Born & Raised In Ferrum

By AnneGardner EubankMax Harper

In a rural town of 2,043 people, it’s not unusual for those who grow up in towns like Ferrum to wonder what else is out there in the world. Max Harper, a senior at Ferrum College, was born, raised, and attends school all in the small mountain town of Ferrum, and can’t wait to see what the rest of the world has to offer. I sat down with Max to ask him a few questions on what it was like to spend his entire life here, and what he thinks Ferrum College means to the town.

Max has lived in Ferrum for two decades. “Twenty one years on Sunday!” Max told me. When I talked to him about growing up in Ferrum and what it meant to him, he did not think he would be here as long as he has.

“Originally, I had planned to go to another school in North Carolina as an athlete,” Harper said. “But I tore my ACL and decided to come to Ferrum and I stayed.” While the town of Ferrum is small and may seem a bit isolated, Max had a bit of a different approach to the location of his hometown. “You’re semi-close to a lot of different places. You’re forty minutes away from the lake, an hour from Radford and Tech, and an hour or so from Greensboro; it’s a good central place.”

Max went on to say that having a positive outlook when it comes to living in such a remote area like Ferrum is not uncommon. Harper says the biggest difference between the town of Ferrum and Ferrum College is the attitude.

“From what I’ve seen, most people who live in Ferrum don’t complain about it, while some students do,” Harper said.

Undeniably, Ferrum College is a key part to the town. “If the college weren’t here, the town would be dead,” Harper said. “It would just be a bump in the road. You would blink your eyes and miss it.”

While Max may have lived here his entire life, he told me he does not plan on staying here. “Once I graduate, I’m heading straight to the beach,” Harper said. “Charleston, South Carolina, to be exact. I eventually would like to go to the College of Charleston and get my law degree.”

In any town, school, or community, there are always positives and negatives. While Max talked about his appreciation for the location of his hometown, he definitely had some strong complaints. I asked him what the worst part of living in Ferrum was: “No Chipotle. 120,000%. The very worst part.”

While Max has lived and learned his entire life in Ferrum, he is excited to see what the rest of the world has to offer, and hopefully he will find a place with several Chipotle locations.

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