Joseph Vaughn Plaza will be home to a statue honoring Furman’s first Black undergraduate student and establish a place for reflection and celebration of those who helped to make the university a more equitable and inclusive place.

The plaza will incorporate the front steps leading up to the James B. Duke Library and the grassy area to the right, facing the building. The statue of Vaughn will stand in the right corner of the stairs, and is based on an iconic photo of Vaughn taken during his first semester on Furman’s campus in the winter of 1965.

During the construction of the plaza, the Duke Library will remain open. Part of the demolition work will include removing the old and broken stones and bricks inside the plaza, which will be enclosed in a construction fence. The project also includes replacing lighting and landscaping and grading the plaza and adjacent walkway to improve access to the library for persons with disabilities.

Funding for the $677,000 project will come from a combination of private gifts from fundraising efforts currently underway and a budget that had already been set aside for campus improvements. Furman has raised $93,700 so far, including more than $87,000 in gifts from trustees.

About the Architects

Mahan Rykiel Associates Inc.

Founded in 1983, Mahan Rykiel Associates is a 35 person landscape architecture, urban design, and planning firm with an office in Baltimore, Maryland. The firm works across scales to imagine and realize projects that enrich the human condition and support vibrant natural systems. Research and discovery guide project development that range from public parks, civic plazas, state infrastructure, downtown and neighborhood plans, academic institutions, corporate campuses, mixed-use housing, private residences, healthcare facilities, hotels, and commercial centers. The firm cultivates this diversity to deepen and broaden its creative capacity to shape the built environment. Active collaboration across disciplines and sectors ensures that technical knowledge and resources are leveraged in support of each project.

Art to Love, Touch, Teach

Art to Love, Touch, Teach

Sculptor brings the historic courage of Joseph Vaughn ’68 to life.