FERRUM, Va., March 24 -- Ferrum College issued the following news release:
Ferrum College alumnus Alfred "Al" Midgett '79 will serve as the College's next Executive in Residence on Thurs., March 27, 2014. Midgett is an author, founder of The Noblemen, and father of a miracle son who inspired an entire grassroots movement to change lives and empower others to do "Noble Deeds." In addition to sharing his career experiences with students in a number of classes, Midgett will give a keynote address to which the public is invited in the Blue Ridge Mountain Room in Franklin Hall at 11:15 a.m. His talk may also be viewed streaming live online at www.ferrum.edu/streaming.
Midgett received a bachelor of social work in 1979 from Ferrum College. After three unsuccessful years of trying to start their family, he and his wife Margaret received the good news that they were expecting a child. Their son was born 17 weeks premature with very low odds of survival. After four months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, their tiny son came home on Midgett's birthday. The family faced insurmountable debt of over $560,000 and had no health insurance but friends and neighbors came to their aid.
In his effort to "balance the gift" and show his appreciation of all the help he and his wife had received, Midgett formed The Robin Hoods of Virginia Beach. This small group grew to over 300 members over 17 years and performed many good deeds for others. After learning that their chosen name was owned and trademarked, the group was renamed The NobleMen in 2006.
The NobleMen example has evolved into a philanthropic model for other communities and benefits deserving children in need as well as participants and donors. The organization has since grown to include NobleWomen, NobleTeens, NobleKids and even NoblePets.
Midgett's specialties are leadership, community service, branding, event organization, writing and public speaking. In 2012 he published his story in a book entitled Normal to Noble - a fun and engaging manual for nonprofits. In October 2013 Midgett was honored by his alma mater and received the Ferrum College Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes a graduate who has made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments, affiliations, and careers exemplify the spirit of the College's motto, "Not Self, But Others."
The Executive in Residence initiative at Ferrum College brings the real world business experience of current and retired business professionals to campus. Guest executives tour the College, audit classes, interact with students and faculty, and are asked to deliver a lecture sharing their personal experiences and philosophies. Speakers offer insight on the knowledge, skills and leadership qualities necessary for a successful business career.
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