will
be closed. Persons entering into halls without permission will be considered trespassing.
Students living in Hillcrest, Ferrum Village East, and Ferrum Village West are permitted
to remain in their apartments during these breaks; however, they must receive written
permission from the Assistant Director of Residence Education.
BECKHAM HALL was built in 1921, completely renovated in 2005, and is used for business,
mathematics, computer science, and liberal arts courses.
BLUE RIDGE INSTITUTE AND MUSEUM, the Virginia State Center for Blue Ridge Folklore
since 1986, is located on the main campus near the Blue Ridge Farm Museum. It provides
offices for the Institute staff and contains exhibit areas, classroom and archives
BRITT HALL houses classrooms and faculty offices.
GARBER HALL includes the mathematics, science and computer classrooms and laboratories
along with a 175-seat auditorium, a greenhouse and student/faculty research and lab
GROUSBECK MUSIC CENTER houses the music department. In addition to classrooms,
the building has a 100-seat recital hall, an ensemble room, practice rooms, media
center, and faculty teaching labs.
SCHOOLFIELD HALL was built in 1924 as a chapel and later renovated as a performing
arts center. The facility, which includes the Sale auditorium and a separate flexible
theater, houses the college drama department.
STANLEY LIBRARY contains approximately 115,000 volumes supplemented by over 400
periodical subscriptions, 40,000 electronic books, and a growing collection of multimedia
materials, including computer software. In addition to the book stacks and the periodical
and reference areas, the building houses the Academic Resources Center, an audio-visual
center, two auditoriums, 3 computer labs, and classrooms. The library also contains
the campus art galleries. An open stack policy gives students ready access to all
printed materials. Stanley Library is open every day of the week during the academic
year. Construction of an 8,500 square foot addition to the library was completed
in Fall 2003. The new addition houses classrooms, a computer laboratory, seminar
rooms, and other academic space with state-of-the-art equipment.
VAUGHN CHAPEL, a unique fairy stone-shaped building, includes a 600-seat chapel
and an education wing which houses the art department and classrooms. A freestanding
bell tower houses the 23-bell carillon.
Physical Education and Sports Facilities
W. B. ADAMS ATHLETIC COMPLEX includes a 5,000 seating capacity football stadium, soccer/lacrosse
field, new lighted baseball field, softball field, 10 all-weather surface tennis courts,
and a field house.
HANK NORTON FIELD HOUSE contains locker rooms for both the Panthers and visiting
teams, showers, toilets, laundry, equipment storage for both baseball and football,
training room, and film room. Offices for the coaches are also located in the Field
INTRAMURAL FIELDS are available for football, soccer, lacrosse, and softball.
W. P. SWARTZ GYMNASIUM houses a 1,200-seat basketball court, a swimming pool, weight
lifting and exercise rooms, locker facilities, and athletic offices. An addition
to this facility houses a weight room and conditioning area.
FERRUM FITNESS CENTER houses two basketball courts, two racquetball courts, and
a weight and exercise area.
ADAMS LAKE, in the center of campus, and two nearby ponds stocked with fish are used
for class instruction.
TITMUS AGRICULTURAL CENTER is an area used to demonstrate agricultural and environmental
techniques and provide practical experience in the application of principles and techniques
studied in the classroom. This tract of 80 acres contains pasture and cropland and
storage facilities and a barn and greenhouse completed in 2009. It is located within
a mile of the main campus.
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER is used by faculty and students for laboratory and
research use in agriculture-related projects.
The BOOKSTORE offers text books as well as supplies and gift items, and Starbucks
coffee in the News Cafe.
FRANKLIN HALL provides dining services and houses student activities offices, post
office, lounges, conference rooms, Papa Johns and Subway restaurants. This facility
was completely renovated in 2005.
RICHESON HALL houses History and Political Science faculty offices.
JOHN WESLEY HALL, the oldest building on the Ferrum campus, was opened in 1914 and
houses the College’s administrative offices.
SPILMAN-DANIEL HOUSE, originally a staff residence, was initially renovated through
a gift from the late Mr. and Mrs. Louis Spilman and expanded in 1998 in memory of
Mr. John W. Daniel by his wife Mrs. Ethelyne Fulcher Daniel ’43. It houses the Admissions
and Financial Aid Offices.
EARL G. SKEENS ALUMNI/CONFERENCE CENTER. This 16,000 square foot addition to Franklin
Hall, completed in 2006, offers a premier banquet and meeting space for up to 250
guests, meeting and lounge space for alumni and the nationally known Anthony Giesen
Gallery of American Brilliant Cut Glass.
While some campus facilities do not fully accommodate students with specific disabilities,
special needs are addressed on an individual basis. Ferrum College is making reasonable
efforts to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. The Campus 504 Coordinator,
at (540) 365-4235, can provide detailed information about facilities and services
for disabled students.