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Student Life, Athletics before 2000: Athletics in Pictures

Join us in celebrating the talented and amazing athletes and athletic directors (coaches, staff, etc.) who have graced Ferrum College's campus with their knowledge, spirit, and sportsmanship. While sports existed at Ferrum prior to the 1950s, they were small scale - games were only local more often than not, or regional at best. That began to change with the 1954-1970 presidency of Dr. Ralph Arthur. Along with modernizing Ferrum's buildings and classes, he also wanted to modernize Ferrum's athletics. Dr. Arthur started a football program, which would soon be headed by the legendary Hank Norton, and widened the scope of who and where Ferrum teams played. By the early 1960s they were playing other colleges through the Eastern U.S.

Ferrum expanded its sports roster through the 1960s, including adding softball, tennis, women's swimming, and track and field. 
Ferrum had female athletes from its early days, but women's athletics on campus skyrocketed after the hiring of Carol Sandige in 1965. She expanded women's sports and physical education in general, and helped Ferrum become a charter member of the Virginia Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (VAIAW). 
When Ferrum started accepting African-American students in 1966, its first such student was Jerry Venable, who played on Ferrum's basketball team. Through the 1960s, Ferrum built Swartz Gym, Adams Stadium, Panther Field, and the Norton Fieldhouse. In 1968, Ferrum's football team won the NCAA national championship. 
The 1970s and 1980s saw a proliferation of new sports on campus, including soccer, volleyball, women's golf, and the equestrian program. 
Ferrum's football team continued winning national championships through the 1970s, with its fourth and final win in 1977.
Ferrum joined the NCAA Division III in 1985, and was granted membership in the Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It began league play in 1988.