200+ Seniors to Receive Diplomas at 98th Commencement May 10

200+ Ferrum College Seniors to Receive Diplomas at the College’s 98th Annual Commencement on May 10

Brigadier General Burdett K. Thompson ’82 will deliver commencement address.

U.S. Army Brigadier General Burdett K. “Burt” Thompson ’82FERRUM, VA. (May 1, 2014) – More than 200 graduates will receive their degrees as Ferrum College celebrates its 98th annual commencement on Saturday, May 10, 2014. The 10:30 a.m. ceremony at Hart International Plaza in the center of campus will feature the presentation of student, faculty and alumni awards, and will be followed by a picnic lunch on the lawn for graduates and their families. Award recipients will include Ferrum College alumnus and former football player Ed George '68, who will receive the Benjamin M. Beckham Medallion, the College’s highest alumni honor, given in recognition of George’s gifts of time, talent, and resources. 

U.S. Army Brigadier General Burdett K. “Burt” Thompson ’82, current U.S.A. Deputy Director for Strategic Planning and Policy, U.S. Pacific Command, will deliver the keynote address. General Thompson, a Ferrum College Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, grew up in Franklin County.  A highly decorated officer, he was promoted to Brigadier General last spring.  In addition to his Associate of Arts degree from Ferrum College, General Thompson holds three master's degrees.   He has served in Korea, Panama and Iraq and has been a ranger, a paratrooper and has served in two prominent airborne divisions – the 82nd and the 101st.

“I am so proud of our graduating seniors,” said Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten. “Commencement is our most important celebration of the year.  Not only does it affirm the hard work of these exceptional young men and women, but it also reflects the dedication of our faculty and staff who have been committed to the students’ academic and extracurricular success.”  Braaten also noted that, “the presence of General Thompson, Mr. George and past Board Chair Kelly Herrick, all highly successful Ferrum alums, will be a tremendous inspiration to the students.”

Graduates will also participate in a traditional Baccalaureate service on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Vaughn Chapel, culminating with a candlelight ceremony at Hart International Plaza to symbolize the light of knowledge that the new graduates will carry forth into the world. 

In the event of rain, Commencement exercises will be held in Swartz Gymnasium.


About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college related to the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor's degree programs, at a cost well below the national average for private colleges. The College celebrates its Centennial during the 2013-14 academic year. For more information, visit www.ferrum.edu.