Parent support provides $45 million campaign boost
What does it take to transform a $400 million campaign dream into reality? For Furman, a key ingredient is philanthropic parents. And while some may quake at the thought of being both donors and tuition-paying parents, Furman parents have demonstrated that they are a special breed of supporters.
When the university launched the Because Furman Matters campaign in 2007, parents joined the effort by establishing the Parent Campaign Committee (PCC) within Parents Council. The leadership team set goals, opened new doors and served as advocates for building the university’s endowment, supporting capital projects and providing more scholarship funds.
The results to date: Furman parents have raised more than $44.8 million toward the campaign. Says John Yates, a former chair of the PCC who is now a member of the board of trustees, “We are very proud of the role parents have played. We knew they would be helpful, but we were overwhelmed by their enthusiasm.” Their leadership is more evident now than ever, as eight current trustees are or have been Furman parents.
Exactly how can parents make a difference? A prime example is the renovated Trone Student Center, made possible by generous lead gifts from two sets of Furman parents: David ’77 and June Trone, and Class of ’83 members Robert and Margaret Platt Hill.
Lynda Panaretos, who chairs the Parents Council with her husband Jim, says, “The cost of tuition does not cover the total cost of providing the excellent educational experiences for our students, so we must do our part to support the advancement of the university. It’s worth it.” And as the campaign nears its December 31 conclusion, parents are likely to continue to play a crucial role in the final push toward the $400 million goal.