The 2018 Ferrum College Alumni Awards Celebration was held Saturday, September 22, 2018 in the Blue Ridge Mountain Room in Franklin Hall on campus. Pictured left to right are J. Glenn Shelton ’57, Lalita Brim-Poindexter ’04, Samantha Smith-Herndon ’12, Jerry Venable ’68, Kevin Keatts ’95, Stacy Porter ’06, Jessica Luther ’06, and Kameron Wilds ’11.
Glenn Shelton ’57 was recognized as Ferrum College’s Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient in a ceremony in the Blue Ridge Mountain Room. Those that receive the Distinguished Alumni Award exemplified a record of exceptional career achievement and service to their community, church or other organizations; were active in college life; and remain involved and supportive of Ferrum College as alumni. Outstanding Young Alumni were also recognized from the College’s three schools: Jessica Luther ’06 of the School of Social Sciences and Professional Studies; Samantha Smith-Herndon ’12 of Natural Science and Mathematics; and Kameron Wilds ’11 of Arts and Humanities. These recipients are honored for their accomplishments and achievements to Ferrum College within the last fifteen years.
Additionally, five alumni were inducted to the Ed George Ferrum College Sports Hall of Fame: football player Bruce Gossett ’63, who went on to play with the San Francisco 49ers for five years; basketball player Jerry Venable ’68, who also played for the Harlem Globetrotters for 13 years; basketball player Kevin Keatts ’95, current basketball Head Coach at North Carolina State University; cross-country runner Lalita Brim-Poindexter ’04, one of only five former Ferrum College student-athletes named to USA South All-Conference first team four consecutive years; and softball player Stacy Porter ’06, who still holds the College’s record for season strikeout, career strikeouts and season innings pitched.
2018 Alumni Awards & Sports Hall of Fame Honorees
Glenn Shelton ’57
J. Glenn Shelton of Chatham, Virginia, graduated from Ferrum Junior College in 1957 with an associate degree and eventually obtained a Master of Art in Teaching from the University of North Carolina. Shelton returned to Ferrum College in 1963 to teach math and has continued educational instruction for 58 years. He and his wife, Alice, are active members of the Ferrum College Golden Panthers. Shelton is also a member of the Watson Memorial United Methodist Church, the Chatham Lions Club, and Chatham First, a non-profit group that raises funds for projects within the town.
OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNI INDUCTEE – SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES AND PROFESSIONAL SCIENCES
Jessica Luther ’06
Jessica Luther, a native of Henry County, Virginia, graduated from Ferrum College in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She began her career at Ferrum College in June 2009 and currently serves as Director of Budgets. Luther obtained her MBA from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2013 and taught a business finance course at Ferrum College in 2016.
OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNI INDUCTEE – SCHOOL OF NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS
Samantha Smith-Herndon ’12
Samantha Smith-Herndon received her Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Ferrum College in 2012 and is currently working on her master’s degree through Virginia Tech. She is employed by The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research as a research associate and operates remote pilot-section 107 licensed agriculture drones to support analysis of agricultural production.
OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNI INDUCTEE – SCHOOL OF ARTS AND HUMANITIES
Kameron Wilds ’11
Kameron Wilds is a 2011 Ferrum College graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Christian Ministries. Wilds obtained a Master of Divinity from Duke University in 2015 and is currently a senior pastor at Smith Memorial United Methodist Church in Collinsville, Virginia. He took part in the creation of Helping Hands Thrift Store, participates in Kairos Prison Ministry, serves as a board member of the Institute for Biblical Exploration, and coaches middle school and junior varsity baseball.
Bruce Gossett ’63
Bruce Gossett of Rancho Murieta, California, was a placekicker and quarterback for Ferrum College in 1962. He has played with the Los Angeles Rams and the 49ers, and was named to the 1964 NFL All-Rookie Team. Gossett was a 1966 and 1969 NFL Pro Bowl Selection and led the NFL in scoring in 1966. He served as an NFL Player Rep from 1973-74, retired in 1974 and began managing advertisement for a Bay Area television station.
Jerry Venable ’68
Jerry Venable of Staunton, Virginia, played basketball for the Ferrum Junior College from 1966-68, where he earned All-Conference and All-America in 1968. He was eventually selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1970 NBA Draft and went on to play for the Harlem Globetrotters for 13 years. Additionally, Venable launched Learning Opportunities Through Sports (LOTS), a non-profit which promotes sports and educational activities for young people in the Greater Augusta area. He is a member of the Booker T. Washington Hall of Fame and the Virginia Interscholastic Heritage Association Hall of Fame.
Kevin Keatts ’95
Kevin Keatts of Cary, North Carolina, was a member of the Ferrum College men’s basketball team from 1992-95. He helped the Panthers win three Dixie regular season titles in 1992, 1993 and 1995. Keatts coached at Ferrum College from 1995-96 and went on to advance records as an assistant coach at Southwestern Michigan College, Marshall University and University of Louisville. He also served as a head coach at Hargrave Military Academy and University of North Carolina at Wilmington. In March 2017, Keatts was named Head Coach at North Carolina State University and led his first Wolfpack team to the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
Lalita Brim-Poindexter ’04
Lalita Brim-Poindexter of Salem, Virginia, was a member of the Ferrum College women’s cross country team from 2000-04. She is one of only five former Ferrum College athletes to be named to USA South All-Conference First Team for four consecutive years. Brim-Poindexter won individual titles in 2001 and led Ferrum College to USA South Team runner-up finishes from 2000-03. She earned her law degree in 2007 and currently owns and operates Poindexter Law, LLC in Salem.
Stacy Porter ’06
Stacy Porter of Radford, Virginia, was a member of the Ferrum College softball team from 2002-05. She was named USA South All-Conference First Team Selection, USA South Rookie Pitcher of the Year, and USA South Softball Tournament Most Valuable Player in 2002. Porter still holds the College’s record for season strikeouts (242 in 2002), career strikeouts (504 from 2002-05) and season innings pitched (217.2 in 2002). She is employed as a sales administrator at Thomson Linear in Radford.