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
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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.