Ferrum News

Ed Walker to be Ferrum's Executive in Residence


Visionary Developer to Spend a Day on Campus Teaching and Learning.


Ferrum, Va. (January 17, 2011) – Roanoke entrepreneur and developer Ed Walker will be the Ferrum College Executive in Residence on Wednesday, January 19.  Walker, as is tradition, will spend a day on campus, during which he will share his thoughts on the future of the region and his unique approach to life.

Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten said she was thrilled that Walker would take time from his schedule to learn about Ferrum College and share his thoughts with the campus community.  “Ed has lots of irons in the fire.  For him to take a day and spend it with the students and faculty of Ferrum College speaks volumes about his generosity,” said Braaten.

Walker will spend a portion of his day attending classes and participating in lectures and conversations with students.  He will also give a presentation at 11:15 in the Blue Ridge Mountain Room.   Students, faculty staff and members of the community are invited to attend.

“Ed Walker is a leader and a visionary,” said Ferrum College Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kim Blair, who helped recruit walker for the highly successful Executive in Residence Program.  “We are so pleased that he is willing to spend a day on campus so the Ferrum community can benefit from his knowledge and energy,” said Blair.

Walker’s footprint can be clearly seen all over Roanoke.  Perhaps his most visible project to date is the renovation of the Patrick Henry Hotel.  Walker purchased the facility and is turning it into luxury apartments – continuing a downtown living trend that has succeeded largely on the back of some of his earlier efforts.

Walker cut the ribbon on the Cotton Mill in 2009.   It is the new anchor of western development in what has been considered a seedy section of the city for decades.  Now the 106,000 square foot building houses more than 100 trendy apartments in an area that also includes the Kirk Family YMCA, the Jefferson Center, and the Fork in the City Restaurant.

But he’s not just a developer.  A former attorney, and family man he also has a passion for the arts.  Along with his wife, Katherine he founded the Downtown Music Lab – an after school haven for teenagers who either love music or want to be career musicians.  After attending college at the University of North Carolina he travelled Europe as an art broker.  He is a regular at Roanoke nightspots that feature live music.  Walker is often involved with bringing the bands to Roanoke.

“We want Ed to learn about Ferrum, just as we want to try and upload as much information as we can from him,” said Tom Cosgrove, Ferrum’s Director of Corporate Relations “It would be great if he could look at Ferrum and share some of that amazing vision with us.”

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About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college affiliated with 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.