The Institutes

Launched in 1999 and named for former U.S. Secretary of Education and S.C. Governor Richard W. Riley ’54, The Riley Institute provides unique opportunities for the university and our students while advancing social and economic progress in South Carolina.

Through CLEARLY FURMAN, donors will enable the institute to make the most of its many vital areas of impact. They will help it teach generations of new South Carolina leaders to harness the strengths of diversity across the corporate, government, nonprofit, education, faith and creative sectors. They will enable it to create and share important research on numerous areas of community need and promise. They will allow the institute to expand student internship, research and networking opportunities in politics, government and public policy. And they will help the institute recruit, retain and support institute leaders who expand and deepen the university’s contributions to stronger public education across South Carolina.

Funding Opportunities
Center for Diversity Strategies Endowment

One of the three centers of work across The Riley Institute, the Center for Diversity Strategies is home to the South Carolina Diversity Leaders Initiative (DLI), one of the institute’s flagship programs. DLI teaches highly placed leaders in the corporate, government, nonprofit, education, faith and creative sectors to leverage the talent and creativity of diverse people to optimize outcomes at the enterprise and community levels.

Impact: Scholarships enable a diverse group of people in each DLI class. Of the 160 annual participants, about 50% require scholarships to help with the $3,300 tuition, at an average cost of $1,750 in support.

  • Goal: $5,000,000
Riley Summer Policy Fellows

This endowed fund supporting students from a range of majors who are interested in politics, government and public policy will place them in paid community-centered fellowships, utilizing the Riley Institute’s extensive statewide professional network. Student fellows will engage in sustained, meaningful work experience connected to their scholarly and professional interests.

Impact: The endowed fund would support five, 10-week, 30-hour internships positions and annual stipends for the program manager and participating faculty, linking curricular and co-curricular activities in ways that support the promises of The Furman Advantage.

  • Goal: $725,000
Endowed Director’s Position

Endowing the leadership position at the Center for Education Policy and Leadership (CEPL) will leverage the institute’s existing work and relationships to build a profile and advance education policy in the state. The CEPL leader will advocate for best practices in public education; build and enhance The Riley Institute’s position as a thought leader in public education in the state through presentations, blogs, webinars, etc.; and bring a face and a voice to the institute’s deep and meaningful position in public education in South Carolina.

Impact: Significant increase in profile around a signature aspect of The Riley Institute’s work; improvements in how public education happens in the state; and support for economic and social progress for all people.

  • Goal: $3,000,000
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"The Riley Institute, and Furman’s three other institutes, dealing with diversity and a number of very important subjects, is so good for the university and so good for the state and the country."
The Potential is Extraordinary

Guided by our strengths as a university, focused on learning experiences that empower students to achieve their most inspiring ambitions, we will do more than meet our mission and advance Furman’s reputation for excellence. As we become a national model for higher education, we will, through our graduates, influence action and ideas across the 21st century.


Clearly Furman Priorities

Building on the best of Furman, we will elevate the university's excellence, access and impact through these five campaign priorities.