Childress Visit and Book Signing Event to Begin Sports Speaker Series on Jan. 22

Ira Childress bookA Ferris State University alumnus returns to campus to kick off spring semester activities for the Sports Communications program’s Sports Speaker Series as Ira Childress visits on Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Sandy Alspach, a professor of Communication and the advisor to the Sports Communication program, said Childress, the athletic director for Gulliver Prep in Pinecrest, Florida, will speak at 6 p.m. that evening, in Room 111 of the College of Business building.

“We have had Ira visit, to kick off our Sports Speaker Series for several years,” Alspach said. “Sports Communication classes are active in the spring semester, and his talks have allowed us to celebrate the wider successes of our program. The campus and community will all be welcome, as we plan to have copies of Ira’s book, ‘Beating the Odds, from Poverty to Prominence’ available for purchase that evening.”

A book sale and signing event will take place from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. in the IRC connector prior to his 6 p.m. event.

Childress, a Baldwin native who earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Speech Communication, in 2003, and completed his Master of Science in Career and Technical Education, in 2005, was also a member of Ferris State’s football program in the late 1990s.

Chapbook Press is the publisher of the book, a collection of stories from Childress’ youth and adulthood to chronicle his journey through life and sport.

“I anticipate that Ira’s book will capture the thoughts and wisdom he has shared with our students over his many visits in support of the Sports Communication program,” Alspach said. “He was able to accomplish lofty goals, having come from a simple background to succeed as a student-athlete, then as an employee at Ferris. His story really speaks to achievement through effort, and how Ferris can be that catalyst to inspire the pursuit of excellence.”

The Sports Communication program, Ferris’ Sports Careers Institute and the Sports Careers registered student organization are the sponsors for this event. Alspach welcomes inquiries by email for more information or regarding accommodations to attend the event.