Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Happy Birthday, Ferrum!!

by Laken P., Panther Blogger

Homecoming is always one of the most magical times of the year, but this year happened to be extra special. Not only was it Homecoming weekend last weekend, but it was also Ferrum College's big Centennial celebration!  Not many students get to say that they went to a school as it turned 100 years old, so this Homecoming was made to be one that will always be a special part of Ferrum's history.  When looking back at the history of Ferrum, it is easy to see what great progress and advancement a century has brought along.  From a small Junior College founded in 1913 to the beautiful and close-knit family that is Ferrum College today, the school has seen a large change in academics, enrollment, athletics, and student life outside the classroom. 

The spirit of Ferrum's growth and the promise of the future inspired this Homecoming celebration to be one that I will never forget. Panther Pride definitely rang true in every heart across campus as alumni, family, and friends all joined to not only watch the Black Hats on the field, but also celebrate a place that holds a large part of their heart.

The activities on campus included a parade and fireworks, cookouts and a large tailgate, concerts, poster-decorating, dedications and initiations, dress-up days, the crowning of the Homecoming Court, and of course every Panther's favorite occasion:  a Ferrum win!

Friday night kicked off the celebration with a BBQ dinner and a parade.  All of the clubs and student organizations took place in the parade, along with distinguished alumni and outside community groups. All of the student organizations had the opportunity to design and create a banner to enter into the contest, and each of the banners were carried in the parade to display all of the designs.  Once the parade was complete, there were several concerts ranging from local cover bands to a hip hop violinist. After the concerts, the night concluded with a big fireworks show over the lake!

Day two of the Centennial Celebration brought the Homecoming game.  The morning started with the Panther Tracks 5k run to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. After the run, the tailgate began in Bassett Field. Food, family, and fun were the center of the tailgate as many students, sports, and clubs gathered to prepare to cheer on the Black Hats. There were also several alumni games hosted by various sports teams. At 12:30 p.m., a time capsule was sealed and buried to be opened at Ferrum's Sesquicentennial at the Homecoming Game in 2063.  The capsule included a photograph of current students, faculty, and staff, a donated National Championship Football ring, and several other items that hold a special place in the heart of the Ferrum family.  After the ceremonies ended, it was time for the real center of the weekend to begin - Ferrum football!  The Panthers pulled out a win in an exciting finish to beat the Pride of Greensboro, 31 - 21!

It was such an experience to see so many past Panthers gathered in once place to cheer on the current students and athletes in celebration of the Centennial.  I had the honor of meeting the Sports Hall of Fame inductees and the members of the National Championship football teams, all of whom still say that they will always call Ferrum home. The memories of this weekend have been in the making for 100 years, and it was definitely an indescribable experience to be able to cheer on the sidelines of such a meaningful game!  I will never forget the importance, remembrance, and celebration of this weekend as I think of all the Panthers before me and look forward to those who will come after.

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