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
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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