President John F. Kennedy’s Assassination & Legacy Commemorated

Ferrum College to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s Assassination

The College will hold a series of “Remembering JFK” programs during November highlighting President Kennedy’s continuing legacy.

Ferrum, Va. (Nov. 4, 2013) – Ferrum College will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the November 22, 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy with a series of programs presented by faculty and administrators highlighting his legacy and its tremendous impact on the nation. College president Jennifer Braaten emphasized the importance of these programs.  “Whether we were actually ‘present’ on that day as the tragedy unfolded, or have been witnesses in the aftermath of its magnitude over the years, every American today has been profoundly influenced by the life and legacy of President John Kennedy. It is a privilege for Ferrum to provide these meaningful opportunities for reflection and discussion to our students and the community.”

“The Great Debates and Kennedy’s Inaugural Address,” will be held this Thursday, November 7, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Blue Ridge Mountain Room in Franklin Hall.  A panel moderated by Doug Clark, Vice President for Administration, will examine President Kennedy’s ability to connect with the American people to redefine political and presidential communication.  The session will feature video clips from the Kennedy/Nixon debates during the 1960 presidential campaign and President Kennedy’s inaugural address in January of 1961. Faculty members Ed Halley, assistant professor of political science, and Michael Trochim, professor of history, will join Dr. Clark to offer analysis and take questions from the audience. 

On Thursday, Nov. 14, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Blue Ridge Mountain Room, faculty members Sandra Via, professor of political science, and Beth Harper, instructor of English and international student advisor, will lead a discussion about the Peace Corps, one of President Kennedy’s most enduring legacies. This international program has inspired young people for more than 50 years to serve a cause greater than themselves. Christine Stinson, associate professor of business and accounting, will make introductory remarks.  Also participating will be Sasha Saari, retired associate professor of Russian and former director of international programs, and Chris Mayer, assistant professor of recreation leadership, who will share stories about their personal experiences in the Peace Corps.

On Thursday, November 21, College President Jennifer Braaten will lead Ferrum students, faculty and staff in a community wide time of reflection on the life and legacy of President Kennedy. Entitled “The Ferrum College Community Reflects,” participants will gather outdoors from 10:45 a.m. to 11:05 a.m. at Hart International Plaza on campus. 

That evening, a memorial service will be held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Vaughn Chapel. Reverend Conrad Braaten will officiate at a service in keeping with the funeral mass held for President Kennedy 50 years ago, which included excerpts from his writings and speeches. The evening will include tributes to President Kennedy by Gail Summer, interim Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dave Johnson, professor of chemistry and environmental science, Kevin Reilly, chair of the School of Social Sciences and Professional Studies, and Dr. Clark. Susan Spataro, assistant professor of music and the coordinator of music, will lead the student choir for the opening and closing hymns.  Adam McAllister, guest soloist, will perform two pieces of sacred music, Ave Maria and Pie Jesu, which were also sung at President Kennedy’s funeral mass.

The public is invited to attend these “Remembering JFK” events free of charge.

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