The Institutes

The Shi Institute for Sustainable Communities is a regionally centered, community-facing institute promoting sustainable human flourishing. The institute addresses a range of issues from environmental sustainability to critical areas of community wellbeing, including affordable housing, access to healthy foods and transportation. Through this campaign, donors can activate the institute’s full potential to inform and shape how our society thinks and learns about sustainability, applies related research to contemporary problems and builds the next generation of sustainability influencers.

Donor investments will power the institute’s work with the university’s curriculum, with student-faculty research teams and in the flagship fellowship program, which engages students in pivotal campus and community challenges. Building on 10 years of proven success and the national renown of the former Shi Center for Sustainability, the institute presents exciting opportunities for donors to help Furman lead the way in meeting some of the most pressing problems in our region, our state and our world.

Funding Opportunities
Executive Director of the Institute Endowment

This endowed position guarantees both agility for today and stability for the future and ensures seasoned leadership. The strength of the program centers on the work of the director to develop community partnerships, work interdisciplinarily to integrate the program with academic departments, and promote the program to prospective students, collaborators and sponsors.

  • Goal: $3,000,000
Student Fellows Endowment

The Student Fellows Program is the institute’s flagship student program and engages students in real-world campus and community sustainability fellowships, with offerings during the summer and the academic year. The fellowships pay students $4,000, and to date the institute has hosted over 325 student fellows. With this endowment, previously established with gifts of $800,000 partially funding the program and the $2,000,000 additional request, the fund would support 30 student fellows annually.

  • Goal: $2,000,000
Post-baccalaureate Fellows Endowment

This endowed fund supports post-baccalaureate positions for two recent Furman graduates to work at the institute as data analysts in the Center for Applied Sustainability Research. These one- to two-year positions support the institute’s community-based research programs and projects.

  • Goal: $2,200,000
Community Action Endowment

Furman was recently honored to be designated as a Carnegie Community Engagement Classification campus. This endowed fund supports student-faculty teams’ ability to collaborate with community partners for applied research and course activities in areas relevant to community wellbeing, including transportation, affordable housing and access to healthy foods.

  • Goal: $1,000,000
Academic Enrichment Endowment

This endowed fund addresses economic disparities in student access to community-based courses and research opportunities. This fund would help eliminate inequities and ensure that all students have access to community-based opportunities that are an essential component of The Furman Advantage.

  • Goal: $1,000,000
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.