Letter from the Editor

As you read this, it is about two months after the 20th anniversary of the attacks of 9/11. Around that time, we asked members of the Class of 2005, who started Furman on the very day of the attacks, what they remembered about it.

Joe Waters ’05 had just finished watching news coverage of the towers on TV before going to class.

“I’ll never forget that Dr. Chris Blackwell (classics) made some remarks about how important it was that we began our humanistic studies on what was clearly a very dark day for humanity. Despite the shock of what was happening, he encouraged us to not lose sight of the importance of what we were doing in college and, in particular, in closely reading ancient texts in Humanities 11. The study of these texts would nurture in us the type of humanity that would be the most effective in combating the cruel destruction that flickered across our TV screens that Tuesday morning.”

In this issue of Furman magazine, you will encounter other ways a liberal arts and sciences environment embraces us and prepares us to make sense of the questions and crises of the day.

-The double flames of both conservatory – style music instruction and demanding academics at Furman helped to forge the incomparable Sarah Reese ’71 H’14. She would prevail at Furman in the face of racial hostility and then rise to become one of the greatest operatic talents in the world – a sphere that had been largely closed to Black artists.

Three professors – representing history, communication studies and philosophy – offer insights into how education may help to prevent future Jan. 6-style attacks on American democracy.

-And Trude Heller, who died in May, had fled the Nazis in her native Austria, landing in Greenville into the protective, welcoming embrace of a university community that valued the free exchange of ideas and our shared humanity above all else.

So as we approach the end of our second full year of the pandemic and wonder what’s next, draw on the gifts of your Furman liberal arts and sciences education, pick up an old text from Humanities 11, and know that you are uniquely prepared.

Reflections on what was, is and will be important at Furman.

The Hill Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship develops students’ startup mindset by helping them imagine, test and launch a social or entrepreneurial venture.

The contributions of Brad Cox ’65 affect the daily lives of billions of people who rely on Apple products.