Ferris in the Limelight
As soon as he had arrived at Ferris in the spring of 1971, Ewigleben began to immerse himself in the W.N. Ferris philosophy.
As a result, in November of 1971, Ewigleben said: "I think there is nothing more tragic in education than turning out students who understand all about life but nothing about making a living." This sparked a United Press International story carried by newspapers nationwide.
The news story served as a springboard for CBS to include Ferris in a documentary on higher education, and, in early January, a CBS crew spent several days on campus filming sequences for the documentary.
Entitled "Higher Education, Who Needs It?" the show aired a few weeks later on prime time.
This in turn brought hundreds of inquiries to Ferris about admission at a time when enrollments were beginning to dwindle at the more traditional colleges and universities.
Not too many of the inquiring students could be accommodated because Ferris still had waiting lists for many of its specialized programs.
After the CBS show, the Asia Foundation invited Ewigleben to the Philippines to give counsel in the development of technical programs there. This visit led to another invitation from the Asia Foundation to set up exchange programs between Ferris and Malaysia for the technical education of Malaysian students.
There was a lot of talk about new President Ewigleben putting Ferris into the limelight of the "big leagues."
But this honeymoon was short lived.