|Fork Union Military Academy
|Joe Ehrmann to speak at FUMA
Fork Union, Virginia - August 27, 2008 -Joe Ehrmann, the inspiring speaker and subject of the Pulitzer Prize winning book "Season of Life" is coming to Fork Union once again. The ordained minister and 13-year veteran of the National Football League will address the Fork Union Military Academy Corps of Cadets on Wednesday, September 10th at 2:00 p.m. in the Wicker Chapel. A second presentation will be given at 6:30 p.m. that same evening in the Beatty Library. These events are open to the public.
Ehrmann's long-standing relationship with FUMA
After an outstanding college career as an All-American at Syracuse
University, Ehrmann was drafted 10th overall in the first round of the
1973 NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts. Ehrmann played with the Colts
for eight years, and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1978. He finished
his NFL career with the Detroit Lions as part of their vaunted
defensive line in the early 1980s.
Mr. Ehrmann has had a long-standing relationship with Fork Union Military Academy. His younger brother Billy attended the Academy while Joe was starring in the National Football League as a defensive lineman. Billy's untimely death from cancer in 1978 was one of the life-changing experiences that drew Joe Ehrmann more deeply into a life of service off the field.
Service off the field
In the same year Ehrmann played in the Pro Bowl, he watched his brother Billy lose his fight with cancer. This experience caused Ehrmann to rethink and reorder his priorities in life. Ehrmann spearheaded the construction of a Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore in memory of Billy. In the off-season, Ehrmann attended classes at Dallas Theological Seminary and, following his football career, he graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, specializing in urban ministry. He was ordained in 1985.
In the years since then, Joe and his wife Paula created Building Men and Women for Others, an organization that addesses many societal challenges including violence, child advocacy, and much more. They also co-founded "The Door," a community center in inner-city Baltimore. He has also served as a pastor of the 4,000-member Grace Fellowship Church in Baltimore.
Still, Ehrmann has found time for some football.
Season of Life
In 2004, author Jeffrey Marx (who first met Ehrmann as a ball-boy for the Baltimore Colts) chronicled Joe Ehrmann's work as the volunteer defensive coordinator for the Gilman School football team, an all-boys school in Baltimore. At Gilman, Ehrmann put into practice his teachings about how to build boys into men.
"As a young boy, I'm going to compare
my athletic ability to yours and compete for whatever attention that
brings," Ehrmann told Marx. "When I get older, I'm going to compare my girlfriend to yours
and compete for whatever status I can acquire by being with the
prettiest or the coolest or the best girl I can get. Ultimately, as
adults, we compare bank accounts and job titles, houses and cars, and
we compete for the amount of security and power that those represent.
"Those are the three lies that make up what I call 'false
masculinity.' The problem is that it sets men up for
tremendous failures in our lives. Because it gives us this concept that
what we need to do as men is compare what we have and compete with
others for what they have.
compare, we compete. That's all we ever do. It leaves most men feeling
isolated and alone. And it destroys any concept of community."
Ehrmann emphasized a new way to define masculinity: Being a man means
emphasizing relationships and having a cause bigger than yourself.
"Masculinity, first and foremost, ought to be defined in terms of
relationships," Ehrmann says. "It ought to be taught in terms of the
capacity to love and to be loved. It comes down to this: What kind of
father are you? What kind of husband are you? What kind of coach or
teammate are you? What kind of son are you? What kind of friend are
you? Success comes in terms of relationships.
"And then all of us
ought to have some kind of cause, some kind of purpose in our lives
that's bigger than our own individual hopes, dreams, wants and desires.
At the end of our life, we ought to be able to look back over it from
our deathbed and know that somehow the world is a better place because
we lived, we loved, we were other-centered, other-focused."
Marx's book, "Season of Life", became a New York Times best-seller and winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
|Ehrmann's return to FUMA is much anticipated
continues in high demand as a motivational speaker, teacher, coach, and
advocate. He has brought his inspiring message to FUMA previously, and
those who recall his appearance at Fork Union are looking forward to
Following his visit in 2005, cadets were inspired to
raise funds for the Baltimore Ronald McDonald House that was founded by
Ehrmann and has served over 35,000 families since its opening.
His appearance at FUMA is being sponsored jointly by the Payne Greater Issues Forum and the FUMA Parents' Association.
|About Fork Union Military Academy
Fork Union Military Academy in Fork Union, Virginia, is a college
preparatory, military boarding school for young men in Grades 6
through 12 and postgraduates. Affiliated with the Baptist General
Association of Virginia and open to those of all religious
denominations, Fork Union was founded in 1898 and has a rich
tradition promoting character, leadership, and scholarship.
Upper School students follow a unique "One-Subject Plan" of
study, concentrating on a single major subject every seven
Call 1-800-GO-2-FUMA (1-800-462-3862) for more information
Success stories begin here.
|Fork Union Military Academy
Director of Communications