Partners Program

John and Jeanette Cothran enjoy being with their scholars at a spring campus dinner.

Established in 1998, the Partners Scholarship program provides a unique and meaningful way to support the education of Furman students.  Donors to the program play a significant role in helping make Furman affordable to some of the 85% of students who receive some type of financial aid.  Typically, gifts to the Partners program subsidize the portion of the university's $40 million financial aid budget that is derived from current operating dollars.

The Donor

Partners donors not only contribute generous financial resources to create a scholarship, they also enjoy the opportunity to meet and to develop relationships with the students they support.  Partners donors are mentors and friends to students who might not have been able to attend Furman without financial assistance.  Supplementing a student's education is rewarding, but donors have found the relationships to be life-changing and life-long.

The Scholar

Partners scholars understand the impact of your gift.  Unlike other scholarships and forms of financial aid, Partners scholarships enable students to put a face with your name.  Scholars learn that your financial gift to Furman provides countless opportunities for them.

The Program

Two campus events each year allow donors and scholars to interact and build relationships.  In addition to these fall and spring dinners, we encourage both donors and scholars to reach out in other ways by attending athletic events and music concerts together, or arranging additional meals as opportunities to get to know each other better.

Reflections from donors

"Dave and I believe that investing in students at Furman is actually sowing the seeds for future generations.  We receive great joy and satisfaction from helping prepare students to live great lives.  Through Partners, we have developed caring relationships with students that will last far past their graduation from Furman.  We feel confident that our Partners Scholars will be motivated to help others as they have been helped. They will 'pay it forward'."

Leighan Rinker, Furman trustee and parent of Traci R. Miller '89,
Christopher Rinker '94, and Allison R. St. John '96

"Mary and I like to refer to the Partners Scholarship Program as our Fountain of Youth because it allows us to stay in touch with Furman's young people.  The program marries students with people who are willing to establish scholarships.  But the donors don't just give money and wonder what happens to it.  We actually get to see it blossom.  For three years, our Partners scholar was Nadia Savova '06 from Bulgaria.  She is now part of our family.  It is the most rewarding experience I think anyone can have."

-Bill Howes '59, former chair of Furman Board of Trustees

"Jeanette and I love being a part of the Partners program because this is one investment that (unlike the stock market) never goes down in value.  To the contrary, it constantly increases in value as students' lives are changed through their Furman experiences and as they are equipped to positively impact the lives of others and the world.  Getting to know and form bonds with students now and beyond is a bonus that is priceless."

-John Cothran '54, Furman Trustee and parent
of J. Clark Cothran '84 and Stephen T. Cothran '86

Reflections from scholars

"I was touched by the fact that my scholarship donors, Sarah and Gordon Herring, actually wanted to know me and that they were genuinely interested in what means most to me.  Since both of them were Furman singers and I am a vocal performance major, we have a unique bond.  Their support as donors and friends is a very special gift."

-Jazmin Black '10

"Words cannot express how thankful I am to be a part of the Partners program.  Not only do I receive the financial aid I need, but I also gain several wonderful relationships.  I have absolutely loved my correspondence with my sponsors--anything from a simple phone call to wish me blessings to a box of freshly baked brownies to hide from my roommate.  Sisters Ann Bryan and Kathy Anderson, along with their mother, Frances Bryan, brighten up my day and remind me to be joyful in everything I do."

Caleb Lewis '12

Caleb Lewis '12 enjoys a brownie delivered to him by his Partners donors.

Join the Partners Scholarship Program in one of the following ways:

  • Give $25,000 per year to annual scholarships. (Please consider a four-year commitment so that your scholars will receive financial assistance throughout their academic careers.)
  • Utilize the graduated Hollingsworth Initiative pledge of $12,500, $18,750, $25,000, and $25,000.
  • Establish a permanently endowed scholarship with gifts of $30,000 per year for five consecutive years and, thereafter, gifts of $25,000 annually.
  • Give $1 million to the Partners Program over any period of time to become a lifetime member.

For more information about Furman Partners contact:

Allison Foy, Director of Donor Relations
Furman University
3300 Poinsett Highway
Greenville, South Carolina 29613
(864) 294-3704

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