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.
FERRUM, 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,