Furman University

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Furman University
Furman U Seal.png
Motto Christo et Doctrinae
Motto in English For Christ and Learning
Established 1826
Type Private
Baptist (historical)
Endowment $592 million [1] Beneficiary of Duke Endowment
President Elizabeth Davis
Academic staff 308
Undergraduates 2,662
Postgraduates 115
Location Greenville, South Carolina, USA
Campus Suburban
750-acre (304 ha)
Colors Purple & White          
Athletics Division ISoCon
Sports 20 varsity teams
Nickname Paladins
Mascot Paladin
Affiliations NAICU
Annapolis Group
Website www.furman.edu
Furman Logo.png

Furman University is a private, coeducational liberal arts college in Greenville, South Carolina, United States. Furman is South Carolina's oldest private university. Founded in 1826, Furman enrolls approximately 2,700 undergraduate students on its 750-acre (304 ha) campus. The university was named for Richard Furman of Charleston, SC, a prominent minister and president of the first Baptist convention in America, the Triennial Convention.[2] In the South during recent years, Furman University graduates have earned more Ph.D. degrees than those from any other southern private liberal arts college, according to a survey conducted by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center.[3] Today Furman offers majors and programs in 42 subjects. Most of Furman's 2,700 undergraduates are from the South Atlantic region, but 46 states and 53 foreign countries are represented in its student population. Furman is a member of Associated Colleges of the South.


1909 postcard of Furman University

Furman Academy and Theological Institution was established by the South Carolina Baptist Convention and incorporated in December 1825 in Edgefield, but was moved to the High Hills of the Santee (now Stateburg, South Carolina) in 1829 because of financial difficulties. When the school was threatened with financial collapse again in 1834, the Reverend Jonathan Davis, chairman of the Board of Agents, urged the board to move the school to his native Fairfield County, South Carolina. It was not until 1851 that South Carolina Baptists were able to raise the necessary funds for the removal of the school to Greenville, South Carolina. The Furman Institution Faculty Residence serves as a visible reminder of the early history of Furman University and its brief establishment in Fairfield County.[4][5]

The first school building from the downtown Greenville campus was transported to the current campus, where it still stands. In 1933, students from the Greenville Women's College began attending classes with Furman students. Shortly thereafter, the two schools merged to form the present institution.

In 1956 Furman began construction on its new campus, just five miles (8 km) north of downtown Greenville. Classes on the new campus began in 1958. Now a private, secular university, Furman was founded by, and affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention before separating after the 1991-92 academic year. The university's motto remains Christo et Doctrinae (For Christ and Learning). According to Furman University's official website, the university "is rooted in the non-creedal, free church Baptist tradition which has always valued particular religious commitments while insisting not only on the freedom of the individual to believe as he or she sees fit but also on respect for a diversity of religious perspectives...". Furman University is part of the Duke Endowment and has been a beneficiary of the endowment since 1926. The Duke Endowment is a private foundation established by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke. The market value of the Duke Endowment's assets have grown to approximately $3.5 billion. From 1924-2007, the Duke Endowment has given Furman $110 million,[6] which is 5% of the Duke Endowment's total awards.

Elizabeth Davis became Furman University’s 12th President July 1, 2014. A noted scholar, teacher, author, and administrator, Davis came to Furman from Baylor University in Texas, where she served as Executive Vice President and Provost. She succeeded Interim President Carl F. Kohrt, who took over after Rod Smolla resigned for personal reasons after holding the top post for nearly three years. David Shi, a noted historian, author and champion of sustainability, served as the university’s president 1994-2010.


Furman offers majors and programs in 42 subjects. Undergraduates come from 46 states and 53 countries. Furman has produced six Rhodes scholars and 17 Truman scholars.[7]

The Bell Tower, an icon of the university

The middle 50 percent of SAT scores for the class entering Fall 2010 had the ranges: Verbal: 590 to 690, Quantitative: 590 to 690, Total: 1200 to 1380.[8] However, neither SAT nor ACT scores are required for admission.[9]

All students must complete general education requirements as part of the liberal arts curriculum. The general education requirements include mind and body wellness, textual analysis, two natural sciences, math/formal reasoning, two empirical studies of human behavior, history, ultimate question, foreign language, and world culture.


The university's engaged learning academic program, which promotes problem-solving, project-oriented, experience-based education, has received high praise from The Princeton Review, Peterson's Competitive Colleges, The Fiske Guide to Colleges and The College Board College Handbook. Furman is consistently ranked one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. Furman was ranked no. 10 in Washington Monthly's "Top U.S. Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings" based on its production of research valuable to society and its commitment to national service.[10] In addition, U.S. News and World Report ranked Furman 41st in its 2010 list of the nation's top liberal arts schools and also included Furman in its rankings of the top 25 schools for undergraduate research and creative projects. The Princeton Review featured Furman in its "Best 378 Colleges" list and named Furman a "Best Southeastern College." The James B. Duke Library also received special attention, being ranking no. 7 in "Best College Library." Most recently, Forbes ranked Furman no. 14 in its list of top Southern colleges and universities and no. 76 nationwide.

In terms of the quality of the students, Furman was ranked no. 30 in the SSRN's "U.S Colleges and Universities Preference Rankings" based on the choice to enroll of high-achieving students.[11] The Chronicle of Higher Education noted Furman was no. 32 in the nation for the percentage of National Merit Scholars in its 2005-2006 freshman class.

Furthermore, publications have taken notice of Furman's demanding academics, as well as its environmental responsibility. Furman was ranked no. 2 in The Daily Beast's 2011 edition of "Most Rigorous Colleges in America" and no. 13 on Newsweek's list in 2012.[12] The Princeton Review featured Furman in its "Guide to 286 Green Colleges," where it received a green rating of 98, with 99 being the highest possible score. Additionally, the Sierra Club included Furman in its list of the top 50 eco-friendly universities in America.

By survey, The Princeton Review ranked Furman University as no. 9 in their top 10 most socially conservative schools in 2009.[13]


A 40-acre (16.2 ha) lake is a highlight of the 750-acre (304 ha) wooded campus.

Furman Lake, Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina

Paris Mountain State Park overlooks the lake and campus. Most buildings are of Georgian-style architecture. Many academic buildings and student residences stand around the lake, including the Bell Tower, which figures highly in school insignias and is a replica of the tower that once existed on the men's campus in downtown Greenville. Today, the campus is anchored by its newly expanded 128,000-square foot (12,000 m²) James B. Duke Library. Informally known as "The Country Club of the South," Furman was named one of the 362 most beautiful places in America by the American Society of Landscape Architects. The fall 1997 issue of Planning for Higher Education names Furman as a benchmark campus for its landscaping. The 1997 Princeton Review ranked Furman fifth in its list of beautiful campuses, based on student ratings of campus beauty. In 2011, Travel+Leisure listed Furman as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the United States. [14] Students are required to live on campus, except senior year when they may participate in a lottery for a chance to live off campus.

James B. Duke Library at Furman University

On the north side of the lake are the four Greenbelt housing cabins,[15] and the Cliffs Cottage, which is a "green" building built as a showcase home in conjunction with Southern Living magazine.[16] Most juniors and seniors live in North Village Apartments, located on the north side of the Cliffs Cottage. The remaining upperclassmen are either placed in dorm-style residence halls or enter a lottery to receive an apartment in The Vinings, an apartment complex next to campus owned by the university. There are two other residence complexes (called Lakeside and South Housing) which house freshmen and sophomores. The campus also includes an Asian Garden, the centerpiece of which is the Place of Peace, a Buddhist temple moved to the site from Japan and reconstructed by traditional carpenters. A replica of the cabin that Henry David Thoreau inhabited while writing On Walden Pond is located on the west side of the lake.[17]

Student life[edit]

Undergraduate student housing[edit]

All full-time students, except those who are married or living at home with their parents or guardians, are required to live on campus in university housing. Furman undergraduates can choose between south campus housing and lakeside housing. South Housing includes the Geer, Manly, Poteat, Blackwell and McGlothlin dorms. Lakeside Housing includes the Gambrell, Ramsey, Judson, Townes, McBee, Haynsworth, and Chiles dorm. All student housing has air-conditioning, closets, wireless Internet access, and washer-dryer usage. The North Village is an apartment complex that offers apartment-style living for upperclassmen. North Village apartments offer two or four bedrooms, living room, full kitchen, balcony, two vanity areas, two bathrooms and closet and storage space. Within each bedroom, a full-size bed, desk, desk chair and dresser/hutch is provided for each resident. In 2012, the annual costs for residing in the on-campus dormitories was $5,198 per student.

Furman University's Hartness Welcome Center, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid


Furman University students are required to have a meal plan. Freshmen students are required to have an unlimited meal plan. The main dining facility is the Daniel Dining Hall. Renovated in 2006, Daniel Hall offers buffet-style dining and an Einstein Bros. Bagels location upstairs. The PalaDEN, dubbed the "P-Den" by students, offers Chick-Fil-A, Moe's Southwest Grill, Lakeside Greens, and Sushi Gusto. In 2011, a Barnes & Noble was built on campus, where students can get coffee from the Barnes & Noble Cafe which features Starbucks products. The Paddock[18] is an updated dining area with a bar and sit-down restaurant.

Student government[edit]

Furman University Student Government Association (SGA) works under a semi-Presidential system. SGA is made up of the executive council, and president, secretary, and two senators for each class. Each class elects a president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Upon election council members are assigned within one of six committees to specialize in a particular area of student needs.

Fraternities and sororities[edit]

Furman University has seven fraternities and seven sororities. Fraternities on campus: Beta Theta Pi, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Alpha Psi, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, and Sigma Nu.[19] Sororities on campus: Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Kappa Delta, and Kappa Kappa Gamma.[19] The school also has two music based fraternities including Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a men's social fraternity with emphasis in music, along with Sigma Alpha Iota, a primarily female professional music organization.


Furman Paladins logo

Furman competes in NCAA Division I athletics, and at the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) level in football and is one of the smallest NCAA Division I schools in the nation. Furman fields 18 men's and women's teams, as well as 16 club sports and many intramural teams.[20] The university is a member of the Southern Conference. Furman is the only liberal arts college to be ranked in Sports Illustrated Top-100 America's Best Sports Colleges[21] and has 32 former student-athletes competing at the professional level - the most of any Southern Conference member school.[citation needed]

The team nickname, the Paladins, was first used by a Greenville, South Carolina, sportswriter in the 1930s. For many years the name "Paladins" just referred to Furman's basketball team. Until 1961 the school's baseball teams were known as the "Hornets" and the football teams as the "Hurricanes". On Sept. 15, of that year, the student body voted to make "Paladins" the official nickname of all of the university's intercollegiate athletic teams.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

Points of interest[edit]

Furman's Johns Hall in winter
  • Bell Tower and Burnside Carillon, a 59 bell carillon by Van Bergen
  • Charles Ezra Daniel Memorial Chapel's Hartness Organ
  • Cherrydale Alumni House
  • David E. Shi Center for Sustainability
  • Doughboy Statue honoring Furman students who served in World War I
  • James B. Duke Library's Special Collections & Archives department, which houses the South Carolina Baptist Historical Collection and the South Carolina Poetry Archives
  • Janie Earle Furman Rose Garden
  • Place of Peace and Asia Garden
  • Replica of Thoreau's Walden cabin


  1. ^ http://www2.furman.edu/sites/endowment/Pages/Assets.aspx.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Furman University History". Furman.edu. Retrieved 2010-11-29. 
  3. ^ http://www.collegenews.org/x5417.xml
  4. ^ unknown (undated). "Furman Institution Faculty Residence" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "Furman Institution Faculty Residence, Fairfield County (int. of S.C. Hwy. 213 & S.C. Sec. Rds. 70 & 23, Winnsboro vicinity)". National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 5 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Duke Endowment: Partners in Progress". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  7. ^ "About Furman". 
  8. ^ Planning and Institutional Research. "Students". Furman University. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  9. ^ "First-Year Applicants". Furman University. Retrieved January 16, 2012. 
  10. ^ Washington Monthly Online. ""The Washington Monthly College Guide " by The Editors". Washingtonmonthly.com. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  11. ^ http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=601105
  12. ^ "College Rankings 2011: Most Rigorous - Newsweek and The Daily Beast". Thedailybeast.com. 2011-09-14. Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  13. ^ Top 10 Most Socially Conservative Colleges - MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. 
  14. ^ "America's most beautiful college campuses", Travel+Leisure (September 2011)
  15. ^ "Engaged Living's Greenbelt Community". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  16. ^ "The Cliffs Cottage". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  17. ^ "The Simple Cabin by the Lake". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  18. ^ "Welcome to CampusDish at Furman University!". Campusdish.com. 2013-09-03. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  19. ^ a b Furman University. "Organizations: :". Furman.edu. Retrieved 2014-08-20. 
  20. ^ "About Furman University". Retrieved 2010-01-05. 
  21. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/si_online/news/2002/10/01/1_10/
  22. ^ http://www.aarome.org/rome_prize/2003winners.htm

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°55′33″N 82°26′8″W / 34.92583°N 82.43556°W / 34.92583; -82.43556Template:Furman University