SALEM, VA-Two Roanoke College alumni were honored during Alumni Weekend with the Roanoke College Medal, the highest honor for alumni. And the Roanoke College Medal is not the first thing the two alumni have in common. David Ferguson, of Tallahasee, Fla., and John Stafford, of Jonesborough, Tenn., are both graduates of the Class of 1957, and both are brothers of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity. Each also served as a fraternity officer during their student days. Both were even economics majors and enjoyed successful careers.
Ferguson's outstanding 30-year career with the Florida Department of Transportation began in 1973. He served as statewide Director of Human Resources for 10,000 DOT employees. Under his tenure, an entire Personnel System for the Florida DOT was developed, a system that was later used by the Florida Legislature as the basis for its overall State Career Service reform.
In 2001, Ferguson was selected as one of only ten transportation officials in the U.S. for participation in the International Study Tour on Transportation Workforce Development. This study included visits to Sweden, Germany, France and the United Kingdom during which he met with both public and private employers and officials and then helped to finalize a report of recommendation for use by Federal and State Transportation Agencies.
After his retirement in 2003, Ferguson was certified by the Supreme Court of Florida as a Mediator for the Court System. He currently volunteers one day a week in the Florida Second Judicial Circuit Court System.
Prior to his work with Florida DOT, Ferguson served in the U.S. Navy and worked as a labor relations specialist at Dan River Mills in Danville, Va. He also served as personnel director for the City of Roanoke.
Ferguson is a Salem native. He and his wife, Rosemary Sanderlin Ferguson, are lifetime sustaining members of the Roanoke College Associates. They are members of the Society of 1842, and their bequest will establish the David and Rosemary Ferguson Scholarship for Roanoke College students.
Stafford is the chairman of Stafford Communications, Inc., the highly successfully advertising company he founded in 1979. The company specializes in outdoor billboard advertising and serves areas in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia.
Prior to founding his own company, his first jobs were in the moving and transfer business, working as branch manager for Lawrence Transfer, as a salesman for Knight Moving and Storage, and as vice president of Pitzer Transfer. In 1965, Stafford became national account manager for Xerox Corporation, working in Danville and Roanoke. After eleven years with Xerox, he left to become general manger of Woodie Outdoor Advertising in Kingsport.
Stafford, a native of Bland, Va., has been active in many professional and civic organizations. He served as president of the Tri-Cities Metro Ad Federation, treasurer of the Virginia Outdoor Advertising Association and on the board of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America. He has received the Silver Medal Award from the American Advertising Federation. Stafford currently serves as chairman of the National Brain Injury Treatment and Training Foundation, an organization that is close to his heart.
Stafford and his wife, Shirley Lawhorn Stafford, are longtime members of the Roanoke College Associates. They are members of the Society of 1842, where they have endowed a scholarship at Roanoke in honor of their daughter, Jennifer K. Stafford. Stafford serves as chair of the Southwest Virginia/East Tennessee Roanoke Alumni Chapter, which he helped to establish.
Roanoke College, the country's second oldest Lutheran-related college, is an independent, co-educational, four-year liberal arts college. Roanoke is one of just 276 colleges nationwide with a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. The Princeton Review names Roanoke as one of the "best in the Southeast." Roanoke's 1,900 students represent 41 states across the U.S. and 25 foreign countries.
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