Joseph Vaughn Day to be celebrated Jan. 26

January 16, 2024

Dear Campus Community,

I hope you enjoyed a long MLK weekend and spent at least some time reflecting on Dr. King and his persistent, courageous, and peaceful march toward ending racism.

Please make plans for another opportunity to gather as a community and celebrate a Furman pioneer in the fight for equality. Joseph Vaughn Day, a time to remember the first Black undergraduate student at Furman, will be observed this year on Friday, Jan. 26. As in previous years, we will gather outside Daniel Chapel at 12:15 p.m. At 12:30, Teresa Cosby, professor of politics and international affairs, will deliver brief remarks, then we will take the Walk of Honor to Joseph Vaughn Plaza in front of the Duke Library.

In this year’s program, the Black Alumni Council, represented by its president, Reggie Garrett ’98, will introduce a new honor, the Black Alumni Award, named for Idella Glenn ’84. Idella will present the award to Erica Johnson ’07. Abijah Leamon, a senior politics and international affairs major, will deliver a call to action.

Joseph Vaughn Day not only provides an opportunity to remember a great man and his life’s work, but a time when people were denied access to many places, including Furman, because of the color of their skin. People said Joe was a man “whose words could move crowds.” I hope to see you in the crowd on Friday, Jan. 26, and that you are moved to reflection and action.

In case of inclement weather, we will meet in the chapel.


Elizabeth Davis