Ferrum College Giving Societies gather to celebrate ‘giving’


FERRUM, VA – Ferrum College Arthur, 1913, and Beckham Giving Society members gathered on Saturday, Sept. 10 to celebrate the impact of the $3.2 million the College received during the 2021–2022 fiscal year. Donors enjoyed a luncheon, and a keynote address from President David Johns, and met two students – Makayla Fincanon and JaQuice Sydnor – who shared how the ongoing financial support to the college made their college experience possible.

JaQuice Sydnor (left) and Makayla Fincanon

Fincanon, a junior Political Science major, explained how the sense of community at Ferrum has equipped her to dream big and pursue a career as a criminal law attorney.

“Ferrum made me believe no dream is too big. With such a small community you have someone in your corner, some connection, and someone helping you achieve your dreams every day. Ferrum made me realize the sky truly is the limit when you have such a strong foundation of people rooting for you. [It] made me a go-getter [who] turned my dreams into plans,” said Fincanon.

Attendees also heard from Sydnor, a junior Recreation Leadership major, who shared his inspirational story of overcoming a difficult childhood to being a senior at college. He detailed how he has learned much more than academics during his Ferrum College experience, including the importance of perspective, financial responsibility, and mental health.

“Ferrum put great people in my life to hold expectations for me and point out the greatness I had inside of me. I would like to thank Ferrum for accepting me as one of their own and pushing the boy in me to become a man. The values I now carry with me every day were born in this very place,” said Sydnor, who continued, “I look forward to walking across the stage as a graduate of Ferrum College next spring. I know that my possibilities are endless.”

Over the past three years, Ferrum has experienced a 62% increase in giving from $1.9 million in 2020 to $3.2 million in 2022, which includes $835,000 in scholarships and another $600,000 in grants providing students with academic and financial support. Giving society members also supported capital improvement projects including updating the soon-to-be-named Vickie Van Kleeck Softball Complex; a new driving range for the men’s and women’s golf teams; and the establishment of the Richard L. Smith Center for International Programs in memory of Richard Smith, a longtime history professor at the College who passed away in 2021.

Vice President for Institutional Advancement Wilson Paine thanked donors for continuing to make attending Ferrum College possible for so many students. Paine noted the importance of not only focusing on cost but also recognizing the value of the entire educational experience.

“The students who shared their stories reflect Ferrum’s worth and the difference it has made in their lives,” said Paine.