Are we fulfilling the promise of The Furman Advantage and providing lifelong value to our students? If so, in what ways? If not, where are our gaps? Last year, Furman University partnered with Gallup to raise these questions, establish a baseline, and develop a plan forward. Since the partnership began, we have surveyed our students, alumni, faculty and staff to measure engagement.

With our alumni study, we have identified historic strengths that have produced Furman graduates who, compared to national averages, are highly engaged at work and thriving in life. But in what ways do we build upon these strengths? How do we ensure that every student benefits from The Furman Advantage – an individualized, integrated four-year pathway promised to all students?

A Furman Education

Our students and graduates have an advantage. From professors who care about their students to strong mentors who encourage students to pursue their goals and dreams, Furman University surpasses the national average in Gallup’s “Big Six” college experiences. Positive experiences in these six areas mean that our alumni are more likely to be engaged at work and thriving in wellbeing.

Gallup’s “Big Six” for Success

52% Furman alumni compared to 29% national average, Strongly agreed they had professors who cared about me as a person
82% Furman alumni compared to 66% national average, Strongly agreed they had at least one professor who made me excited about learning
40% Furman alumni compared to 24% national average, Strongly agreed they had a mentor who encouraged my goals and dreams
62% Furman alumni compared to 60% national average, Strongly agreed they had a job or internship that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom
43% Furman alumni compared to 37% national average, Strongly agreed they had worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete
44% Furman alumni compared to 21% national average, Strongly agreed they were extremely active in extracurricular activities


  • 3.4X
    more likely to be engaged at work
  • 2.9X
    more likely to be thriving in wellbeing


What Alumni Have To Say

  • Our alumni consistently report having benefited from Gallup’s “Big Six” emotional support and engaged-learning experiences. Gallup’s “Big Six,” which reflect best practices in higher education, mirror Furman’s challenge-and-support model: the academic vision undergirding The Furman Advantage.
  • Compared to the national average, Furman alumni are three times more likely to be thriving in their lives and wellbeing. In fact, among Gallup’s five wellbeing indices – purpose, social, financial, community and physical – Furman alumni scored at least 14 points higher than the national average

Furman Graduates Are Thriving in All Wellbeing Elements

Color legend national average, and Furman alumni

62% Furman alumni compared to 47% national average, thriving in purpose wellbeing
65% Furman alumni compared to 46% national average, thriving in social wellbeing
50% Furman alumni compared to 35% national average, thriving in financial wellbeing
58% Furman alumni compared to 41% national average, thriving in community wellbeing
44% Furman alumni compared to 30% national average, thriving in physical wellbeing

Faculty and Staff Are Critical to Success

Furman faculty and staff engagement results place us in the top quartile for workplace engagement. As Gallup’s research in higher education has revealed, faculty and staff engagement is the number-one driver of student engagement.


  • Top 5%
    of engaged faculty and staff in higher education
  • Top 25%
    most engaged employees across all industries


Our Path Forward

By leveraging our strengths and addressing any gaps, we’re excited to see in real numbers the impact that The Furman Advantage will have for our students and graduates. Our research, which benchmarks our progress so far, will guide us in getting even better at what we do. Already …

  • We’re doubling down on our efforts to build affinity and prove the value of a Furman degree.
  • We’re placing more emphasis on developing lifelong habits of reflection.
  • We’re building an ecosystem of career support for students with earlier and multiple touchpoints during their four-year pathway.
  • And we’ll continue to measure and report on how we’re doing to ensure we’re delivering on our promise.