Ferrum College: A Centennial of Sports

Jerry Little and Bear Bryant

The “Ideal” FTS Student

Berta Thompson

The 1917–18 handbook described the type of student Ferrum was seeking as: Rural and likely to continue living in the country Financially challenged Morally upright Physically capable Mentally capable Willing to work Non-smoker Non-drinker At least 14 years old

The Ferrum Branch Schools

Trinity School

Though grades one through six were dropped from the main campus program in the first few years, Ferrum Training School did not forget the needs of younger mountain children. In 1918 Ferrum began building a system of rural elementary “branch schools.” Seven were built—one in Franklin County, one in Floyd County, four in Patrick County, […]

Earning An Education

FTS Sawmill

In signing their admission contracts, FTS students agreed to work for the school without pay, a common model at “mission schools” throughout the country. Exceptions to Ferrum’s labor requirement were rare, in part because the administration wanted to foster a sense of equality among students. The workers reduced operating costs and gave the school a […]

The Beckham Era

As founder and first principal, Dr. Benjamin Beckham (1868–1957) was the guiding force at Ferrum from 1913 to 1935. He managed FTS campus operations, oversaw the branch schools, and still taught a course each term. Dr. Beckham held a deep sympathy for the needs of students, but he is also remembered as a firm disciplinarian. […]

Rules of Life at Ferrum

Student playin guitar

A young person arriving at Ferrum Training School could expect a first-class education, but attending Ferrum meant much more. Student life included regular meals, comfortable housing, health care, clubs, sports, religious activities, and the chance to socialize daily with peers. For many, the difference between home life and the Ferrum environment was dramatic. Within this […]

Celebrating 100 Years…

Ferrum Training School, circa 1916

“We have a wonderful school at Ferrum and it will be worth more to you to graduate at Ferrum than it would be to inherit a fortune of thousands.” –Undated letter from Dr. Benjamin Beckham to a prospective student, circa 1925-30. “Where the Need Seemed the Greatest” The celebration of Ferrum College’s 100th anniversary naturally […]

Times They Were a-Changin’!

National Championship '65

Student profiles and student life both took on new looks through the 1960s and ’70s. The old profile was rewritten by the growing enrollment of young people from all across the Commonwealth and nearby states. More urban students and minority students considered FJC as an educational option. Ferrum’s church connections remained important—about half of the […]

Centennial Wall: Educating

Ferrum College Centennial Wall

Centennial Wall: Enriching

Ferrum College Centennial Wall
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