Furman University is the oldest, largest and most selective private institution in South Carolina. Founded in 1826, Furman moved three times in its early years before being charted as Furman University and settling in Greenville in 1850. The most recent move was in 1961, when Furman relocated to its current 800-acre location on the outskirts of Greenville.
The move to the stunning, new campus served as a catalyst for Furman’s ongoing transformation from a primarily regional college to one of the leading liberal arts colleges in the United States. Today Furman offers majors and programs in 42 subjects and is one of the select group of colleges that qualify for a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious academic honorary society. Undergraduates come from 46 states and 31 countries.
Heritage. Furman's heritage 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, including the perspective of the non-religious person. This heritage has always maintained that the religious journey has both a private and public dimension and is a lifelong undertaking that cannot be tied to doctrinal propositions.
Furman recognizes its responsibility both in and out of the classroom to encourage students and faculty to confront the problems of contemporary society and to exercise moral judgment in the use of knowledge. To this end, Furman fosters a sense of social justice and encourages civic responsibility in creating a fair and equitable order. The Latin motto of the university, Christo et Doctrinae (For Christ and Learning), underlines the interrelationship of faith and learning. The university is committed to the education of the whole person.
Engaged learning. In recent years Furman has been an exemplar of a new type of liberal arts institution. While still grounded in the humanities, arts and sciences, the university has earned a national reputation for its program of engaged learning, a problem-solving, project-oriented, experience-based approach to the liberal arts. Engaged learning encourages students to develop creative ways to put classroom theory into practice and to take a more active role in their education through internships, service learning, study abroad and research.
Research, internships, academics and service . More than half of the 2,660 students as well as a number of faculty and staff volunteer 25,000 hours per year with the Max and Trude Heller Service Corps. Internships involve Furman’s students in the world, the nation and Greenville, providing expertise and applying their skills for businesses, government agencies and non-profits. Also, Furman is an active research university, ranked fourth in the nation behind Michigan, MIT and Stanford in undergraduate research by US News & World Report. Noted for research in areas as diverse as nanotechnology, bioinformatics, pharmacology and petroleum, Furman receives grants from such prestigious funds and agencies as NASA, the Library of Congress, the American Chemical Society, The National Science Foundation, The Lily Endowment, the National Institutes for Health and the Mellon Foundation.
Academic departments that have received special accolades and well-deserved reputations for distinctive quality include music, chemistry, history, political science, earth and environmental sciences, and health and exercise science.
Sustainability. As in all areas of university life, Furman's goal in sustainability is ambitious. Furman strives to be a national leader in the field both pedagogically and operationally. With recent revisions in graduation requirements, all students must take at least one course dealing with human interaction with the natural environment. The goal is to tap into students' intellectual curiosity and creativity, graduating students with a commitment to environmental citizenship as a way of life.
Furman and the Southern Conference. Furman boasts a successful NCAA Division I college sports program, where athletes are truly “scholar athletes.” With great success in women’s golf, tennis, football and most recently, soccer, the Furman Paladins are highly successful members of the Southern Conference.
Rehabilitate your body. With two campus locations and nearly 7,000 square feet of space, state-of-the-art equipment and a diverse professional staff, the Furman Sportsmedicine Center offers the finest in sports rehabilitation, physical therapy and athletic training services that range from back rehabilitation programs to therapeutic massage and customized orthotics. Patients, who range from six to 96, are seen by appointment and physical referral. If you are a runner, or would like to be one, Health and Exercise Science’s FIRST program is a way to sustain you or get started. One-on-one consults and group exercises keep you first in fitness.
Corporate connections. Furman’s Corporate and Professional Development program offers a broad portfolio of education, training and consulting services tailored to meet the needs of area organizations. With the resources of Furman’s faculty and facilities behind it, the program customizes corporate training and provides measurement tools to insure success.
Lifelong learning. Whether you’re six or 96, there are interesting and exciting learning opportunities on campus. Summer day camps for kids ages five through middle school provide a creative and educational outlet; Summer Scholars offers senior high students a taste of college life. Several hundred active seniors expand their horizons through the Learning in Retirement program.
Events to broaden the mind and stimulate the spirit. From the Sound Quality Music Series and a year-long theatre season to various art exhibits and student/faculty shows, there are hundreds of ways to connect with the arts at Furman (and most are free). The Richard Riley Institute for Politics and Public Policy sponsors a number of annual conferences that bring to campus speakers such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Shipler. Check our on-line cultural calendar at www.furman.edu.
Facilities for community guests. Our facilities provide meeting room and performance space for a number of groups and organizations and residential space for camps and conferences that range from the Atlanta Falcons to the Sweet Adelines. With concerts for up to 5,000 at Timmons Arena to conferences in state-of-the-art meeting rooms in our University Center, the campus plays host to local and national groups throughout the year.
Distinguished alumni. Graduating 19 current or former college presidents (including the first woman president of a coeducational college in America), two governors, two U.S. congressmen, 17 Truman Scholars and six Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and Templeton and Pultizer Prize winners, Furman has taken its place among the nation’s leading universities. Among the best-known Furman grads are John Broadus Watson, founder of behavioral psychology, Charles H. Townes, Nobel Prize winner for the development of the maser and laser; Richard W. Riley, former governor of South Carolina and Secretary of Education in the Clinton administration; Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops; Mark Sanford, current South Carolina governor; Betsy King and Beth Daniel, members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association Hall of Fame.