Cynthia King

Doug Stinson’01

ThenDoug Stinson’01

While traveling to Furman during a high school visit, the connection was immediate as I toured the campus, visited classrooms and had a chance encounter with then-President David Shi while walking through the student center. During that trip, I knew Furman was my destination for a litany of reasons, starting with the personal, close interaction with first-class educators, immediate connection with the community in and around Furman, and, of course, its beautiful golf course!

Upon arriving in September of 1997 (Furman still operated then on trimesters), I was overwhelmed with the opportunities the campus provided and learned quickly that the community of people around you would determine the outcome of the next four years. That community included professors, advisors in both academic and student services, and many friendships created through Sigma Chi and Greek life and student organizations like Orientation Staff and the Heller Service Corps.

My desire to serve others and give back stemmed from those undergraduate years thanks to watching campus leaders firsthand who cared more about service than self. In taking the opening liberal arts classes, professors such as John Shelley in theology and religion and Kailash Khandke in microeconomics made an impact by explaining how and why they taught their subjects. Advisors who took us into their homes for meals showed us the depth of their caring and commitment, as did others in the Furman community, such as Carol Daniels, who led student services with a firm grasp of all happenings and a staff that cared for each student.

Furman friendships led me to my career in manufacturing sales in Knoxville, Tennessee, and through that, I was introduced to my incredible wife, Ashley. Truly hard to fathom it, but our kids, Payne, 15, and Haley, 13, are starting early conversations about college and where to attend. They see the excellent education, close friendships and strong  connections enabled through Furman and have put it on top of the list!


Doug Stinson ’01 is president of the Furman Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Aaron Simmons

Riya Misal ’22

NowRiya Misal ’22

Being a senior, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my Furman journey and what has made the biggest impact on me. The experiences I have gained have been the most influential. The Furman Advantage is real. I do not think I would have gotten this level of attention and this many opportunities had I not come to Furman. This summer, I interned with Furman’s Institute for the Advancement of Community Health and the Magdalene Clinic as part of my senior capstone to integrate my public health knowledge with a real-world application.

While my career goal is to become a physician, I want to work with marginalized communities (specifically low-income, immigrant or undocumented populations) to reduce health inequity. Through my career, I am interested in creating access to affordable healthcare for low-income populations, developing inclusive policies, and focusing on preventive care. I specifically chose the Magdalene Clinic because I am interested in the OB-GYN field and creating community health initiatives in the future.

This internship provided many opportunities to understand disparities in women’s health, the need for special services for women experiencing substance use, especially during pregnancy, and the technical details behind creating and evaluating the effectiveness of community health programs.

This was also my first exposure to trauma-informed care. I have never worked with patients with substance abuse disorders, so this internship allowed me to learn about healing with compassion, understanding provider bias and reducing stigma related to mental health and drug use. I feel these are valuable lessons for any future physician to learn in order to understand what patients go through. My time at Furman has been one of the best parts of my life.

I have grown as a leader, grown as a human, and increased my awareness of so much suffering in the world. My experiences at Furman and the Magdalene Clinic have helped shape my larger goal in life: to improve accessibility and give everyone the fair chance to live the life they want.


Riya Misal ’22 is a public health major and Pre-Med Magdalene Clinic Evaluation Intern at The Institute for the Advancement of Community Health.

Savita Nair

Holly Pinheiro Jr.

NextHolly Pinheiro Jr.

As I complete my first semester at Furman University, I am still taking in the excitement of teaching in person, meeting new colleagues and interacting with students. I am thrilled to be at an institution that not only says that they value teaching and student-centered learning but repeatedly proves it by supporting and nurturing an educational dynamic that values developing great students, scholars and staff.

I truly believe that it is both a privilege and an honor to be teaching African American history, especially in South Carolina. There is so much rich history, particularly in my area of expertise in the 19th century, regarding South Carolina’s history. Even though my forthcoming book, “The Families’ Civil War: Black Soldiers and The Fight for Racial Justice,” focuses on Philadelphian-born Black Civil War soldiers and their families, there are numerous connections to South Carolina’s history where numerous northern Black Civil War regiments defeated Confederate forces, protected formerly enslaved people, and enforced Reconstruction Era policies.

Regardless of a student’s major, I strive to see both the value and relevancy of history in their lives. Using a mixture of primary and secondary sources throughout the semester, we critically analyze and discuss how events ranged from the 15th century to the present. During our discussions, my students have demonstrated a willingness to think deeply, ask questions and establish connections of events across extended periods.

Outside the classroom, I am looking forward to helping foster more inclusive conversations that acknowledge the diversity and rich history of the local area while also working to establish scholarships that continue to diversify the student population in a way that is more representative of the local communities.


Holly Pinheiro Jr. is an assistant professor in history. He joined the Furman faculty in 2021.

$5 million gift from Chris ’78 and Andrea Borch will endow track and cross-country scholarships.

The newly named Robert and Margaret Hill Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship reflects the Hills’ enduring dedication to Furman.

Furman professors Geoffrey Habron, Matthew Cohen and M. Taha Kasim on the challenge of our time.