A Lasting Devotion
Their love for each other – and for Furman – spans two centuries.
Carol ’58 and David ’55 Mauldin
By Cindy Landrum
It was the mid-1950s when Carol Mullikin ’58 and David Mauldin ’55 met at a fraternity party and began dating, a courtship that often took them to Furman basketball games at the downtown Textile Hall, where basketball games had been held since at least 1949.
“There wasn’t that much to do in Greenville back then,” remembers David. “If you had seen the couple of movies playing downtown, you would either go to the basketball game or study, and we didn’t care about doing that all the time.”
Today the Mauldins have been married for more than 60 years. And their life together still includes a shared devotion to Furman, one that is evident every time the Paladins take to the court at home.
When the next basketball season starts, David and Carol Mauldin plan to be in the stands – just like they’ve been for more than 700 home games.
“The reason we’ve been so involved in basketball is that it’s exciting, but mainly because we got to know the players,” David says. He started attending basketball games in 1951 during his freshman year and didn’t miss one until after his graduation in 1955.
The pair missed games for two years while David was in the service but resumed their basketball game attendance when they moved back to the Upstate in 1958. They’ve missed no more than 10 home games since, mostly because of bad weather.
Gary Clark ’74, who played basketball for the Paladins and later served for 15 years as director of athletics, says the Mauldins’ most significant impact has been their personal relationships with the players.
The Mauldins were part of a group that hosted covered-dish dinners for the players twice a year. Carol organized the potlucks for more than 20 years before handing the responsibility to someone else last year.
“They were genuinely interested in our athletes,” says Clark. “As a student, knowing somebody is in your corner means so much.”
In 2018, the couple was inducted into the Furman Athletics Hall of Fame, having been members of the Paladin Club for more than 40 years, served multiple terms on the Paladin Club Board of Directors, and assisted in almost every Paladin Club fundraising event over the years.
Longtime members of the Order of the Paladin, the Paladin Club’s highest recognition level, the Mauldins also made a gift to the football program in 2013 that resulted in the creation of “Mauldin Hall” within the Pearce-Horton Football Complex.
“They’ve been steady supporters of Furman basketball, and not all those years were good years competitively,” says Clark. “But they were just as enthusiastic, just as supportive and just as consistent.”
Consistency is part of who they are. The Mauldins celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary last December.
“We don’t have children of our own, but the players felt like they were family. We’ve stayed in touch with a lot of them,” says David. “We’ve received invitations to lots of weddings and graduations.”