FERRUM, VA. (June 20, 2016) – Dr. Joseph Carson Spooner has been appointed the eleventh president of Ferrum College. Spooner currently serves as the Dean of Jonathan Edwards College at Yale University where he has been integral in his support of students in their academic, co-curricular, and personal pursuits.
Chair of the Ferrum College Presidential Search Committee Robert W. Todd ’67 announced the appointment following the selection by the College Board of Trustees. Spooner was unanimously chosen by the Board and will assume his new role on August 1, 2016. The appointment follows an extensive national search that began after current President Dr. Jennifer L. Braaten announced her desire to retire after 14 years of service.
A first-generation college student from a small family farm in northern Florida, Spooner received his Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in 1991, his Master of Arts in American Studies from Florida State University in 1995, and his Doctorate of Philosophy in History from the University of Edinburgh in 2013. Prior to his appointment as Dean at Yale University, he held teaching and administrative positions at Chipola College, Florida State, Williams College and the University of Edinburgh,
“The search committee spent the past several months reviewing candidates to ensure that the applicants met the criteria necessary to move Ferrum College forward,” said Board of Trustees Chair Samuel L. Lionberger. “We believe that Dr. Spooner fully understands the College’s dynamics and has the vision and leadership skills necessary to take the next evolutionary steps on the Ferrum journey.”
Guided by Dr. Jim Davis of AGB Search, committee members included Board of Trustees members Sam Lionberger, Chair of Board of Trustees, Bob Todd, Chair of Search Committee, and Betty Forbes, Phyllis Karavatakis, Harry Norris, Wilson Paine, Baxter Phillips, Lou Talbutt, and Marilyn West. College representatives included Delia Heck, Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Sandra Via, Assistant Professor of Political Science, and staff members Mike Ferguson, Director of Dining Services, Jan Nicholson Angle, Dean of Chapel & Religious Life, and SGA president Danielle Hannuksela. Franklin County United Way Executive Director Nancy Bell spoke for members of the community.
According to Search Chair Bob Todd, “Throughout the exacting interview process Dr. Spooner was able to articulate pertinent experience and a compelling vision which will build on Ferrum College’s momentum. His hands-on approach and valuable connections are a perfect fit for our aspiration for the growth of the College as well as community and economic development.”
Spooner’s priorities, as he assumes the helm at Ferrum College, include enhancing the academic programs offered, strengthening local, state, national, and international partnerships, and continuing to implement the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan by upholding the historic mission of the College while envisioning a strong future.
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