Furman University is committed to the highest ideals in higher education and society. Sharing our values, the freedoms we pledge to protect, our most significant accomplishment, and our history, is an important part of who we are and holding us accountable for who we aim to be.


Inspiring purposeful living and fostering thriving communities through learning, creativity, and innovation.


Furman University challenges and supports lifelong learners through rigorous inquiry, transformative experiences, and deep reflection to lead lives of meaning and consequence.


In championing the liberal arts and sciences, Furman University cultivates a community of learners engaged in an effort to understand themselves, the world, and their place in it.

To support this quest for knowledge and meaning, we steadfastly protect freedom of inquiry and hold ourselves to high standards of excellence and integrity. We foster a passion for lifelong learning by nurturing the growth of each individual as a whole person: intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

As we draw lessons from thoughtful consideration of our university’s past, we advocate respect for all people and actively welcome perspectives from a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs.

We aspire to advance thriving communities that honor inquiry, promote diversity, strive for equity, appreciate beauty, and act as responsible stewards of our planet.

These aspirations inspire our vision and shape our mission, calling us to meet the challenges and responsibilities of a complex, diverse, and rapidly changing world with courage, moderation, justice, wisdom, and humility.

Statement on Freedom of Inquiry and Expression

Furman University unequivocally affirms its commitment to free inquiry and free expression. These core values uphold the foundational belief that diverse views and perspectives deserve to be articulated and heard, free from interference.

All members of the Furman community have responsibilities to fulfill our commitment including

  • a rigorous defense of all modes of investigation that produce, expand, and refine knowledge. Academic freedom, as defined by the American Association of University Professors, safeguards faculty from interference in their pursuit of teaching, research, and creative expression within their respective disciplines.
  • a rigorous education with freedoms to speak, write, inquire, listen, challenge, and learn through exposure to a spectrum of ideas. Exposure to diverse points of view naturally follows from this commitment and is vital to the University’s overarching goal of cultivating critical thinking. Free expression, which supports but is also distinct from Academic Freedom, should be given the widest possible latitude (AAUP 2019).
  • not shielding individuals from the ideas and opinions of others, even when the ideas put forth are thought by some members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. The freedom to debate and discuss the merits of competing ideas, however, does not mean that individuals may say whatever they please, when and wherever they wish. The University administration may restrict expression that violates the law, that violates existing campus policies or regulations, or that is otherwise incompatible with the functioning of the University.
  • maintaining a climate of mutual respect as outlined in Furman’s“Vision, Mission, and Values.”

The University’s commitment to free expression and free inquiry represents a living ideal, reflected in applicable policy and embodied in the actions of community members every day. In practice, this means that Furman faculty, staff, and students must also be prepared to listen, to engage, and, when appropriate, to walk away from counterproductive engagements. These actions reinforce our goal to uphold the privileges and responsibilities of a community dedicated to fostering open dialogue between divergent perspectives.

If every member of the University community commits to engaging in free expression in a responsible manner and defends the ability of all others to do the same, Furman will model constructive engagement among those with differing perspectives on difficult issues. Modeling healthy dialogue for our community will sustain public trust in Furman and in the liberal arts.

Note: The preceding statement draws significantly from two sources: University of Chicago. (2014). “Report of the Committee on Freedom of Expression”; and University of Virginia. (2021). Statement of the Committee on Free Expression and Free Inquiry.”

The Furman Advantage

The Furman Advantage

Looking for an advantage? Furman promises an education without parallel that combines learning with experience and discovery, all designed to give you a leg up. It’s an integrated four-year pathway that prepares students for a life of purpose, career and community impact. How’s that for an upper hand?

Our History

Our History

Founded in 1826, Furman is the oldest private university in South Carolina.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion

Our student body represents many different cultural, religious, sexual, gendered and intellectual backgrounds and abilities. Our students’ minds reflect this.

Inclusive Communities

Inclusive Communities

We seek to build a community that upholds the inherent worth of individuals in an atmosphere of mutual respect, trust and civility. We do this by embracing diversity in all endeavors.