John Donald Anderson
Retired Owner of Pinnacle Institute of Cosmetology, Inc.

John Donald Anderson graduated from Furman in 1966 with a degree in business administration. He was employed with Columbia Beauty Supply for 41 years. In 1978, he became part owner of the company, and in 1988, he became president and owner until the company was sold to L'Oreal in 2008. He was also the owner of Pinnacle Institute of Cosmetology, Inc.until he sold the company in 2015. He has also served as Past President of the industry's national association.

In addition, Mr. Anderson serves as chairman of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in Charlotte. He has also served as Elder and Deacon at Providence Presbyterian Church and as Chairman for several major building campaigns while at Providence. He is currently a member of Myers Park United Methodist Church in Charlotte, N.C. and serves on the Finance Committee. He has also been a Stephens Minister for over six years.

Mr. Anderson has also sponsored a research study for bladder cancer at Levine Cancer Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, a research fellowship for Breast Cancer at the City of Hope in Durant, California, and a room at the Ronald McDonald House in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Don and his wife, Elizabeth, have two children, Brian '92 and Beth and four grandchildren.

Robert Blocker
Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music, Yale University

An internationally acclaimed concert pianist, Robert Blocker began his study of the instrument at age five, presenting his first public recital two years later. Today, he performs throughout the world. His engagements have included concerts in the United States, Europe, Mexico, China, South Korea, Thailand, and elsewhere. Recent orchestral engagements have included appearances with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Symphony, Houston Symphony, Monterey Philharmonic, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, and Daejeon (South Korea) Symphony Orchestra. His 2007 performance at the Great Mountains Music Festival with the Sejong Soloists was broadcast twice, throughout South Korea, on KBS.

Mr. Blocker earned his bachelor of arts degree in 1968 from Furman University and his master of music degree and doctor of musical arts degree in 1970 and 1972, respectively, at the University of North Texas, under the tutelage of the eminent American pianist Richard Cass. Mr. Blocker also studied with renowned concert artist Jorge Bolet.

In addition to recital, chamber music, and concerto appearances, Mr. Blocker presents master classes and coaches various ensembles in the United States and abroad. He has worked with such renowned groups as the Tokyo String Quartet, Artis Quartet, Brentano String Quartet, and Shanghai Quartet. At Yale University, where he is the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of Music, Mr. Blocker teaches and performs alongside students, alumni, and faculty colleagues.

Ann P. Bryan
Financial Advisor

Ann Bryan was a financial advisor who retired in 2008 as First Vice President with Morgan Keegan & Company in Atlanta and is a graduate of Columbia College where she majored in Business.

She has residences in Greenville, S.C. and Cashiers, N.C. In Greenville, she serves on the Board of Trustees for the Community Foundation of Greenville, Legacy Early College School, Artisphere, and as a member of the Furman University - Greenville Health System Joint Board Liaison Committee.

Ann is also a past member of Furman's Advisory Council and current member of the Richard Furman Society.

Kevin R. Bryant
Executive Vice President – Resident Managing Director

Kevin Bryant is a 1985 honor graduate of Furman, where he majored in Political Science. He is the Executive Vice President – Resident Managing Director for Aon Risk Services South, Inc. in Greenville, South Carolina.

At Aon, he is responsible for the Key Performance Indicators including operational, colleague, client and market excellence for the office. Kevin serves as the principal advocate in communicating the value proposition of Aon, the capabilities of the firm, its' business philosophy and core values. Kevin also works to ensure Aon's visibility and business networking within the corporate and civic community by encouraging staff participation in local organizations.

Kevin has over 25 years of experience in the insurance brokerage industry. He has a strong sales acumen with exceptional growth results. He also brings expertise in assisting clients design, administer, fund and communicate employee benefit plans with emphasis on cost containment strategies. Kevin's numerous client engagements include financial firms, non-profit organizations, public entities, manufacturing and general industry organizations.

Prior to joining Aon in 2007, Kevin was the Market Business Leader for Mercer Health & Benefits and Marsh & McLennan's Employee Benefits Services. Kevin was responsible for the overall growth, strategic and operational direction for Mercer and Marsh McLennan and held those roles for over a decade.

Kevin currently serves or has served on several boards, including the Greenville Lymphoma and Leukemia Light the Night Executive Walk Chair, United Way African American Leadership Group, Commerce Club of Greenville Board of Governors, International Business Center Board, Cleveland Street YMCA Board.  Kevin is also a member of the 2016 Riley Institute Diversity Leadership Class.

Kevin is married to Mitzi Barksdale Bryant. The couple has two children, Kristina Bryant (University of South Carolina, 2014) and Kevin Bryant, Jr. (Clemson University, 2018)

Kevin T. Byrne
President, The University Financing Foundation

Mr. Byrne is a 1991 Honors graduate from Furman, where he majored in Accounting.  He was awarded the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award in 1991, the highest honor given by the faculty to a student in the Economics and Business Administration department.  He later earned his MBA, with Honors, from the Wharton School of Business.

Kevin is currently the President of The University Financing Foundation (TUFF), a national 501(c)(3) private operating foundation whose mission is to assist institutions of education and research in obtaining facilities and equipment at below market cost.  TUFF is a blend of real estate, capital markets, investment banking, and public finance with the primary focus to create facilities for institutions which can use those facilities to expand programming at the institution. 

Mr. Byrne is a Certified Public Accountant and spent his early career in the tax division of Arthur Andersen.  He quickly rose at Andersen with primary focus in the real estate and financial services industries.  He was appointed to several Andersen specialty teams and developed several of the real estate structuring techniques used by real estate entities today. He was a frequent speaker internally and externally and served all the premier real estate companies and financial institutions in the Southeast.

Prior to TUFF, Kevin founded Byrne & Associates which focused on providing investment banking services to small and middle market companies and served a real estate development firm leading new transactions of over $150 million over a 2 year period.

Through the growth of operations at TUFF, Kevin has become nationally recognized in the areas of public- private partnerships, real estate financing structures and the economic development initiatives surrounding university research parks and innovation districts.  TUFF has emerged as a leading resource for institutions of education and research relative to the creation of active innovation communities, in addition to real estate development and finance. 

He previously served as the President of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) in both 2012 and 2014.  He was appointed by Georgia Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle to the Georgia Public Private Partnership Guidelines commission.  He also has served on two Brookings Institution advisory committees – the Innovation District initiative and the Bass Placemaking initiative.

He is Chairman of the Board of Young Life for Metro Atlanta, an Eagle Scout and member of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Area Council Boy Scouts of America, Chair of the Whitefield Academy Capital Campaign, and little league baseball coach for his son.

Richard Cullen
Chairman of McGuire Woods LLP

Richard Cullen is a 1971 graduate of Furman, where he majored in Political Science and played varsity football. He received a law degree from the University of Richmond in 1977, where he was editor in chief of the law review and a member of ODK. In 1998, he was awarded the University of Richmond Distinguished Alumni Award.  He also received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Virginia Union University.

Richard is the chairman of McGuire Woods LLP, a law firm with over 1000 lawyers and 23 offices in the United States and abroad. He has spent his professional career at McGuire Woods, taking leave on three occasions for public service assignments. In 1987, he was a special counsel to the U.S. Senate for the Iran-Contra investigation. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, serving form 1991 to 1993. And in 1997, Virginia Governor George Allen appointed him the Commonwealth's 39th Attorney General.

Richard has been appointed to a number of boards and commissions, including the Virginia Historical Society, the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business Foundation, the Board of Visitors of Virginia Military Institute, and is a board member of the Supreme Court Historical Society.

Richard previously served on Furman's advisory and parents councils.

He and his wife, Agnes Tullidge Cullen have four grown children and seven grandchildren. Their two sons, Thomas (2000) and Richard (2007) graduated from Furman, as did Thomas' wife, Amy (2000).

Lee C. Dilworth
Founder and CEO of VIDA Recovery Centers

Lee C. Dilworth graduated from Furman in 1983 with a B.A. in economics/business. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Georgia and his L.LM. from New York University.

He is the Founder and CEO of VIDA Recovery Centers, which owns and operates outpatient clinics for those struggling with addiction to opiates. Prior to VIDA, he was Chief Administrative and Legal Officer of American Pathology Partners for eight years. He also served as a healthcare M & A attorney in private practice for eighteen years, eventually serving as Managing Partner of a law firm in Nashville.

W. Randy Eaddy
General Counsel and Secretary of Unifi, Inc. and Senior Counsel of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

A native of Johnsonville, South Carolina, Randy Eaddy is a 1976 summa cum laude graduate of Furman University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Blue Key and the Quaternion Society. He received his J. D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1979, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. Randy is General Counsel and Secretary of Unifi, Inc. and a senior counsel of Kilpatrick Stockton LLP, where his practice focuses on corporate law and governance, mergers and acquisitions, and securities and finance.

In addition to Furman's Board of Trustees (on which he first began to serve in 1993), Randy serves (or has served) on the boards of the Winston-Salem State University Foundation, the Elon University School of Law, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, the Winston-Salem Arts Council, Crosby Scholars Community Partnership, The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Festival Stage of Winston-Salem, the Alliance Theatre Company, United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Good Government Atlanta, and several other civic organizations.

Randy's interest in public policy and social issues has led to involvement in numerous pro bono projects undertaken by Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, for which he has been the team leader and principal author, including an analysis and report on the 54 countries of "The Americas" for inclusion in Global Injustice: an Overview of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, a report by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law; a 50-state analysis and report on "The Selection of State Court Judges: Review of Methods and Principal Implications" for the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice; and a 50-state analysis and report on "The Right to Bail and Other Limits on Pre-Adjudication Detention of Juveniles" for the Georgia Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Randy has been listed for over 20 years in Best Lawyers in America® for Corporate Law, and he has been active in bar associations as a writer and speaker on topics for continuing education and advancement of the legal profession. Randy has a long and intense interest in the business case for diversity, as well as its social imperative, in the legal profession and institutions generally. In 2000, he developed and was the lead author of the chapter on "Diversity" for the Thomson/Reuters multi-volume treatise Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel, which he supplements annually (often with assistance from Furman students who were serving as summer interns at his firm) and rewrote a new edition in each of 2005, 2010 and 2014.

In 2010, Randy was elected to Furman's Political Science Department's Hall of Fame. Among other honors, reflecting the broad range of his interests and contributions, Randy received the 1999 President's Award from the Association of Social and Behavioral Scientists in recognition of his contributions to the African American community as an attorney, legal scholar and civic leader, and the 2005 Team Hope Award from the Huntington's Disease Society of America for Corporate Management and Diversity Leadership.

Randy describes attending Furman as "the epicenter of my development", and cites his participation in Furman's Study Abroad Program to England, during the Fall of 1975, as his most enlightening, formative experience.

David G. Ellison
Wealth Management Advisor for Northwestern Mutual

David G. Ellison is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, who graduated from Furman in 1972 and obtained an M.B.A. from the Clemson-Furman program in 1976. He is a Wealth Management Advisor for Northwestern Mutual and co-owns an employee benefits firm.

He is a former trustee of the United Way of Greenville County where he has chaired the leadership giving arms, Palmetto Society and Tocqueville Society. He also is past chair of the YMCA Endowment Corporation. Dave is the Chair of the South Carolina Club for Growth and was a member of the transition team for South Carolina Governor, Nikki Haley. He is a director of Southern First Bank, NA, past chair of the Furman Board of Trustees, and past president of both the Alumni Association and the Paladin Club. In 1992, he was elected to the Furman Athletic Hall of Fame.

Dave and his wife, Frances, have three sons.

P. Edwin Good, Jr.
Founder of Hampton Development Co.

P. Edwin Good, Jr. graduated from Furman in 1967 and earned his master of arts in teaching in 1969 from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill. In 1985, he started Hampton Development Co., a retail and commercial real estate development firm based in Greenville. He serves on the board of the United Way of Greenville County and is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Urban Land Institute. He also serves as chairman emeritus of Hollingsworth Funds, Inc.

He is past chair of the Furman Advisory Council and past president of the Furman Paladin Club.

He is married to Peggy Ellison Good, Furman class of '67 and a former trustee. They have three sons who are also Furman graduates: Paul '93, Matt '96, and Jon '97 and nine grandchildren.

Sean P. Hartness
Vice President of Hartness International

Sean P. Hartness is Vice President of Hartness International, one of the world's most innovative and best known packaging companies, and throughout his 22 years with the company, he has held various global leadership positions. A Greenville native and resident, he is also involved with real estate development throughout the state.

Mr. Hartness is a 1992 graduate of the University of South Carolina. He is an active pilot and aviation enthusiast.

Currently, he is a board member of the Greenville County Museum of Art, Triple Tree Aerodrome, and United Way of Greenville, and is a past board member of the Peace Center for Performing Arts and the Community Foundation of Greenville, Inc. He is also a member of the Society of International Business Fellows and First Baptist Greenville. He has served on the Furman Advisory Council and has been a member of the President's Club, Trustees Circle, Richard Furman Society, Paladin Club, and Founders Circle.

A returning board member, Mr. Hartness is a grandson of the late Tom and Edna Hartness, whose legacy of philanthropy at Furman and in Greenville has inspired similar support in their children and grandchildren. Sean and his wife, Dr. Courtney Tollison Hartness '99, have one daughter, Eugenia.

Francie Heller
Managing Partner at Heller Advisory

Francie Heller is the Managing Partner at Heller Advisory, an investment fund placement agent. Heller Advisory partners with best in class investments including private equity, hedge funds, and real assets to assist in fundraising and marketing to institutional investors. Ms. Heller has over twenty years of financial experience, spanning both the public and private sectors.

Previously, Ms. Heller served as a Managing Director at Houlihan Lokey where she ran the Pension, Endowment, and Foundation Advisory Group. Her responsibilities included creating and delivering solutions to public and private pensions, endowments, and foundations. Prior to that, Ms. Heller was Managing Director- Client Relations and Head of Pension Solutions at Chilton Investment Company. Before Chilton, she served as Senior Managing Director and Global Head of the Pension, Endowment, and Foundation Services Group at Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. Previously, she was President of MBIA Municipal Investors Service Corporation (MISC) where she created and ran all aspects of the government investment management business. Previous experience includes creating investment products for state and local governments at Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. Ms. Heller was also an education director in New York public school for several years.

Ms. Heller graduated from Boston University with a BS and earned a master's equivalent degree from the University of Georgia and a professional diploma (PD) from Fordham University. She holds certificates from Columbia University, Stanford University and Harvard University Executive Education programs. Ms. Heller currently serves on several boards, including the Corporate Advisory Board of The National Association of State Treasurers, Big Picture Learning, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and the Furman University Board of Trustees.

Gordon R. Herring
Private investor

Gordon R. Herring, a native of Greenville, graduated from Furman in 1965 and obtained an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1970.

He served in the U.S. Army for three years, obtaining the rank of captain. Joining TeleCable Corporation in 1970 as director of research; he went on to become director of marketing and then regional operations manager in 1975, vice president in 1980, and executive vice president in 1989. After retiring upon the sale of TeleCable, he is now a private investor.

A leader in the cable television industry, he has served on the operating committee of Viewers' Choice, as a founding member of the Board of Directors of Cable Television Administration & Marketing Society, and as a member of the National Affiliates Marketing Advisory Committee of Home Box Office. He was one of the founders of the Weather Channel. He is a former trustee of Averett College, a former member of Furman's Advisory Council, a past chair of the Furman Board of Trustees, chaired the Campaign Executive Committee for the Forever Furman Campaign, and serves on the Hollingsworth Funds Board.

He received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Furman in 1991. In 1992, he earned the National Cable Television Association Vanguard Award for Marketing. 

Gordon and his wife, Sarah (also a Furman graduate), are avid travelers and have visited over 200 countries as listed in the Traveler's Century Club. 

Robert E. Hill, Jr.
Vice Chairman of Acosta

Robert E. Hill Jr. was appointed Vice Chairman of Acosta in September 2016 after serving as President and CEO for the prior seven years. Hill is a long-time sales and marketing professional who served Acosta in a variety of key capacities since 1994. His reputation for achieving outstanding results comes from his in-depth knowledge of the industry, strategic sales execution excellence and strong client relationships. Hill was President of Siler Brokerage, a family business since 1927, and managed sales and marketing for numerous consumer packaged goods companies when Acosta acquired Siler in 1994. After a series of positions with increasing responsibility, he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer in 2004. During his tenure, he led Acosta in meeting the sales and marketing objectives for more than 1,000 consumer packaged goods companies across North America, and the acquisition and integration of 50 agencies to increase Acosta’s size, scale and service offerings. He became President and Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2009. Hill serves on numerous industry-related boards and is active in the Jacksonville, FL, community. He is on the Board of Directors of Baptist Health System, which encompasses six Northeast Florida hospitals, a member of the Baptist Medical Center Downtown Board and a member of the Board of Trustees of Jacksonville University. Robert is a member of the United Way of Northeast Florida Board of Trustees and chaired their 2017 fund raising campaign. He is also on The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida Board of Trustees and chairs the Investment Committee. Hill is a graduate of Furman University where he also serves on the board.

Yendelela Neely Holston
Assistant Vice President-Senior Legal Counsel at AT&T Services, Inc.

Yendelela Neely Holston is a 2003 magna cum laude graduate of Furman University where she double-majored in History and Political Science. Yendelela is also a cum laude graduate of Duke University School of Law (2006). After graduating law school, Yendelela joined the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP (formerly Kilpatrick Stockton LLP) where she concentrated her practice on employment counseling, litigation and defense strategy, with particular emphasis on discrimination, occupational safety and health, and wage and hour issues. Yendelela was voted into the partnership at Kilpatrick Townsend in 2013 and remained a partner at the firm until December 2015, when she joined the legal department of AT&T Services, Inc.

Yendelela is currently Assistant Vice President-Senior Legal Counsel at AT&T Services, Inc. where she litigates and counsels business clients on employment law issues. Yendelela has experience advising her clients through all aspects of the employment relationship, including policy creation and implementation, resolution of difficult employment issues, and development of strategies to avoid employment disputes. Yendelela is also an experienced litigator. While in private practice, Yendelela successfully defended employers in a variety of industries in federal and state courts. Yendelela now develops strategy and manages outside counsel in class action litigation against AT&T or related entities involving employment matters.

Yendelela’s passion for the law is rivaled only by her commitment to the community. Yendelela is the Chair of the Atlanta Advisory Board for Jumpstart, a national early education organization, and was appointed by the Mayor of Atlanta to serve as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency. Yendelela is also a proud member of the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Legal Aid Society and of the Board of Directors for Families First. In addition, Yendelela is an active member of Impact United Methodist Church where she serves on the Staff Parish Relations Committee.

Yendelela resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her son, Joshua.

Stanford Jennings
Regional sales manager for New Balance Athletics, Inc.

Stanford J. Jennings graduated from Furman in 1984 with a B.A. in political science. He is the Midwest regional sales manager for New Balance Athletics, Inc. Following his Furman graduation, Stanford played nine years in the National Football League: with the Cincinnati Bengals from 1984-1990; with the New Orleans Saints in 1991, and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1992. After participation in the NFL Player Internship Program in 1992, Stanford joined Reebok International, Ltd. In Cinci1mati, Ohio, as a sales representative and was soon promoted to the sales management team. In 2000, he took a position with New Balance Athletic Shoe as a Southeast regional sales manager in Atlanta, then left to operate his own business, Stanford Jennings, LLC, a sales agency representing New Balance. He rejoined New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. as a member of the corporate sales management team in 2003.

A standout football player while at Furman, Stanford was named to the Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990. He was also named to the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006. Stanford established the Stanford Jennings Football Scholarship soon after his graduation from Furman. He also served previously on the Furman's Board of Trustees between 2002 – 2008 and 2010 – 2016.

Stanford and his wife, Kathy, have two children, Kelsey '11 and Stanford, Jr. (Jamie).

Carl F. Kohrt
Former Interim President of Furman University and President and CEO of Battelle

Dr. Kohrt, a native of Illinois and '65 graduate of Furman University, most recently served as Furman's Interim President from May 2013 to June 2014. He retired from Battelle in December, 2008 after serving seven years as President and CEO. Battelle, a $4B+ international R&D institution, manages or co-manages several premier national research laboratories for both U.S. and foreign government agencies, and is known as a leader in the commercialization of technologies on behalf of a wide-range of companies in the materials, energy, health, and defense industries. Prior to his joining Battelle in 2001, Carl spent a distinguished 29-year career at Kodak, retiring in 2000. He served in numerous senior executive, international, and technology positions, including Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer.

Carl received his B.S. magna cum laude, in Chemistry from Furman University (1965), his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago (1971), and his M.M.S. in Management Science from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1991). He has served as a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow at the James Frank Institute, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a Sloan Fellow, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He is the recipient of and Honorary Doctor of Science from both Furman University and Ohio Dominican University.

Coming from a family of educators, Carl has increasingly devoted his time to the improvement of math and science education in public schools. He is the founding Chairman of a not for profit company focused on teacher recruitment and training, as well as co-founder together, with Ohio State University, of a network of unique math and science public high schools in nine cities.

He and his wife, Lynne, are the parents of three sons, one a Furman graduate, and grandparents to ten grandchildren. They reside on Lake Keowee in Salem, South Carolina.

James A. Lanier, Jr.
Retired Vice President of Interface

Jaime Lanier has worked for Interface for 35 years in roles including Sales for Interface Flooring Systems, General Manager for Re:Source Georgia (Interface’s former service and installation division), VP of Sales for Higher Education, VP of Sales for Transportation, and VP of Sales for Multifamily. He lastly served as VP of Customer Development for Interface Americas. Jaime created and initiated sales tools that further enhanced client relationships and sales opportunities for Interface sales executives as well as mentored new sales executives. He previously worked with the company’s sales account executives and regional vice presidents to support their sales efforts in the higher education and multifamily market segments as well as supporting higher level needs of these clients. He also helped educate the sales force about Interface’s corporate mission to become a sustainable enterprise and how sustainability applies to higher education and multifamily. Sustainability is a driving force for Interface with applications in product development, manufacturing and customer product selection. In recent years, sustainability has become a key purchasing factor for many customers within the higher education and multifamily segments.

Jaime’s sales experience with Interface includes corporate, healthcare, public sector, transportation, education, multifamily and retail clients. Prior to joining Interface he was a loan officer in the banking industry. Jaime was active in a number of education-oriented professional associations including ACUHO (Association of College & University Housing Officers), APPA (the Association of Higher Education Facilities Officers) and SCUP (Society for College & University Planning). He is also a former member of IFMA (International Facility Management Association) and Rotary Club and a current member of the USGBC (United States Green Building Council).

A native of Miami, FL, Jaime is a graduate of Furman University. He and his wife have three sons, 2 daughters-in-law and a new grandson and live in Marietta, GA. He currently is the Project Chair for St. Joseph Catholic Church’s Bldg. Committee, Vice-Chair/Development Chair and Board Member for the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia, an advisor to the Marist Way Board at Marist School, Trustee for the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and Trustee for Furman University.

James C. Mabry, IV
Executive Vice President at South State Corporation

Based in Charleston, SC, Jim is responsible for Investor Relations and Mergers and Acquisitions for South State Corporation. South State is an $8 billion asset bank holding company headquartered in Columbia, SC that serves markets in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

Prior to joining South State, he worked for the New York based investment banking firm of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. (KBW), a Stifel Financial company. At KBW, Jim directed the firm's southeastern U.S. activities in mergers and acquisitions, strategic advisory and capital markets assignments for financial institutions.

Mr. Mabry is a member of the Board of Directors at nCino, Inc. and faculty member at the Graduate School of Banking at Louisiana State University. At Furman, he has been a member of the Parent's Council and Parent Campaign Committee.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1979, Jim obtained a Masters of Business Administration degree from UNC- Chapel Hill in 1983.

He and his wife have two sons who graduated from Furman.

James Michael Ney
Co-founder of Holt Ney Zatcoff & Wasserman, LLP and special attorney general for the State of Ohio

James Michael Ney, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, graduated (in three years) from Furman in 1964. Just two years later, he received his J.D. degree from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was a justice on the honor court, a member of the law review editorial board and president of the law school student body.

He served two years as law assistant to the Presiding Justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia, and subsequently served as the Clerk of the State Board of Bar Examiners and as an instructor at John Marshall School of Law. In 1968, he joined the law firm of Alston & Bird where he practiced for 14 years and became a partner in 1973. In 1984, he helped found the firm of Holt New Zatcoff & Wasserman, LLP where he has practiced since 1984. He was special assistant attorney general of the State of Georgia for three years, and presently serves as a special attorney general for the State of Ohio. He has chaired the Real Estate Section of the Atlanta Bar, receiving its first annual award of merit. He was also selected for all editions of the "Best Lawyers in America" from 1983 to 2017.

From 1987 to 2003, he served on the Board of Trustees on the Schenck School (for children with learning disabilities), including three years as chair. He has also served for seven years (three as president) on the Board of Trustees of Community Friendship, which works with mentally disabled adults. In 1995, he was the recipient of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce award for "Outstanding Community Service." He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Atlanta Academy for four years and currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cobb County Library Foundation. He is a past president of the Atlanta Furman Club and the 2006 recipient of the Alumnus Award of Excellence. He has served as a Sunday School Teacher, a member of and chair of the Staff Parish Relations Committee, and the Administrative Council of the Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church.

He and his wife, Carol, served for six years as co-chairs of the Richard Furman Society and were the 2006 recipients of Furman's "Bell Tower Award." He and Carol are the 2011-2012 "Distinguished Service Award" recipients from the Southern Conference on behalf of Furman.

They have three daughters, two of whom graduated from Furman.

Jason Richards
Chief Operating Officer, NAI Earle Furman

Jason is a 2001 graduate of Furman University where he majored in Political Science and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. After spending several years in nonprofit administration, Jason joined NAI Earle Furman, one of South Carolina’s largest commercial real estate firms, in 2007 and serves as Chief Operating Officer. His scope of work at the company includes business development, community relations, training, strategic planning and growth, staff supervision and general day to day management of the firm’s activities across multiple offices.

Jason currently serves as board president of the Greenville Police Foundation and also serves on the boards of the United Way of Greenville County, the Poinsett Club, and South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities. He is on the advisory boards of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce and South State Bank. He has served Furman on the Advisory Council and is also the chair of the university’s Richard Furman Society in addition to having won the Outstanding Young Alumni award in 2008.

He and his wife Marie (Furman ’01) live in Greenville and have two children.

Leighan Roberts Rinker
Chairs the Board of Directors of Beginnings of Palm Beach County

A strong advocate for children, Leighan was a professor of education at Palm Beach Atlantic College, national presenter and author in the field of early childhood education and administration. She currently chairs the Board of Directors of Beginnings of Palm Beach County and serves on the accreditation policy board of the National Association for Child Care Professionals. She is active in civic and community organizations, including Palm Beach Atlantic University's Early Childhood Education Department, Florida's Early Childhood Program Administrator Task Force, and the board of Place of Hope, a child welfare and foster care program in Palm Beach County, Florida. From 1984 to 1996 she served on the board of Roberts Wesleyan College, which named her to its Hall of Fame in 1995. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Kappa Delta Pi, and the National Accreditation Commission. In 1998 she received the "Champion of Higher Independent Education in Florida" award.

Michael C. Riordan
CEO Strategic Coordinating Organization

​Mike Riordan currently serves as CEO of the Strategic Coordinating Organization.  In this role, he is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the health company and its affiliates, including Greenville Health System (GHS).  Prior to the formation of the health company, he served as President and CEO of GHS for ten years.  Under his leadership, GHS has become one of the largest not-for-profit health systems in the region with eight medical campuses, more than 150 physician practice sites, nearly 15,000 employees, and operating revenues of approximately $2 billion.

Prior to joining GHS, he served as president and CEO of the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System and as senior associate hospital administrator for Emory University Hospital and Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He also served three years in the United States Marine Corps as a lieutenant.

Riordan currently serves on the governing boards of the Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems, Health Sciences South Carolina, and Furman University. In addition, he is on the board of Liberty Fellowship, an incubator for leadership in South Carolina.

Riordan earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts/English and a master's degree in education/psychology from Columbia University in New York, as well as a master's degree in health systems from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

R. Todd Ruppert
Founder and CEO of Ruppert International, Inc.

R. Todd Ruppert is the founder and CEO of Ruppert International, a firm with diversified interests globally in various fields including education, financial services, disruptive technologies, publishing, arts and entertainment, and strategy consulting. He is chairman of several firms, president of London’s Royal Parks Foundation (USA), a global ambassador for the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, and board member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He is also a venture partner at Greenspring Associates, a US based venture capital firm with over $5 billion under management and managing director leading international initiatives for SenaHill Partners, a leading merchant bank offering a full suite of investment, operating, and advisory services to the financial technology sector.

Todd has 40 years of experience in the financial services industry. He retired from T. Rowe Price, the global asset management firm with over $850 billion under management, where he was CEO and president of T.Rowe Price Global Investment Services, co-president, T.Rowe Price International, and a member of the operating sterring committee of the T.Rowe Price Group.

His numerous board and advisory board roles are for the following organizations located around the globe:
Education: INSEAD business school, Duke University, Kenyon College, Furman University, MarcoPolo Learning, MPower Financing, ActivEd,, Maryland Academy of Sciences, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation
Financial Services/Disruptive Technologies: Aliier Global GmbH, Alpes Capital, Athena Capital, Brazilinvest, DCE Partners, Green Visor Capital, inStream Solutions, Motive Partners, Nutmeg, Octopus Inestments, Osmosis Investment Management, PivotalPath, Q Ventures, Seedrs, SPQ Asia Opportunities,, Tandem Bank, Trinity Street, Trov 
Publishing: Investments & Pensions Europe, Funds Europe, Funds Global, Top 1000 Funds
Arts and Entertainment: Pall Mall Art Advisors, Round World Entertainment,, Iconic, Infinity Creative Media
Strategy Consulting: Gold, Laurel Strategies
Other: Storelli Sports, Jet Senters Aviation, Pegasus Media Agency, PG Pharma

Todd is the executive producer of three documentary films – A Year in Burgundy, A Year in Champagne and A Year in Port. He was the co- producer of the musical, Happy Days.

Daniel S. Sanders
Former President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company and former Chairman of the American Chemical Council

Daniel S. Sanders is the former President of ExxonMobil Chemical Company, the former Chairman of the American Chemical Council, and the former chairman of the Society of Chemical Industry. He was awarded the Chemical Industry Medal for his contributions to applied chemistry in 2005.

Dan currently is serving on the board of Directors at Celanese Corporation. He previously served on the board of Directors at Milliken and Company, Nalco Company, Pacolet Milliken Company, Ecolab Corporation and Arch Chemical Company.

A native of Elberton, Georgia, Dan earned his engineering degree magna cum laude at the University of South Carolina in 1961. Later, he served on the Presidential Advisory Group and was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004. Dan also served on the Council of Overseers at the Rice University Graduate School of Management.

Dan and his wife, Emilyn, have a tradition of service to Furman University where their two sons, Dan Jr. and John, and daughter-in-law, Suzanne, graduated. Dan co-chaired the Parent's Council and served on the Advisory Council as well as the executive committee of the Richard Furman Society.

Daniel S. Sanders, Jr.
Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Michelin North America

Daniel S. Sanders, Jr., is Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at Michelin North America. He has also served the company as Vice President Internal Audit and Risk Management, and spent two years in France working with Group General Counsel. Before joining Michelin in 1996, he practiced law in Atlanta with the firms King & Spalding and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. He is a board member with the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and chair of the board of YMCA of Greenville. He is also a trustee with Christ Church Episcopal School. He is a 1986 Furman graduate and earned his law degree at the University of South Carolina School of Law. His wife, Suzanne Von Harten Sanders, is a 1988 graduate of Furman.

Susan Thomson Shi
Retired First Lady and Civic and Community Volunteer

A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Susan Thomson Shi graduated cum laude from Furman University in 1971 with a degree in history.

As a student at Furman, she served as a student body officer and was elected to Senior Order, the university's honorary leadership organization for senior women. She was also named to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. She went on to earn a master's degree in education from Furman and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a 2002 graduate of the Riley Institute's Diversity Leadership Academy.

Shi worked for 12 years as an educator and administrator, mostly in the North Carolina public schools. She returned to Greenville in 1993 and then spent 16 years (1994-2010) serving as Furman's First Lady in partnership with President David Shi. She received the Gordon L. Blackwell Alumni Service Award and an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from Furman in 2010.

An active civic and community volunteer, especially in the area of education, Shi chaired the boards of Greenville's Public Education Partners, the Community Foundation, United Way and Success by 6 – an early childhood initiative. She led the United Way's development of its Community Impact Agenda in 2003 and Greenville County School's Strategic Plan in 1999. She is the founding board chair of the Institute for Child Success and now serves as Chair Emerita.

Shi's honors include being elected to The Order of The Jessamine (2000), which recognizes contributions of women to the Upstate; receiving the School District of Greenville County's "Superintendent's Award" (2000); being awarded the Community Foundation of Greater Greenville's "Ruth Nicholson Award" (2001); and having the YWCA's "Susan T. Shi Endowment for Infant and Toddler Care" established in her honor (2002). They also include the Whitney M. Young Humanitarian Award (2003), The Children's Hospital of Greenville's "All for the Love of Children Award" (2009), The Magazine of Greenville's "Giving Back" Award (2010) and the United Way's Spirit Award for Community Leadership (2012).

Peace Sterling Sullivan
Psychoanalyst (retired)

Peace Sterling Sullivan graduated from Greenville High School and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She received her master's degree in Social Work from Fordham University. Peace practiced as a psychoanalyst in New York City until moving to Miami Beach in 2005. She served as Director of Development for the Training Institute for Mental Health in New York City. She previously served on the Board of Visitors of the University of North Carolina (UNC), Graduate Education Advancement Board at UNC, board of the Fine Arts League in Asheville, North Carolina, the board of the Ackland Art Museum at the University, and the board for Bread for the World based in Washington, D.C.

Peace has two children, Frances who resides in Massachusetts and Patrick who resides in New York City. She also lived in Argentina, Brazil, and Ireland from 1972 – 1984.

A. Alexander Taylor
Retired Chairman and CEO of FGX International

Alec Taylor is a 1975 magna cum laude graduate of Furman and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. from Vanderbilt School of Law in 1978.

From 1978-1998, Alec practiced law at Miller & Martin in Chattanooga, Tennessee, concentrating his practice on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. In 1998, Alec left the practice of law to become President and Chief Operating Officer of Chattem, Inc., a publicly traded consumer products company also based in Chattanooga.

In 2005, Alec left Chattem to become Chairman and CEO of FGX International based in Smithfield, Rhode Island. FGX is the world's largest seller of reading glasses and sunglasses, principally under the Foster Grant® brand name. He retired as chairman and CEO in June 2014.

Alec is a director of Barr Brands International, Bradshaw International, KT Tape, Zoe's Kitchen, Delta Apparel, and Coca-Cola Bottling Works of Tullahoma, Inc. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the Charleston School of Law.

Alec and his wife, Susan, have five children and Alec and his wife, Susan, have five children and eleven grandchildren and currently reside in Charleston, South Carolina.

Rachelle H. Thompson
Partner at McGuireWoods LLP

A native of Dillon, South Carolina, Rachelle Thompson is a 1992 summa cum laude graduate of Furman University, where she majored in Chemistry and received the President’s Scholarship Cup for graduating first in her class. After Furman, Rachelle attended Stanford University where she became the first African American woman at Stanford University to receive a Ph.D. in Chemistry. She was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow and an AT&T Bell Laboratories CRFP Fellow at Stanford. She received her J.D. degree magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law (2005) while working full time as a registered patent agent at a national law firm. After law school, she served as a law clerk to the late Honorable Rudi M. Brewster, Senior District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, and to the Honorable Paul R. Michel, retired Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Rachelle is a partner in the Raleigh, North Carolina office of McGuireWoods LLP, where she concentrates on intellectual property and complex commercial litigation. She has extensive experience in all aspects of patent litigation in both district court and the United States International Trade Commission. In addition to litigation, Rachelle provides counseling to clients in a variety of technologies and industries.

Rachelle is active in the community. She serves as a Children’s Minister at Berean Baptist Church of Raleigh, a mentor to youth, and a liaison to local law schools. She created the annual Charles B. Hunt “Hunt for Success” backpack drive for needy students. She is a board member of the Patent Training Foundation, an organization designed to provide diverse law students with practical skills, experience, and training before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board so that these students can pursue careers in the patent field.

Rachelle and her husband, Dr. Dwight Ulysses Thompson, have a son and daughter, Deuce and Chase.

William R. Timmons, III
Senior Vice President of Investments

Rick Timmons, a native of Greenville, graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1974 and completed his masters at the University of Chicago in 1976. He left IBM Corporation after two years and joined the family business, Canal Insurance Company, and he is a member of the third generation to manage the business. He has risen through the ranks to the position of Senior Vice President for Investments. Rick also serves in the management of several family owned enterprises that purchase, develop, and manage real estate and invest in capital markets. He is also President of Timber-Lands LP and Lullwater Syndicate, Inc., both privately held real estate companies.

Rick serves on the boards of the family businesses as well as the Chair of the Board for the Peace Center for the Performing Arts.

Canal Insurance and the Timmons family have actively supported Furman for many years. Rick's father, Bill Timmons, who served six terms as a Furman trustee, and his two aunts, Kitty Wells Timmons '48 and Jean Timmons Pelham'42, are recognized in the Benefactors Circle.

The family is known for sponsorship of the Furman ProAm events over a long period of time and the lead gift for Timmons Arena. They established a major scholarship in memory of William R. Timmons '14 and his wife, Eva Timmons. Rick served on the Furman Advisory Council and he and Pat are members of the Richard Furman Society. Rick and his wife, Pat, have three children, Brittany, William, and Cliff.

William B. Traxler, Jr.
Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals

Bill Traxler is the former Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, a court which hears appeals from the federal courts in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. He is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of South Carolina School of Law. He practiced law in Greenville, South Carolina with his father until 1975 when he became an assistant state prosecutor. He was promoted to deputy prosecutor in 1978, and in 1981 he was appointed as the Solicitor (State Prosecutor) for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in South Carolina by Governor Richard Riley. In 1982 he was elected without opposition. He was elected a resident state trial judge for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in 1985 by the General Assembly of South Carolina and was re-elected in 1986.

In 1991, because of a recommendation by Senator Strom Thurmond, President George Bush nominated him to be a United States District Court Judge for South Carolina. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 2, 1992. In 1997, he was named to the Board of Directors for the Federal Judges' Association. On July 10, 1998, because of a recommendation by Senator Ernest F. Hollings, President Bill Clinton nominated him to be a United States Circuit Judge for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 28, 1998,and began service as a United States Circuit Judge. In 2007 he was elected to the Board of Directors for the Federal Judicial Center.

On July 9, 2009, he became Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In 2010, the Chief Justice named him to the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. In 2013, the Chief Justice appointed him Chair of the Executive Committee. He served as both the Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit and as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States until July 2016 when his terms expired.

David Trone
Owner and President of Total Wine & More

David Trone graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Furman in 1977 and earned his Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1985. He is the owner and president of Total Wine & More, a company he started with his brother, Robert, in 1991. The company operates 168 Wine superstores in 20 states, and is the largest independent retailer of wine, spirits and beer in the country.

David Trone graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Furman in 1977 and earned his Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1985. He is the owner and president of Total Wine & More, a company he started with his brother, Robert, in 1991. The company operates 168 Wine superstores in 20 states, and is the largest independent retailer of wine, spirits and beer in the country.

In addition to serving as a member of the Furman Board of Trustees, David serves on the Wharton Retail Board at the University of Pennsylvania and on The Bullis School Board of Trustees in Potomac, Maryland. As a member of The Bullis School Board of Trustees, he serves as the head of the Development Committee and the Capital Campaign Committee.

David and his wife, June, have four children, one of whom graduated Furman in 2012.

Richard N. Wrenn, Jr.
President of Premier Magnesia LLC

A North Carolina native, Rick is a 1974 graduate of Furman University, with a BS in biology. Rick played football while at Furman and has been active in supporting this program as well as the chemistry department.

He is currently the president of Premier Magnesia LLC, a privately-owned minerals and chemical manufacturing entity, specializing in the production of several different magnesium compounds. All of Premier Magnesia's $100+ business starts at their owned and operated magnesia mine in Nevada. This is the only naturally occurring magnesia deposit, that is mined, in the US. From there magnesium compounds are made for such diverse industries as animal feeds, waste water treatments, and as a primary ingredient in a variety of chemical processes. One such process is the production of magnesium sulfate, Epsom Salt, of which Premier's, Giles Chemical Corporation, is the largest producer in the United States.

Rick also owns Giles Industries, which markets sodium sulfate, which is produced as a by-product, from various manufacturing streams, and has owned this business since 1993. He sits on the board of AMI Industries which is a marketer of various chemical and minerals worldwide, principally sourced from China, and usually magnesium related.

Prior to Premier, Rick was the sole owner of Giles Chemical Corporation, which he merged with Premier Magnesia in 2007.

Rick and his wife, Ruth, live in Asheville, North Carolina and have three sons, Rick (2004), Guy and Jackson.

Baxter M. Wynn
Minister of Pastoral Care and Community Relations

An Atlanta native, Baxter is the Minister of Pastoral Care and Community Relations at First Baptist Church, Greenville, South Carolina. He is a 1974 graduate of Wofford College, and also received a master of divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling from Wake Forest University, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.

Baxter is a recipient of the Urban League's Humanitarian Award in recognition of his role in the community-wide effort to adopt a Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in Greenville County. He has also been active in the United Way of Greenville County, previously serving as Campaign Chairman and Board Chairman. Baxter served as Campaign Chairman of the Hospice House of Greenville, and he has served in leadership positions on various other boards, including, United Ministries, Community Foundation of Greater Greenville, Urban League of the Upstate, and Greenville Forward.

Baxter and his wife, Paula, have two sons and daughters-in-law, David and Alison Wynn, and Hanes and Kim Wynn.

John C. Yates
Chair of Technology Practice of Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

John C. Yates is the chair of Technology Practice of Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP, an Atlanta-based law firm. John is one of the pioneers of the technology law field and has been practicing in this area for over 35 years. His practice focuses on legal representation of leading technology, business services, and tech-enabled companies, including venture capital, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, and public offerings.

He serves on the editorial board of leading technology publications, and his articles have been cited in numerous publications, including by the U.S. Supreme Court in Kodak vs. Image Technical Services. He is a co-author of articles published in The Law and Business of Computer Software and The Handbook of Business Management. John is frequently quoted in business publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and the Atlanta Business Chronicle. John has also been recognized in a Harvard Business School case study ("Ockham Technologies: Living on the Razor's Edge") as a leading lawyer representing fast growth companies.

John has co-founded and is a member of the Board of Directors of leading technology organizations, including the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and Technology Executives Roundtable (TER). He also co-chairs the Technology Council of the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

He serves on various Boards of the Woodruff Arts Center, Carter Center, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Atlanta Master Chorale, and CURE Childhood Cancer.

As a public speaker, John has delivered more than 250 speeches during his career. He has spoken at annual technology and computer law seminars sponsored by the Georgia Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Foundation, Minnesota Computer Law Institute, and American Bar Association's Section of Science and Technology.

John is currently co-authoring a book, The Art of Business Friendship, and is a columnist for various online technology and legal publications. He has been selected as a "Georgia Super Lawyer" in the fields of Business/Corporate (Technology).

John received his B.A., magna cum laude, in 1978 from Duke University and J.D. in 1981 from Duke University. He serves on the Board of Visitors of the Duke University Law School where he is also a guest lecturer.

John and his wife, Ellen, have one son, Paul.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​

Connect with Admission

Furman is one of the nation's premier liberal arts and sciences universities. We offer our students The Furman Advantage—an over-arching approach to education that promises every student a four-year personalized pathway, a team of advisors and mentors, and the opportunity for an engaged learning experience that is tracked and integrated with the students' academic and professional goals.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now
  • Furman University