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IRON BLADE Vol. 60, No. 8

SINCE 1955

60 Years of Ferrum College News

February, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembered At Ferrum College by AnnGardner Eubank On January 16, Ferrum College honored and celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. with a convocation in his honor. The featured speaker at the event was Dr. Walter Fluker, the editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of Ethical Leadership, and the Director of Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative for the Development of Ethical Leadership at Boston University School of Theology. Fluker, who seemed very proud of his culture and history, spread the word of the Reverend in his honor, speaking of justices and equality for all people. King is remembered for his strides and efforts towards the Civil Rights Movement and the fight for equality. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 along with many other decorations and awards. His strong and fearless leadership is much of what made for a stronger and more united America. Fluker spoke about the influence and leadership of King, along with present day issues facing minorities. Fluker spoke about the Civil Rights Movement and how much it had accomplished, and noted how powerful and inspiring leaders in the black community were

and still are in present day. He took a stance on the current political thoughts and worries that have been evident through the course of the recent presidential election. He used references and examples from the Civil Rights Movement to make comparisons and analysis of the present-day political spectrum. He talked about strong issues still facing African Americans, such as police brutality and limited opportunity in comparison to their white peers, similar to the times of Martin Luther King, Jr. He also spoke about the recent presidential election and how he thought it was harmful to the black community to have Trump in office. Alluding to foreign policies and borders and saying, “one injustice anywhere, is injustice everywhere.” Fluker was praised for his strong and emotional words. Hailey Meyer, a sophomore at Ferrum College, recalled the speech in a very positive and impactful manner, saying, “I thought Photo by Bobbi Guire it was very powerful and emotionally spiritual.” Fluker spoke passionately about King and his Not everyone was so positive. Ferrum message. senior, Tristan Ousterhout, said in regards of the political messages sent through the presentation, political messages, freshman Hunter Campbell “I understand that there’s issues going on right said, “I thought it was very left-winged and antinow, but he began generalizing all cops as being Donald Trump.” racist. As a criminal justice major, it just kind of The Iron Blade was unable to reach Fluker for a hit me the wrong way.” Also with thoughts on the response.

by AnnGardner Eubank On Thursday, January 19, Ferrum College President Joseph (Jody) Spooner addressed students, families, faculty, and members of the Ferrum community in Vaughn Chapel. Spooner hopes the address will become an annual tradition. The address covered what he hopes to see at Ferrum in the years to come. President Spooner spoke of his hopes to see the community come together as a group of prideful students, professors, alumni and staff. He wants his mantra, “Ferrum Forever,” to become a state of mind. He spoke about how tolerant, accepting, and special the community at Ferrum is, saying, “no one is a number at Ferrum,” and that each individual has a purpose and a place in this community. Along with the harmony found at Ferrum, he praised the civility of the community. President Spooner emphasised how proud he was of the students of Ferrum and how the world needs to be made aware of what Ferrum has to offer. He said the skills and civility embedded in students over the course of their time at Ferrum translates into the workplace, and overall, leads to success. He began speaking about the unique opportunity of learning at a liberal arts school. “We teach young people to be flexible and versatile,” Spooner said. He praised the college’s mission, “not self, but others,” by sharing his pride for serving some of the most vulnerable students in the nation, in regards to economic and

social backgrounds. President Spooner is filled with pride for the community, but is also aware of the challenges the college faces. He praised the financial aid staff for their work with families to make higher education a possibility for all students. However, he noted the retention rate at Ferrum College is not where it needs to be. The retention rate for students has been on a steady decline over the course of the past twenty five years. He said the return rate of students is down to 52% and that Ferrum’s geography limits student recruitment; it’s difficult for a liberal arts school in the mountains of southern Virginia to gain exposure. However, he did say that the geography is one of Ferrum’s greatest attributes to those familiar with the area, noting the incredible beauty and outdoor opportunity the college has. He noted that the greater majority of non-returning students are male students. “You cannot pinpoint a certain type of person,” he said, in regards of the declining returning student rate. The president urged faculty to develop strong relationships with their students, saying that simply taking time to know the students could make a huge impact. President Spooner wrapped up his address by saying how happy he was to be at Ferrum and how much potential he sees in the college. He plans on forming a student-advisory committee and a staff-advisory committee to help enhance different aspects of the college. He also encouraged

President Jody Spooner Holds Address in Vaughn Chapel:"State of the College"

campus-wide involvement and promotions to let the world know about Ferrum and all it has to offer. He urged everyone, regardless of position or age, to share ideas and thoughts with him. “It’s my job to lead, but it’s all of our jobs to share,” he said. The President seemed very optimistic about how Ferrum can grow and how with such a strong group of students and faculty, anything is possible.

Photo courtesey Felicia Woods

Jody Spooner delievered Ferrum College's first State of the College Adress on January 19th.

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Ski Trip Competition

by Niamh Sammon Setting the Spring 2017 Semester off to a cool start, Ferrum Outdoors hosted their annual ski trip competition this past week. Students, staff and faculty were invited to head to the Panthers Den to register for the chance to win a highly coveted prize: a free day trip to the Winter Green Ski Resort in Virginia. The prize included a free skiing lesson, breakfast and lunch, as well as transportation to the resort. Ferrum Outdoors makes the opportunity of skiing and snowboarding trips available to staff, students and faculty alike at the beginning of each semester. “ (The Competition) definitely draws interest from our community here at the college,” said a representative of Ferrum Outdoors. Approximately forty people entered to win. Ferrum Outdoors were pleased with such a popular response, “Students love getting a chance at free recreation trips. It's a great way to spark interest,” said the

representative. The winner, Professor José Manuel Gutiérrez, expressed excitement for the trip despite his lack of snow-sport experience. “I never learned how to skate so snowboarding might be difficult... And skiing, well, I think it might be easier to balance.” This has been his second bout of good luck at Ferrum College. He also won a discount at a Mexican restaurant during culture fest. Students can look forward to a multitude of Ferrum Outdoors’ activities and events in the coming months, including indoor rock climbing (2/2/17), a PEAKS Outdoor Instructor Workshop (2/4/17), Skiing and Snowboarding (2/11/17), Mountain Biking (3/8/17), and a Climbing Tower Session at the Ferrum Outdoors Ropes Course Facility (3/13/17).

Further details are available for interested groups and individuals at Ferrum Outdoors’ webpage.


Photo courtesey of Ferrum College Blogspot

Staff Writers, Photographers, and Other Contributors Co-Editors: Kaitlin Roeper, AnnGardner Eubank & Patrick Duggan Design Team: Kaitlin Roeper & Patrick Duggan Sports Editor: Graceanne Gershner Online Editor: Sarah Shuford Staff: CJ Reed, Bobbi Guire, Myles Francisco, Niamh Sammon, Tyler Van Allen, Kendall Jones

Letters Policy and Publication Details:

Opinions expressed in The Iron Blade do not necessarily reflect those of Ferrum College administration, staff, faculty, or students. The Iron Blade is published every other week during the academic year at Ferrum College, Ferrum, Va. It is designed on Apple computers and printed at JS Printing in Montgomery, Ala. Material may be reprinted with the advisor’s written permission. To contact The Iron Blade, call 365-4304 or e-mail The crest on page one was designed by alumna Sandy Southard (’04) in 2005 and updated and colorized in 2009 by Glenn Thompson.

Join the Staff The Iron Blade is always looking for students who are interested in journalism, photography, or design. If you desire to contribute to The Iron Blade by being a writer, photographer, editor, or designer, please contact Tim Thornton at

Alumni Spotlight: Jarrett Green by Graceanne Gershner Jarrett Green, a 2016 Ferrum College graduate, has been adjusting and finding his way in the real-world. Green described his post-grad life as unreal. He mentioned seeing his friends who are still attending Ferrum on social media and truly misses being with them. He said, “Months after graduation, the feeling still hadn’t hit me yet. Even after I saw all of my friends moving into their dorm rooms and I wasn’t there.” Green explained that he really does miss the college environment in comparison to being someone who is now a part of the working class. He jokingly mentioned the level of responsibility in college compared to his post-grad career. He jokes, “When you’re in school, you have that option to skip class and take a nap or go on some adventure with your friends. There is no such thing as having days like that anymore in the real world.” He talked about how bills force someone into the transition from college to being on their own. He says, “Besides bills, I like to live an expensive lifestyle, so I constantly stay working.” Green lives in Washington D.C. and works two jobs; both as a personal trainer and working in the security field. For those who are about to graduate this year, Green had a few pearls of wisdom, “Stay optimistic, faithful, always have a backup plan. Live for tomorrow and not today’s satisfactions.” Lastly, he mentioned credit as being one of the most important things you need to take care of in your post-grad career, “Your credit is your lifeline, definitely always take care of that!”

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Ferrum Baseball Show: First Pitch With Ty Comer

by Graceanne Gershner Ferrum Baseball has a new star that shines not just on the field, but off as well. Senior infielder and communications major Ty Comer is the host of Ferrum Baseball-based (no pun intended) show called, First Pitch with Ty Comer. Ty said the idea for the show originally came from Gary Holden. “He had already set my buddy up with The First and Ten Show with football coach, Rob Coach Grande. So he asked me if I would be interested in doing the

weekly coach’s show for baseball,” Comer said. As far as what the show will be about, Ty mentioned the first show will be an overview of the year ahead for the team. He said, “We’ll show stuff like expectations, maybe a small recap from last year, and where we rank in preseason polls.” After the first episode is up, the later shows will continue to recap the games from throughout the week. Elaborating on what else the show will offer, Comer said, “I’m sure

by Kendall Jones Ferrum, VA- On Friday night, January 27th 2017, Ferrum’s Men and Women's swim team dropped a pair of matchups against Sweet Briar College and Hampden-Sydney College. The women fell 93-68, and the men fell 160-32. Before the meet began, recognition was held for four Ferrum seniors. Melissa Teeple competed in the 200 yard medley relay and 500 yard freestyle; she placed first in both events. Teeple has been swimming for eight years. She is undecided on any future plans at the moment. Another senior swimmer for Ferrum, Emily Hargrove, competed in the 200 yard freestyle, 100 yard backstroke, and 100 yard breaststroke. Emily has been swimming since the age of 7 and plans on attending graduate school

after graduating from Ferrum. Mackenzie Borellis competed in the 200 medley, 100 yard breaststroke and 50 yard freestyle. Borellis placed first in the 50 yard freestyle and placed second in the 100 yard breaststroke. She has been swimming since the third grade and plans to take a break after graduating from Ferrum. Last, Kala Brubaker, who has been injured this season would have competed in 500 yard freestyle, 200 yard freestyle, and 100 yard backstroke. Kala has been swimming since her freshman year of high school and described her experience with Ferrum swimming as, “Amazing!” Ferrum Swim Coach, Mararet Parcell, spoke about this season. Coach Parcell has been the head coach at Ferrum for the past two years, having competed for Virginia Tech’s swim team immediately

by Graceanne Gershner Ferrum senior, Austin Winkles was a former player for the Ferrum baseball team. He came as a junior college transfer after using two years of eligibility at Danville Community College. With plans to come to Ferrum and only play for two seasons, Winkles suffered an injury and extended his time on the team to three years. Winkles seemed to have really enjoyed his time on the team. “The experience playing was

great! I got to play the game I love as well as make new and lifelong friends along the way,” Winkles said. Winkles was able to be part of a two-time championship winning team at Ferrum. “It was nice to win two rings and see all the hard work pay off.,” Winkles said. Since the former player has run out of NCAA eligibility, he now has the opportunity to coach for the Panthers. He is a volunteer coach primarily working with outfielders.“It is

we’ll have interviews of players if their schedules allow it.” Ty s e e m e d m o r e t h a n enthusiastic about covering other athletic teams as well as his own. “I would love to cover them! Coaches can feel free to set the weekly show up with Gary and I’d be happy to help them. Anything to give me more experience and help with learning other sports would be cool for me,” Comer said. The show can be viewed on the Ferrum Athletic webpage.

Photo Courtesey of Ferrum Athletics

Ferrum Swim Team Sinks in ODAC Matchup on Senior Night

Photo Courtesey of Ferrum Athletics

Seniors celebrate their senior year with their parents for a last swim meet.

before. She said her experience coaching for Ferrum has been, “Simply great. Coming in as a new coach was different but I love it!” Parcell plans to get a bigger team during next year’s recruiting

class. “We only can move up for the next years to come," she said. "These seniors were an awesome asset to the team and will greatly be missed next year!”

Senior Austin Winkles Takes Coaching Position on Baseball Team

a little weird, but I enjoy it. I do try opportunity presented itself to where to take it seriously, but sometimes I could come back to Ferrum and it is hard, seeing as most of them I coach I would do it,” Winkles said. did play with. They take it seriously most of the time because they know we have to get our work done,” said Winkles. Winkles has such a love for baseball, he plans to keep the sport in his life after he graduates. “I do want to coach after graduation. My minor here is coaching so that’s something I really want to do,” he said. “If the

Catch Up With What's Going On In Men's Basketball And Wrestling Men's Basketball by C.J. Reed On Wednesday, January 25, the Men’s Basketball team hosted the Greensboro College Pride in a USA South Conference showdown. The Panther started off with a tough battle going back and forth with the Pride throughout most of the first quarter. Due to some turnovers late in the second half, Greensboro took a 39-29 lead into halftime. More turnovers in second half allowed the Pride to keep the lead. After a great surge and smothering

game. Some clutch free throws by D.J. Christian and D’Andre Mullen the Panthers a lead with 5 seconds left in the game. Strong defense kept the Pride from making a quality shot. Ferrum completed the comeback with a 68-66 victory.

photo by Myles Francisco

Rashad Reed takes free throw.

Panther defense, Ferrum mounted a comeback. After Greensboro lead by as many as 10 points, the Panthers came back within a minute of the

losses, including a first place finish in the 2017 Builder Invitational, hosted by The Apprentice School on January 22. Four of the Panthers won individual titles, while three placed third. The panthers finished the month at the Pete WillsonWheaton Invitational, finishing Men's Wrestling second among 34 teams. Sophomore by Tyler Van Allen Collin Saunders and senior Logan The men’s wrestling team Meister both won individual awards started off the second half of their in their respective weight classes. 2016-17 season with high hopes Ferrum comes home for the for a strong finish. Finishing with Panther Open on February 4 at the a January record of 5 wins and 4 campus YMCA.

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Theatre Department Presents 'Cabaret' by Bobbi Guire "Cabaret" is a musical based on the original book by Christopher Isherwood, with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb and book adaptation on the musical is by Joe Masteroff. The show is based off two or more people that Christopher Isherwood knew in his time in Berlin. The show is about the Kit Kat Klub, a failing Berlin nightclub in the 1930s, in business. The Master of Ceremonies welcomes the audience to the show and assures them that they will forget their troubles at the Cabaret, he introduces of the Cabaret Girls all in the first number. The entire orchestra will be onstage during the production. The show begins with Cliff, a young American writer, meeting Ernst, a German who surprises Cliff by putting his briefcase among Cliff’s luggage at the German border. Cliff meets Sally, a performer at the Cabaret, and they develop a close relationship that develops over the course of the musical. Musical numbers include Willkommen, Cabaret, Mein Herr, and Two Ladies. The show has been revived four times in London and three times on Broadway. The only versions available are the original, the 1986, and the 1998 versions. The Ferrum Theatre department will be performing the 1998 version, which

is much darker, with a very minimal approach to the set. According to director Giuseppe Ritorto, Cabaret was chosen because of its relevance to current events. “I feel that the story of cabaret echoes the political atmosphere that we are living today,” Ritorto said. In phrasing he said, “Without history and studying our past we are in danger of repeating it” Ritorto wants to create a direct communication between the performers and the audience; he is directing the actors to break the fourth wall, the imaginary wall between the audience and the actors, repeatedly during the show. “We are breaking down the wall between the cast and the audience,” Ritorto said. “The actors will be directly interacting with the audience. A part Brechtian style is to alienate the audience. We don't want the audience to react to the story but to react to the world in which the characters are living in.” Sophomore Mariah Banks was chosen to play the role of Sally. “I love having fun as Sally and just knowing that the character absolutely has no limits,” Banks said. The show is set to open 30 March and run until 2 April. This show contains strong language and themes. The cast includes Master of Ceremonies (Emcee):

Above: The cast poses in excitement after the cast list has been released.

by Myles Francisco On January 19, the Laser Tank team had an obstacle course where remote-controlled tanks battled each other. Do not let the size of the tanks fool you. Those tanks were difficult to maneuver. Constant gameplay is required to gain the skill of controlling the tanks. Amanda Divers (senior), who attended the event had this to say,“I liked how the

tanks actually moved and functioned like real tanks however lit up every time they had been shot by another tank’s laser. The student stated that they were quiet realistic to the eye.” The only thing this student didn’t like was a delayed response the tank had after it had been shot. Ty r e k e Wa s h i n g t o n (sophomore), who managed to get

his hands on one of the tanks thought it was a great way to relieve any built up stress. The student stated how “friendly” the atmosphere allowed the students to meet other people. The Tanks were controlled with wireless controllers. There were buttons on the controllers that controlled the direction guns pointed and triggers that allowed for the tank’s mobilization. After playing

Photo by Bobbi Guire

Zach Reyes Sally Bowles: Mariah Banks Clifford Bradshaw: Malcolm McRae Ernst Ludwig: Karl Roeper

Lulu: Jasmine Williams Frenchie and Gorilla: Seleste Cowie Texas: Kathryn Bonner Fräulein Kost: Sierra Pearson

Customs Official, Herman and Max: Marie Mance Helga: Kayla Messenger Fräulein Schneider: Jamie Gilbert

Bobby: Darrian Marshall

Rudy and Hans: Marquis Lee

Victor: Rachel Hancock

Herr Schultz: Adam McAllister

Kit Kat Girls: Lacey Matthews, Lechelle Smith, Alyssa Herman, and Angel Hazzard

Rosie: Fox Yates

Laser Tanks Battle in Panther's Den

for a while, you get a feel for the tanks and how to maneuver across the obstacle course without being detected. Overall, the Lazar Tank obstacle course battle was a success. Not only did it bring in a supporting crowd, but it brought in a crowd that was not afraid to meet new people and have a good-time.

Photos by Myles Francisco

Above: Students battle in the Panthers Den in an obstacle course that took place in the Panther's Den. Right: A close up of what the tanks that were used to battle looked like.

Profile for Ferrum College

February 2017  

February 2017