John S. Beckford

After 32 years as Furman's first full-time percussion instructor, John Beckford was appointed dean of the faculty in 2008 and later became vice president for academic affairs and dean.

John S. Beckford Furman University

As Furman’s chief academic officer, Beckford has the primary responsibility for administration and management of the academic program, including the hiring of all faculty and optimization of resource allocations and staffing within academic affairs. He earned his bachelor of music, master of fine arts, and doctor of musical arts degrees from the University of Iowa, where he studied percussion with Thomas L. Davis.

Prior to these appointments, Beckford headed all areas of percussion studies at Furman, taught music history, held state offices in the Percussive Arts Society, and was principal percussionist with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra until 2006. Beckford served on 43 university committees and was chair of the faculty from 2005-2007. As faculty chair, he presided over the debates leading to the revision of the general education curriculum and the academic calendar, and crafted the organizational plan by which these changes were implemented.

Beckford continues to be an active performer as a member of the Greenville Symphony percussion section, performs with other organizations, and teaches the world music course at Furman.

Connect with Admission

Furman University is one of the nation's premier undergraduate liberal arts colleges. We offer outstanding academics, opportunities for a broad range of talented students with a passion for learning, a robust arts program, and NCAA Division I athletics.

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
  • 50th Anniversary of Desegregation at Furman
  • Furman University