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Family Ties

For Ashley Ginn ’05, all signs pointed to Furman.Ashley Headshot 6

Two of her closest friends, Katherine Tumbleston ’03 and Lindley Sharp ’04, enrolled at Furman.

As a high school student in Boone, N.C., Ginn’s math tutor was Furman alumna Priscilla Harris ’92. “We would talk about math, and every now and then we’d talk about Furman,” said Ginn, now a resident of Charlotte, N.C.

Harris and her husband, John ’91, moved to Greenville where John took a position as a mathematics professor at Furman. They turned out to be just the beginning of Ginn’s Greenville family.

From the moment she drove in the campus gates in 2000, “Furman was everything I hoped for,” said Ginn. “I knew this was the place for me.”

Her college search had ended.

Ginn became part of a close-knit community soon after her arrival to campus as a freshman. She was active on campus, serving as a Furman Ambassador and as president of Heller Service Corps.

“Furman teaches you to think critically and work hard. Those are such valuable skills,” she said. “The professors know your name and invite you to their homes. You’re not just a number.”

Ginn saw that support from her Furman family demonstrated to an extraordinary degree during her sophomore year.

Since she and her three younger sisters would all be attending college within six years, Ginn felt the need to be mindful of the costs of her education. She had plans to transfer to a public university closer to her home, but her Furman family stepped in.

Ginn was awarded the Marguerite Chiles Scholarship, which covered the majority of her tuition costs during her final two years of study. She completed an individualized curriculum program in communication, religion, and sociology.

Pam Shucker ’69, the wife of Dr. Harry Shucker ’66, then the vice president of student services, took Ginn to meet Ms. Chiles ’40 in person at her home. “She wanted me to understand the significance of the honor I’d been given,” said Ginn.

The walls of Chiles’s room were lined with old photographs and Furman-inspired trinkets. Ms. Chiles, the former vice president for student affairs, still had the twinkle in her eye when she talked about her alma mater, the school that she served for nearly four decades.

“She gave me a view into history,” Ginn said. “There’s such a legacy there.”

Ginn said she is thankful that Dr. Harry Shucker provided her with the scholarship opportunity in the first place.

“It allowed me to stay at the university I loved,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had without Furman.”

Ginn also received one of the highest honors given by Furman, her induction into Senior Order, joining an elite leadership honor society which recognized her many outstanding qualities, including humility in leadership, exceptional character, and unselfish service.

Her Furman family also assisted her in finding the career she has today, where she has worked her way up to her current position as director of corporate communications at Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte, N.C.

“When people at Furman invest in your life, they do it long-term,” Ginn said.


Cover image courtesy of Little Red Photography.

Last updated August 12, 2015
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director